cinnamon, orange + cranberry scones

11 Nov

truck

Not a week goes by that I don’t take a picture of my truck, or the lake outside my office. I hope to one day put this pastiche of seasons together, to observe the changes that occur so quickly around me that it’s almost as if the present is already the past, and the past never was. Like some advertisement for blasé home furnishings or sneakers redressed in space-age textiles, the future is now.

Time slips past at an alarming rate, and yet I wonder why it should still alarm me, given that it is consistently – like clockwork (ahem) – fleeting. How can I slow down? How can I make the remaining weeks of my 26th year matter? Where can I find importance before I turn 30, 40, 60? How do I return to that bored-yet-enchanted feeling I found myself suffering from every summer while on break from school? Is it enough to find small things to appreciate during the day, such as an uncommon plant I am smitten with, or a particularly lovely sunset, or my cat’s needy meow as she rubs against my leg and then flops over onto her side? Nothing ever feels like enough, because time keeps flowing on, and I just want to be able to slow down and savor it.

How many before me have written these same words, and lamented these same regrets. I wonder if they have found a way to trick their minds out of worrying about worthless drivel. Perhaps they have taken a page from my favorite must-watch teen drama The Vampire Diaries and have simply turned off their humanity switch, thus cheating themselves of a life worth living.

This impetuous preamble is actually one way I’m trying to deal with time’s steady malicious pulse. Given my tendency towards wordiness, I’ve decided I would like to commit myself to writing on occasion. Writing while facing a screen works, but it seems a bit removed. Writing with a pen makes me feel anxious, given that I am left-handed and cannot go a single line without smudging my words or inking my palm. But recently, I found myself a typewriter that (once fixed) will become my go-to writing device. It was ensconced in a halo of spiderwebs, keeping the company of two other typewriters and several broken light bulbs, in the attic of my work office. When the humble typewriter was replaced, I can only assume the then-foresters must have reasoned that an apocalyptic day would surely come, at which point they could pull their dusty machines out of storage, and proclaim “A-ha! Didn’t I tell you those newfangled computer thingys were just a fad!?” They would have loved that.

Unfortunately for them, there has been no such apocalypse. And unfortunately for me, I slid down most of the attic steps avec typewriter, nearly causing apocalyptic pain in my spine as it crashed against each step. The universe really wanted to keep those typewriters in the attic, “just in case.”

typewriter

When I’m feeling introspective, chances are I’m also looking to surround myself with comforting things, such as my darling cat, the awesome pair of corduroy Silvers that I picked up at Marden’s yesterday for 9.99(!!!), or familiar recipes that always set me right.

I also tend to leaf through my piles of possessions.

It’s difficult to walk the fine line between needless hoarding and self-preservation, wouldn’t you agree? It’s my Mum’s and Dad’s birthdays this week, and I’m feeling extra sentimental. I’ll see them soon, but wish I could be there in person this week to wish them well.

cardsdad

My dad looks super sassy in this picture, and I love it. Bonus: cat fur photo backdrop.

This is one of those familiar recipes that I tend towards when looking for comfort food, and it’s actually one of the only things I’ve crafted since my days as a supposedly precocious, yet food-loathing child. I suppose that means I’ve been baking variations of this recipe for at least 15 years. I’ve just been working really hard to perfect it for you guys.

Not.

There are several schools of thought when it comes to scones, but this is how I like mine: moist, full of flavor, and nearly poofy. I don’t much care for dense, dry scones, so if that is what you’re looking to make, you’d do best with another recipe. Sorries.

scones

Cinnamon, Orange + Cranberry Scones

{Recipe adapted from some 90s kids cookbook put out by the American Heart Association}
Makes 8

++Ingredients:++

1 3/4 c flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
3 pinches allspice
Heaping 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c (1/2 stick) of butter
Zest of 1 orange or tangerine, plus 2 tsp juice
1/2 c buttermilk (or 1/2 c milk + 1 tsp vinegar)
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 c. dried cranberries, soaked 10 minutes in hot water, then drained
2 tbsp flour, for dusting
2 tsp sugar

++Directions:++

Heat oven to 425F.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt. In a saucepan, melt butter, and add in orange or tangerine zest and juice. Add butter mixture, as well as buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and cranberries, to flour mixture. Mix until combined. With well-floured hands, gather dough and knead into a rounded shape on a baking stone or sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Re-flour hands if needed. Press out dough until it is roughly 3/4″ in height, keeping the circular shape.

