When I came home today, I found this:
Which is a shame, because I came home with a fabulous bottle of sparkly pink wine and a huge hunk of his favourite cheese, and for all he knows, I could have been amorous. And I was. But not for him: Whole Foods opened on the corner yesterday, and today I paid my first visit (and healthy chunk of my payday earnings).
I didn’t even cry at my wedding.
I enjoyed a good long wander through the store, making mental notes of all the things I’d buy someday when I have a lot more money than I do now. The stack of salts, all different colours and textures in their plastic containers labeled with their exorbitant prices were so mesmerizing I stood staring, slack-jawed like a brain-damaged mule, for a good ten minutes, my eye shifting slightly to the left to the stack of Le Creuset pots in every colour before shifting back. I died a little inside when I realized that to buy any desirable combination of these would render my financial situation unliveable for the next two weeks, so I walked away slowly, barely keeping back the tears.
And then I found the cheese section! Needless to say, I am the proud new owner of $40 worth of cheese. So, three different kinds.
The goal today was to write about scones – and I will, I promise, because I bought a hideously expensive container of frozen organic Abbotsford blackberries, and the scones happen to be revelatory. But I got all tripped up by this:
And I discovered that if you shriek in the grocery store, no one will ask you if you need help, but you’ll find yourself with all the space you like.
My favourite thing to do with fresh greens, such as this vibrant bunch of rapini, is to sauté them in a little butter, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, and too many capers, then toss them with pasta and add a generous helping of parmesan cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You don’t need a recipe – it’s impossibly simple. Salt and pepper to taste, and a bottle of good wine for accompaniment, and you’re set. And then you end up with this:
And the whole time I was eating it, I was all – “this cost under five dollars to make – why do I ever eat out?” Well, it might have cost more, but I amortized the cost of the cheese over several meals. Which is what you do when you budget.
So I ate all this, and drank most of the wine, and was just about ready to ease into my favourite kind of stupor when I realized that I was going to make scones. And I started making the scones and realized that in my shrieking Whole Foods love fest, I didn’t buy milk. But whatever, right? You can make scones without milk. I made mine with yogurt and a bit of water in place of the milk. DELICIOUS.
Here’s the recipe (with milk, because that makes good sense).
Blackberry Lemon Scones
(makes about eight)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/4 cup butter (plus a bit of melted butter to brush over the tops)
- 1/2 cup milk (I used peach yogurt, because that’s what I had)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup frozen blackberries (I prefer to use frozen berries for these because they keep their shape better than fresh berries)
- 1 tbsp. turbinado sugar (or regular, but I promise, it’s not the same)
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Combine your dry ingredients (including zest) in a mixing bowl, and mix well. Add the butter, working it in with your fingers until it’s fully integrated and the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Stir in the milk and the egg, and then the berries, and mix only until the dry ingredients are moistened. Form into a ball.
Lightly flour your work surface. Empty your bowl of dough, which by now is very pretty and marbled with purple juices. Knead lightly. Pat the dough into a circle about a half-inch thick, and paint with the melted butter. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top, and press lightly to make sure it sticks. Cut the round into eight pieces.
Place your scones about an inch or so apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
No matter how big a mess your apartment (or life) is, baked goods always make everything okay.
You know what the weird thing is? I got a raise today, and the best part of my day involved rapini and blackberries. That’s not to say the raise – though small – isn’t good news: it’s enough to cover another two bottles per month, if I choose wisely. And more wine is always a thing to delight in.
Rehab, when I finally get forced into it, is really going to suck.
Serve the scones warm. They are great with butter, but if you’re all alone and no one’s watching, a drizzle of maple syrup makes these indulgent and fattening. Some days, there is nothing better.