Sunday, June 28, 2015

Back in LC: Buttermilk III

Actually, I’ve been back in Rhode Island for just over a month now, but just got down to LC, where thoughts turn to baking and guilt about my on-life-support blog.  A few friends from here have mentioned it, subtly (as in, “I haven’t seen the blog in a while”) or not so subtly (“Are you going to do the blog now that you’re here?”). So here I am, sending this out to my few but fierce believers, after a month lolling about like a slug.

Which I totally needed after a horrific academic year, and six-months-and-counting of recovering from the dreaded (as in, do not get this injury) trimalleolar fracture.  Bones healed perfectly (“like a 20-year-old!!” surgeon crowed). Yeah, but all that other stuff—you know, the stuff that actually lets you walk—ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves—a massive contractured, painful, scar-tissued mess. A metal plate with nine screws and a 4” bolt are the least of it.

But I can now stand and limp around crutch-free for short distances well enough to bake. And I must say that I do have some personal pent-up demand to break out the rolling pins and pie plates, after more than five months of being pretty much incapacitated.

By now you know that, with few exceptions, everything I do on this blog is down-right, unapologetically old fashioned, homey, and New England (or Pennsylvania German) to the core. This morning for Sunday breakfast I reached way back to make these plain scones “baked” on a griddle, the way scones were meant to be.  You do need to tend to them, but it is all as simple as can be, and since they mix up in two secs, the whole process is done in 20 minutes. Buttermilk, as always, makes them tender and a bit tangy.

Stove-top Scones

These will have a nice contrast of textures between the insides and outsides. Go for something golden, a little on the darker side, like an English muffin. These are not sweet; I compensate by eating them with butter and jam. Makes 12.

2 ½ c a-p flour
1 T sugar
2 ½ tea baking powder
½ tea baking soda
1 tea salt
1/8 tea ginger (optional)
4 T unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk (shake before measuring)
1 large egg

Put a seasoned griddle, preferably cast iron, on the stove over low heat.

Mix flour, sugar, b.p, b.s, salt, and ginger in a medium blowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and cut it into the dry ingredients with your fingers until crumbly.

Whisk the egg into the buttermilk and stir into the flour mixture with a fork until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and divide it into three pieces. Form each piece, kneading lightly, into a small circle, about 6” diameter but no less than ½” thick. With a sharp, floured knife, cut each circle in quarters.

Place the wedges on the griddle; they should be dry from the flour on the counter, and you do not need to grease the griddle unless you want to. Cook them for about 3 minutes, then turn the heat up to medium and continue cooking them for another 3-5 minutes, or until they have risen and the bottoms are the shade of golden you prefer. Turn them over with a spatula and cook until the other side is golden, 6 minutes or so. With your hands or a pair of tongs, turn the scones to one edge and cook for about a minute; repeat with the other edges until scones are cooked all around.

Serve hot with butter and jam or marmalade.


racheld said...

Oh, My Dear!!

jI had no idea of your injuries and ordeal---was just here all this time in my horrific clutter thinking of your serene Little Compton days, of sun and flowers and wonderful produce and seafood, of the coming holiday and the snap of flags, the breeze from the sea, and the click of an old gate as you walk out to the picnic with a bale-handled jar of magnificent pickles and stars on the pie-basket napkin. I could almost smell that still-warm pie and its fruity juices from here. My longing to try that New England air---lifelong covet; I'd even conjured up your Summer Camp days in Maine as part of the picture.

And even down to that "like a slug" line, you had me---our last few months have been such chaos with renovating the downstairs kitchen and all that no-sink-for-two-months merriment, I was about to envy your sluggy-shoes, and WHAM, the news of your accident. Oh, Goodness.

I'm so sorry that happened to you, and I know it's been so painful and such hard work to get literally back onto your feet.

Do know I was thinking of you, and not exactly in the "Get Back Into Blog-Mode, Woman!" way, but of the clear days and scrumptious fresh meals and just being where you are.

Wishing you WAY better and better, as you heal and recuperate. Sending you a virtual plate of these barbecued ribs, red-beans-and-rice and sweet onion sandwiches we're about to have on trays with TV. And big icy glasses of lemony tea.


racheld said...

I spoke before I Googled. DAYUM. How bout I also send most of this Mason jar of 'Shine and some fresh mint?

Jane said...

Ha! I will take the "Shine with mint! It's been that kind of thing. Thank you for all your sympathy and kind words, and I can almost taste that bbq--and onion sandwiches are a childhood favorite of mine, made and eaten with my father. I do have to laugh at your fantasy of my life here--actually, it's really like that when we have a real New England summer (which you WILL experience some day), but also have to say that I envy you doing a kitchen over. It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to make a kitchen just like I wanted. But I do remember that, when it's all done and the months without a sink or rummaging in a box for utensils is over, those annoyances and inconveniences fade and the reality of the new kitchen is so pleasurable. Sort of like childbirth. Enjoy it! And thank you for being there, Rachel. Jane

Elizabeth Sylvia said...

I'm sorry to hear about your accident, and I wanted to tell you that you have a devoted fan in Mattapoisett, MA. I'm definitely going to try these scones with some of my fresh strawberry jam. Thank you!

Jane said...

Elizabeth, you have no idea how much I appreciate hearing that you are out there reading (waiting, mostly). Thank you for that and for your sympathy. We have had great strawberries this year, despite the winter, haven't we? Jane