My Chicago Home

My Chicago Home
How can we best live as modern, active contemplatives where prairie meets city?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Celebrating Summer with Scones

Since school's end, I've been writing five or more hours daily, putting final touches on my young adult novel. Now that I'm free from regular teaching for a couple months, I write before the kids roll out of bed, again around lunch, and often burn the midnight oil. I'm not naturally an early riser, so hitting the keyboard by 6:30 -- 7:00 AM is quite a discipline. 
Two years ago, a friend gave us a raspberry bush
that was little more than a twig. With little care,
it has grown to monster size, yielding
berries for weeks. 

I needed fresh air and exercise after a lengthy writing session last week. Slipping out to the garden, I found my raspberry bushes laden. Fresh raspberries are luxury enough, but visions of fresh-baked raspberry-chocolate scones danced in my brain. What a great way to celebrate the official start to summer. I just so happened to have Ghirardelli chocolate chips in the cupboard, so...in they went, into the dough. 

Using freezer paper to roll out dough 
made clean up easier.
My daughter made Orange Pekoe and Pekoe Cut Black Tea (a fancy way of saying Lipton's). The boys helped mix dough, set the table, etc. Mid-way through, we realized we were one egg short. I trekked down the block to two different neighbors and finally returned victorious -- with an organic, free range egg, no less.

We sprinkled half the scones with refined, white sugar, the other half with raw. I preferred the raw. Frankly, the boys would have preferred all-aound more sugar! But my daughter and I loved the subtly-sweet taste, and the mix of moist raspberries and melted, bitter chocolate. We used a recipe from Rombauer's and Becker's classic Joy of Cooking. (Click on the link to see Rombauer's home in St. Louis and a "Joy" online community.)

Almost forgot to add the egg wash at the end. 
That simple step turned the scones a
delectable golden-brown. 
Graduation and birthday parties, community band rehearsals and concerts, choir recitals, my oldest teen's choir trip to Nashville, an emergency doctor's visit for a scratched cornea, a DIY remodeling of our bathroom, preparing the boys' bedroom for painting, sealcoating our driveway, hefty laundry loads (due to 90-degree-plus days), school record-keeping, arranging homeschool curricula for next year, registering two kids for high school classes, college visits  -- all these commitments and duties have kept us hopping. But dropping everything for an hour to bake scones and enjoy a tea party with my pre-teen and teens set the day apart. 

Celebrating summer by heating up the kitchen? It worked for us. Happy summer!

The scone platter is from our Pfaltzgraff set of wedding china. 
The raspberry bowl and teapot were resale shop finds. 
My 12-year-old son said he could do tea every day.
I agree.

Photos by Daniel Bartholomew







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