Run a pizza cutter across the dough to create 8 scone triangles. Sprinkle 2 tsp sugar across the top of the scones. Bake at 425F for 15-18 minutes, until evenly light golden on top. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, then use the pizza cutter again (or a knife) to cut the scones apart. Serve warm.

scones

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33 Responses to “cinnamon, orange + cranberry scones”

  1. Hannah 2013/11/11 at 13:36 #

    This is one of the most beautiful posts you’ve ever written (to my mind) — I love and agree with every gorgeous, elegiac word (except for “orange”, but that’s a given). Thank you, and yes, and I agree, and every moment, and perhaps by acknowledging as many moments as we can, as they happen, we help make them enough. xo

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 18:07 #

      Thank you dear Hannah. I originally was going to change the orange to tangerine, just in an attempt to put your mind at ease in the slightest. But while I used a tangerine this time, I never have before. Can’t mess with 15 years of perfection, brah.

      We must acknowledge what we can, yes. It doesn’t help that all I do during the week is sleep/work/eat – or does it? The days are confusingly long-short.

      • Hannah 2013/11/13 at 10:44 #

        Actually, I think tangerine might even be worse than orange. So I’m glad you stuck with the original. At least I can drink orange juice straight. xo

        • emma 2013/11/13 at 11:21 #

          Well.

          That makes absolutely no sense! But you must know that. xo

          • Hannah 2013/11/13 at 12:11 #

            Sense is overrated. I like snacking on mandarins. But still not in desserts. Wheee!

            • emma 2013/11/13 at 12:14 #

              Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!! Girl please.

              I agree though, sense is overrated. I have so many rules about what I do and do not like both butter and peanut butter on, it’s nauseating to keep straight. Except it’s not.

  2. Amy (Savory Moments) 2013/11/11 at 14:06 #

    This is a really lovely post. Time and the concept of time is something that I struggle with especially around birthdays or the end of the year…. This is exactly how I like my scones, too — soft and a bit fluffy — and these look delicious.

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 18:08 #

      Thanks Amy. Living life is such a big responsibility, so much momentous joy and lost time no matter what we do. More time should be spent eating floofy scones, we can agree on that!

  3. Karine Bielderman 2013/11/11 at 14:19 #

    I love orange scones! Thanks for sharing <3

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 18:08 #

      Aww thank you Karine!

  4. Moi 2013/11/11 at 14:47 #

    Omg I think I know exactly the cookbook you’re talking about!! I was obsessed with it! Was it the one with red and white checkers on the front?

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 18:09 #

      HECK YES IT WAS! Which recipes did you like best?!

      • Moi 2013/11/13 at 18:59 #

        I don’t know, it was so long ago! Do you still have it? If yes then tell me what was in it, I’m so curious! I remember liking the pizza recipe. Didn’t it have a lot of baked stuff? And wasn’t there something weird(/creative) about the recipes?

  5. Sarah 2013/11/11 at 15:14 #

    Oh those slippery little moments. What’s super fascinating is how tight I try to hold on to them and how quickly my kids wish to free themselves. And I love Vampire Diaries. Such rediculous dribble, and how it sucks me in.

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 18:12 #

      I think an hour of Vampire Diaries a week is a perfect example of an hour well spent. I always remember those 42 minutes I spend vegging out, and as ridiculous as the show is, it beats watching the clock turn, and it is so damn enjoyable:)

  6. Anna Peters 2013/11/11 at 19:42 #

    This sounds so luscious. Thank you.

  7. movita beaucoup 2013/11/12 at 07:36 #

    I’m having trouble formulating thoughts on the passage of time, as I am so distracted by that photo of you and your dad. He IS looking very sassy. Are you sporting velcro sneakers? And a ruffly, poofy shouldered sweater? Too. Much. Fashion!

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 18:19 #

      This was actually one of my more mild-mannered sweaters, given that the arms were not transformed into lifelike livestock via dangling yarn tassels. My dad’s sweatshirt here outshines me, though – a mushing dogsled pack, with ‘Alaska’ proudly emblazoned on the breast.

  8. Mum 2013/11/12 at 11:34 #

    Very, very nice post.
    You are asking questions that we all ponder, at some point, and do not always find answers for. Books and songs are written about this– remember the song: “Where are you going my little one, little one…” Time is such a crazy thing; it actually does speed up as you get older–really!! It probably has something to do with having less of it to play with, and just being very grateful for what ever there is….So, definitely spend it making scones, petting the kitty, taking pictures and using an old typewriter! Have you found anyone in your world that fixes those things? I bet that you can find ribbons online.
    Precocious? Yes. Food-loathing? Not entirely, what about noodles, grapes and chinese food?

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 19:32 #

      Well I can’t say that I do remember that song, that’s unfamiliar to me. I just watched an enchanting version by Father Osmond, though, and now I’ve become sidetracked learning about why Donny and Marie Osmond are so strange. Mormons! They sneak up on you at the most interesting of moments.

      I have not yet found anyone to fix the typewriter. Many of the keys appear to be broken/sticky, but I figure it the typewriter was worthless they would have just thrown it in the dump, rather than put it in the attic? At least, I hope so. That would be a cruel trick after the beating my back took rolling down the stairs with it.

