Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The far-from-perfect recipe for the the most oh-so-perfect scones

The following recipe is aptly named because when you make it, you're surely going to think you did something wrong, but you are far from it. The eight year old I am baby sitting and I know this from experience. In fact, we had quite the production going on. Both of us were covered in flour, laughing so hard our guts hurt while attempting to spatula our creation off the counter, a step we omitted for your benefit. We also had to stop for disco dance breaks. 
Baking and music go hand in hand. I believe that when listening to the appropriate tune-age a person can become more inventive and inspired, two key ingredients in the recipe for a successful culinary adventure. So I've included a list of songs suggested for optimum baking results. 
Now before you write me off as some crazed cheese-ball cook, try these scones on for size. The chocolate chips give them the perfect hint of coco sweetness, while the craisins add a fruity tang. Something different and possibly, music to your taste buds.

Musical Scones Playlist

Here(In your arms)              by Hellogoodbye
Shake it                             by Metro Station
Nine in the afternoon         by Panic! At the Disco
Fallin' Apart                       by the All American Rejects
LDN                                   by Lilly Allen
Gone Daddy Gone              by Gnarls Barkley
Take it Home                     by The White Tie Affair 

Musical Scones Recipe

2 1/2 cups  All-purpose flour                    
3 tbsp        Sugar                                     
2 1/2 tsp    Baking powder                        
1/2 tsp       Baking soda                            
1/2 tsp       Salt   

1/2 cup   Very Cold butter
1 cup      Milk
1            Egg
2 tsp       Vanilla extract

1/2 Heaping cup Chocolate chips
1/2 Heaping cup Craisins

  • Set out ingredients on a clean counter space. Fire up your computer and click on Itunes, turning up the music loud enough that you can hear it in your kitchen, but not enough so you can't hear yourself think. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F(200 degrees Celsius)
  • Begin by taking out two large baking sheets. We used special silicone baking covers that you can get in places from grocery stores to wal-marts. However if you don't have some, dusting your pans with flour or covering them with parchment paper will work just as well. 
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. This is important because your leaveners will work better to lift your scones if they are distributed evenly. Also, do not skip the salt. You may think it does not make a difference. IT DOES. Salt is important to help create certain chemical reactions necessary for baking. Trust me, bakers are not out to heighten your blood pressure without reason. 
  • Using your fingers, crumble the butter with dry mixture. we found this was a two person job, but if you are baking solo cube the butter before you stick your hands in the bowl and put a measuring cup, shaking a bit in as needed. All the dry mixture should be worked in, but don't fret if it's done evenly. The texture will be around an apple crumble.
  • Measure out milk in a glass measuring cup twice the size that you need ( so a cup that can hold 2 cups). Crack egg into glass and whisk. When finished give yourself a pat on the back for not only saving water, but also for saving yourself some dishes! Whoot whoot!

  • Pour milk and egg mixture over flour mix. Stir with a fork. It will probably look like a mess,  BUT DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO OVER MIX. Mix only until all the flour is gone. Add in the chocolate chips and craisins.  Don an apron and flour your hands. Make the most even ball of dough you can manage (don't worry if it's not perfect), deviding in half and placing one ball on each prepared pan.  squash down and spread out until about the height of double your thumbnail. Bake for eighteen to twenty minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan when baked and cut as you would a pizza for convienient and highly addictive wedges, or keep  whole in an airtight container for a quick breakfast the next day. 
Makes about eighteen large wedges

Don't forget to treat yourself to the first warm, chocolaty, buttery bite of your masterpiece and to turn down your stereo so as you can relax in baking bliss. The dishes can wait.  

