Apricot Scones (from C.S., neighbor)
2 1/2 c. all purpose or pastry flour
1/2 c. sugar (granulated cane sugar is nice)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. chilled butter, cut into small pieces (you can use up to 1/2 c. if desired)
1/2 c. finely chopped dried apricots and dried cherries (C.S suggests 3/8 c. apricots and 1/8 c. cherries)
1/2 c. plain, low-fat yogurt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stir the dry ingredients together until well mixed. Work in the butter pieces until it is about the consistency of a soft, coarse meal. Add the fruit and stir. Set aside.
Mix the eggs and yogurt, then stir into the flour mixture just enough until it is a "barely together blob" (C.S.'s words were too good to change up).
Dump the blob out onto a clean, lightly-floured workspace. Knead and lightly apply a little more flour as needed, until the blob is mostly together.
Smoosh the blob to an 8-10 inch disk shape. Gently place the disk on a lightly greased baking sheet (C.S. suggests olive oil to grease it). Add the topping by brushing the dough with half-and-half and sprinkling sugar over it.
Cut the dough into 12 wedges, and pull them away from each other on the baking sheet as they will expand during cooking. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Serve warm.
So, I recently went with my husband to the big city for one of his conferences. We stayed in a nice hotel on the river, just at the edge of the commercial downtown, and certainly right in the middle of things. It was spectacular - historical buildings, high rises, architectural feats, enormous bridges, and people. Tons of people. Everywhere. I loved it. Manmade and masterful. In one word: thrilling.
And it confirmed a suspicion of mine that has been growing for the past few years: I am not a city girl.
I like green, and things that are growing, and one- and two-story houses, and neighbors who walk their dogs with you (or walk your dog for you), and wide blue sky and knowing that the tallest thing around is a mountain, or a bird flying over the mountain.
I like my 9.5 minute commute to work, the 4 blocks of downtown (OK, well, I could stand it to be a little bigger honestly), the fact that I have a problem with deer eating my garden vegetables, and that my dog knows the difference between the words "stick" and "squirrel."
I like that my neighbor gave me scones when I dropped in to pick up my dog, and that a few days later the same neighbor came running out of his house, his hands covered in butter and flour, to give me a bag of pumpkin dog treats. I like that all my friends know where the secret house key is, and if they don't, all they need to do is ask in order to find out.
I've decided, I like my not-city life. I'm blessed with friends and neighbors and community. So, I've set a goal for the next few months ... make some of these scones and give them to someone who needs a neighbor.