Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baking to find purpose

I dreamed I was running and flying around Brooklyn. I saw friends who live in the area along my path and they all looked busy. I felt weightless and free but at the same time longed for the grounding they each seemed to have. I woke up wondering what my day would be like because I had no real plan in mind. I started my morning ritual - let the dog out, made some coffee, and turned on NPR. I am still trying to develop a better sense of rigor in my art practice so I thought I should focus on that today but I could not envision what that meant in a tangible way. I pulled out the Joy of Cooking and decided to make scones. As I cut the butter into the dry mixture of flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder I felt focused. I continued to mix the cherries and candied ginger into t he mixture and moved on to mix the lemon zest, egg and cream together. As I stirred the wet and dry ingredients together I realized that my purpose right now at this very moment in my life is to integrate the various parts of my life together - my life as an artist, my life as a partner, my life as a teacher, etc. Here is the recipe for the Ginger Cherry Scones (from Joy of cooking with some improvisation on my part):

I use all organic ingredients for best tasting results:
Pre-heat over to 425 and get out an ungreased baking sheet
Mix 2 cups flour with 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.
Drop into dry mixture 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (cut butter in with two knives tossing pieces around in flour coating well and continuing to cut until largest piece of butter is no larger than a pea.)
Mix in 1/2 cup dried cherries (I use unsweetened and cut them in half) and 1/4 cup candied ginger pieces (cut into tiny pieces) - Obviously, you can mix any variety of ingredients in like dried currants, raisins, etc.
In separate bowl beat together 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 large egg, and 1 tsp lemon or orange zest
Stir wet mixture into dry mixture using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until just combined
Work dough with hands until combined well. You should be able to lift out ball after 5-10 kneading motions leaving a mostly clean bowl.
Place onto LIGHTLY floured surface and roll out into an 8" circle.
Cut into 8-12 pieces and place 1/2 in apart on baking sheet.
brush tops (and sides if desired) with heavy cream.
Bake 10 minutes and sprinkle sugar and/or cinnamon on tops then bake an additional 2-5 minutes.
While they are baking put your coffee or tea on!
I serve with orange marmalade and/or clotted cream - yum!

Total time to make this recipe is about 1/2 hour.
Yields 8 large scones or 12 small scones.

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