May all your scones be golden,

Arctic hipster

Monday, August 31, 2009

A not-so joyful trip to the hospital

 This morning they stuck me. Mom woke me up at the painfully early seven am and rushed me around  so we could be the first in line at the hospital admittance desk.
When we arrived the place smelled of disinfectant and fear. But perhaps that was just me. My mother filled out some forms at the front desk. I contemplated my options. The lobby was close to the entrance, not to far off from where we were. If I sprinted I could be out of here in no time flat. Maybe I could smash the container of a fake potted plant as a distraction.
Before I could make a move, Mom bounded over to where I was sitting with a smile. My mom is pretty, with her curly blonde hair and womanly figure. She's only five foot but can pack a punch. I didn't want to feel her wrath while I was still half dead to the world.
It was hardly five past eight but the sun shone mockingly through the windows in the hallway leading to the labratory. It's if they were laughing at the fact I would be stuck inside a small waiting room without windows, on a glorious summer's day. The sad part is school starts in two days, but I'm so sick I can't bend over without getting light headed.
My mother was sort oblivious to my laboured breathing caused by being congested in the nose and throat areas. She motered it all the way to the lab without turning back. This would have probably been the best time for a clever getaway, but I was half down the hallway already. Turning around would have taken energy that I didn't have.
Sitting in the lab waiting room was awful. Every time the nurse came out of her little cubical to call out the name or the next victim... er patient, my whole body seized up. It was as if my arm knew it was about to be violated by a sharp metal object because it began to twitch. Which was sort of frightening.
Then the moment came. The nurse stepped out and called my name. My heart pounded against my rib cage. I got up slowly and marched as if it was my exacution. Suddenly the room seemed to crowded, the air too hot. 
 I read somewhere that when people become overly frightened they begin to get hysterical. That would explain why I started jabbering away as the nurse closed the door. She held my arm and used a band to push all the skin to the inside of my elbow. My voice got more high pitched the more she played with medical equipment on the counter beside me. I decided not not look at her just in case I caught a glimpse of the needle. 
She responded with clam "mhmm"s whenever I asked her if she understood what I was saying because I just was so terrified of needles and if I yelled at her or maybe thought some terrible thoughts about her it really was not her fault I just was scared silly and did not like sharp pointy things going into my arm and sucking out my blood like a vampire...  And that's when I felt a sharp pain just below the band she had placed on my arm.
It definitively was not a pleasant experience feeling my blood drain trickling out into a tube, but it was necessary and I survived. Perhaps in the future we will discover a way to make certain diagnosis' with saliva. That way, all patients would have to do would be to suck on a lollipop and doctors could analyze that. A sweet alternative to blood work.
For now I'm bearing the pain of a sore arm with a smile, because hopefully all this uncertainty will soon be over. 

In high spirits and low iron levels,

Arctic Hipster

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Alas! The virus is attacking! Start the tea kettle! Man the tissue box! Skip the....chicken noodle soup?

That's right. I've fallen victim to the oldest form of super villain, the not-so-common cold. The reasoning for calling it that is because doctors have tried to diagnose me to no avail.

Apparently the symptoms I'm suffering from are all across the board ; sore throat to killer cramps and a splitting head ache, and could fall under numerous categories for illnesses. Leaving me feeling like a science experiment. The latest theory has me scheduled for a blood test. Tomorrow the lucky people at the hospital will use my fore arm as a pin cushion. Perhaps you can read the lack of excitement expressed in that last statement?

The argument is that the vile containing my life water will be analysed, and will narrow down the possibilities, finally giving us some sort of idea what we're dealing with. However, I'm not the most logical person when it comes to these sort of things. I prefer to have my body fluids where they belong, in my body. Yes, I'm actually quite happy with them circulating in my person like they are suppose to. Not in some lab getting picked apart by a medical practitioner. That's the natural reaction is it not? For some reason I doubt there is anyone who would readily subject themselves to this sort of examination. 

Meanwhile, while I'm feeling like the black death warmed up, it's a lovely twenty three degrees outside.

Cruel, oh so cruel.

At least there is blogging right? I write this as my feverish hands slip off the keys due to sweat. That was discusting, ha ha. Sometimes in sheer desperatos you can't help but laugh. The only down side is now I'm hoarking up a lung, which oddly enough makes me laugh harder. 
Must be my meds. 
Hopefully none of you are ill at this time. If you are, I bequeath my kleenex box to you.

Arctic Hipster