      Noodles and grapes seem kind of like the anti-food. They’re good, but there’s not much to ‘em. And hence, I love them.

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 19:53 #

      I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of learning about the Osmonds. I CAN’T STOP!

  9. Brianne 2013/11/12 at 14:14 #

    I appreciate the changing of the seasons so much more now because of the bees. And I long to write, all the time…but my brain hurts so much at the end of the day that I can barely form sentences. Writing is so therapeutic; it gives you a chance to connect with yourself and the world around you. It sounds like such a great idea. I wish I could just execute! Your photos of these scones are beautiful! And nice score on the Silvers!

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 19:35 #

      THE BEEES! NOOOOOOO THE BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!! AHHHHHHHHHH THE BEEEEEEEES THE BEEEEEEEEEEEEES NOOOAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

      I just ruined your lovely comment with this memorable Nicolas Cage quote. Sorry!

      My brain hurts at the end of the day too. I barely have the energy to make myself a sub-par meal, let alone write something coherent. Hence the Nic Cage moment.

      I went back and bought a second pair of Silvers. I couldn’t not!!

      • Brianne 2013/11/13 at 12:38 #

        I had to google “Bees Nicolas Cage” to figure out what movie that was from. I haven’t seen it! But I’m adding to the Netflix queue, fo sho! He’s such a silly guy.

        • emma 2013/11/13 at 12:46 #

          There’s this really funny compilation of all his shenanigans from The Wicker Man. You should watch that too, you might choke on your laughter though, so be careful;)

  10. Amy 2013/11/12 at 16:50 #

    1) This post is very profound.
    2) You’re so young!
    3) I’m totally a hoarder too. I just showed Nate my gigantic portfolio of art projects dating back to nursery school and he said I have a problem.
    4) you were the cutest kid ever.
    5) I need these scones NOW.

    • emma 2013/11/12 at 20:07 #

      1) It started out that way, and might have maintained it, but I broke out my Nic Cage impression in response to Brianne, above.
      2) But I just recently was so much younger! You made me realize my picture with the Paul Bunyan head is nearly five years old – eep!
      3) It is a definite problem. The first step is admitting it….
      4) I negated the cuteness by also being one of the evilest kids ever. Though really I was just quite shy.
      5) Well chyah!

  11. gypsymoonsilverspoon 2013/11/13 at 02:01 #

    What a beautiful typewriter, do you use it often? I haven’t been able to find ink for mine for years but sometimes I type on it anyways just to hear the sound of the keys click as my words dissapear into the ether…whoah. Anyways, the scones look amazing too. Your parents are so lucky they raised a sentimental child.

    • emma 2013/11/13 at 07:16 #

      I actually just acquired it, and need to have it serviced by someone to make it workable again! There are several broken keys, so I hope I can get it whipped back into shape:)

      Aww, and I’m lucky to have such sentimental parents! Thank you.

  12. shannon 2013/11/15 at 21:40 #

    so much to think about in this one!
    1. i miss that bored-yet-enchanted feeling from summers’ past. I sometimes think – usually when i’m knee deep in writing work and 3 year old girl needs and laundry and bills and running about – about how much time i had on my hands back then. it didn’t seem like it, but those days are precious, and they never happen that same exact way again. I read a NY Times article a long while back, and i’ll never forget this one point they were making about school – specifically high school and college. It was that it’s the only time in your life (especially the high school part of that) that you won’t have to worry about a job, or figuring out what you want to do as a career, or any of it. you’re free in more of a way than you’ll ever be again. it’s like a happy/sad realization for me.
    2. i love that you’re going to write more. i love that you enjoy pens/notebooks and typerwriters; the act of writing in a non-electronic way is much more calming and soul-satisfying. I have two old typewriters here, and (like you, once fixed) i’ll use them.
    3. your dad is THE SASSIEST. that hair. is. glorious.
    4. your scone preferences are my scone preferences. to a T. i will make these scones very soon. i imagine next week, when my mom gets here, as cranberry orange things are her most favorite.

  13. Mary at n00bcakes 2013/11/18 at 14:10 #

    Beautiful scones, and a lovely post, Emma! Good luck your writing adventures; I’m sure the tactile sensation of pressing those typewriter keys will be gloriously cathartic and yield lovely pages smelling deliciously of ink! Mayhaps you will snap some pics of your writings and share? :)

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  1. cranberry + orange milk crumb cookies (a spin on the momofuku blueberries + cream cookies.) | A Periodic Table - 2013/11/13

    […] in everything, from granola to oatmeal to baked goods, and sometimes even savory things. I know I’m not the only one who’s thinking about them right now, so I thought I’d throw this cookie at you, just for […]

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