I’m going to go ahead and ignore the fact that some time has passed since we spoke? Can we do that? Can we pick up where we left off? What if I throw in a recipe for scones that, I swear, will impress anyone you give them to? Think of it as an “I’m sorry I got pregnant, had a baby, and lost track of anything that wasn’t those two things” present. Please forgive me.
So, when last we spoke, I had just finished a ton of creative stuff and was too tired to even think about a new project while simultaneously toyed with the idea of attempting to write a new novel during NaNoWriMo. Less than 10 days after that last post I found out I was pregnant and basically spent the next nine months looking for a snack or napping my couch. I was so tired that spelling my own name was a struggle, let alone writing whole sentences or stringing together paragraphs. It was easier to grab another granola bar and watch another episode of Shark Tank than to start a new novel!
I’m a little embarrassed to be writing this now, after so much time as passed, feeling like a failed writer, but I’m trying to be just a shade nicer to myself these days. I created this forum for myself, I may as well use it. The thing is, being a mom is hard, being an artist is hard. Trying to do both of those things at the same time feels almost impossible, especially when both of these areas of my life leave me plagued with just mountains of self-doubt. But we plow on, right? It sounds like a total cliche, but the only real failure in both of these areas is the failure to try. So here I am–trying.
You know what I can still do with confidence? Bake! Over the summer, when I was on maternity leave, I watched the entire series of How I Met Your Mother. In the debacle that was the last season, the one redeeming moment was mention of “sumbitch” cookies, which the Mother makes and Lily shares. They were described as peanut butter, chocolate chip, caramel cookies. I found a recipe and made them about once a week.
I also made these scones. The first time I made them, new-baby Asher crying just outside the kitchen because he needed to nap and my hands were covered with dough (rookie mistake!). Now, I make sure I have someone to play with him before I get myself elbows-deep in a baking project because I try to only make parenting mistakes once before learning my lesson (of course, I’m pretty tired, so I often forget I’ve made the same mistake until it’s too late…).
These scones look like you bought them at a bakery, but taste even better!
Blueberry and Lemon Buttermilk Scones
4 ¾ cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 cup + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold
1 ½ cups buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 cup frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 400 and line two trays with parchment paper.
Put the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (you can also make these by hand with a pastry blender and a ton of forearm strength).
Cut the butter into half-inch cubes and add it to the mixer. Mix on low speed until the mixture is sandy, but you have pea-sized flecks of butter throughout. You may need to break up some of the bigger pieces of butter with your fingers, but err on the side of the butter pieces being too big instead of too small.
Add the buttermilk and lemon zest and mix on low speed until dough starts to come together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and add the blueberries. I like to almost flatten the dough, put a layer of blueberries on, fold the dough in half carefully, and then repeat until all the blueberries are incorporated.
Pat the dough into a rectangle about 1.5 inches thick.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough lengthwise down the middle, then cut each long rectangle into 6 triangles.
Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until puffed up and golden.