Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fresh cranberry scones

I have the wonderful luxury of having the house to myself on a Saturday. It is peaceful and quiet- Nicole is in her corner, the turntable is playing Ray Charles; there is no one to question how much time I am spending in the kitchen, I have a pile of cookbooks to read and all should be right with the world. Not quite- I have cook's block. The last 2 ambitious dinner experiments were disasters. There was the pulao I tried to make. I lovingly blended spices in the behemoth blender, chopped up carrots and green beans, dumped everything in the rice cooker- it smelt good but the rice was utterly uncooked. So I threw it in the pressure cooker with some more water where it turned into a tasteless mush. I made the family eat it anyway and tried to compensate with a cabbage salad. And there was the dosa I tried to make - I don't think I measured stuff correctly- the dosas were heavy as a brick on day one. A rest on the counter for 3 days and the bacteria and yeast in the air worked some magic and it was ok on day 5. That is not all - there was the tough as nails beetroot palya.
After all these disasters, the husband browses through the Lebanese cookbook in my pile and asks me why I don't make him stuffed cabbage rolls. According to him it is easy. The steps include
boiling a whole cabbage to soften the leaves, making a stuffing with soaked rice, chick peas and herbs, stuffing the cabbage leaves and braising the rolls in a tomato broth for a full 90 minutes. In my estimate, a full afternoon's worth of work. And given my recent disasters, I am not ready to approach anything that involves cooking rice without some fear. Well apparently I am making a mountain out of a mole hill- this recipe is ;at the most as complicated as, making aloo parathas.

So this weekend the husband is going to make Lebanese cabbage rolls and I am going to sit back watch and knit my time away.

To feel a little better I baked these scones. I am proud to say that I have converted the 2 holdouts in our family to love fresh cranberries. This scone is perfect - not too sweet, flecked with a beautiful red and guaranteed to make you feel cheerful in spite of all your (cooking) woes. These scones taste really good at room temperature.

Fresh cranberry scones (barely adapted from the Kitchn
Makes about 16 small scones
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 lemon zested
2 1/4 cups flour ( I used a mix of whole wheat flour 1 1/4 cups and all purpose flour 1 c)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 c vegetable oil
2 to 4 tablespoons of cold  soy milk

Heat the oven to 350 deg. Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment. Put the flour(s), baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix with a fork until you have tiny clumps. Pulse the cranberries, sugar and lemon zest in a food processor or chop together on a cutting board. Add this to the flour mixture and mix with a fork. If the dough doesn't come together, add cold soy milk a tablespoon at a time. It is ok if  the dough looks craggy. Dump  half the dough on to a floured cutting board and pat into a circle to the thickness of a pancake. Cut into wedges. Transfer to prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Bake for  about 20 minutes. Cool a little and dig in.

Stays fresh for 2 days in an airtight container- didn't last more than that




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