Archive | September 2011

Fruit of My Labor

Self-sufficiency in any degree feels good, don’t you agree? … and besides, the green beans and tomatoes from my own garden just plain taste better. I love the feeling of knowing I grew something or made something myself…  whether it’s a flower, a green bean, a quilt, or, for that matter, even a book!

Right now, late September,  is the season when, in years past, I would have been quite happily canning pears and peaches and filling up my panty and garage shelves with lovely jars of nummy fruit for the winter months.

Alas, not the case this year (or last year, for that matter).  Sigh.  A season for everything.  And this particular season (of my life), my harvest is more books than produce.  Not quite as nummy.  But equally satisfying, I suppose–in an odd way–when I see said books all stacked up and know they are a “fruit” of my labors. In a way, they feed other people. As my 14-year old says, “Books are candy for the soul.” (The librarian overheard her saying that and posted it on the wall of the school library.)

So I guess that’s my contentment advice for the day: Every season has its own harvest.  Can’t moan that this season is different or worse than another.  Just different fruit.

My blog slogan is “Who Says You Can’t Have It All?”  I still stand on that principle.  I just don’t try to do it all in one day (anymore). Or in one season.  🙂

What is the “fruit” of YOUR  labor in this season? I would love to hear what you’re doing that may be different than what you’ve done in other seasons of your life!

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DIY “St_rb_cks” Pumpkin Scones

Just great.  The sun did not come out ONCE yesterday in the Pacific Northwest. At least, not in my corner of it, anyway.

Fall is certainly upon us.

To console myself in the absence of sunshine, my thoughts turn to … food. (They don’t call it “comfort food” for nothing.)

Top of my list in the autumn?  Pumpkin Scones.  Mmmm…

But in these current economic times, who can afford to hit Starbucks every morning?  Not me.  So, here’s the next best (even better!) thing:  DIY ( Do It Yourself)!

If my family doesn’t gobble them up first, I store  ’em in the freezer in individual ziploc bags and pop them in the microwave (briefly) when I want a warm one with a cup of  coffee.

Maybe it’s not quite as comforting as a warm summer day.  But equally satisfying in its own way.

If you try them, let me know what you think.  Hope you like ’em!

DIY PUMPKIN SCONE RECIPE

6-12  scones (depending on how you cut them)

Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 large egg

Powdered Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

TO MAKE THE SCONES:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.
  4. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. (Note: I cut them in half again and make 12.  Otherwise they’re HUGE!)
  5. Bake for 12-14 minute or until scones begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
  6. TO MAKE THE PLAIN GLAZE:.
  7. Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.
  8. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.
  9. AS THAT WHITE GLAZE FIRMS UP, MAKE THE SPICED ICING:.
  10. Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.  (Note: I put the icing in a small, plastic ziploc bag and cut the teeniest tip off with scissors, and use it as a decorator bag. I think that works best.)