Monday, May 17, 2010

Sconeday: Where are you from?

According to my astrological chart, I should have lived in a large town in a rural setting. I’ve suggested to my husband that I would love to retire to such a setting, in rural Wisconsin or Michigan; he just looks at me like I’ve grown another head.

I read with such envy my rural and small town friends on the web; I would love a life that allowed me to do something as simple as walk to a farmer’s market, or to know my neighbors. I spent my high school years in a small city, but at the very edge, where there was a farm across the street, and full blown country an easy bike ride away. My parents hated it, but I still get a thrill when I manage to get out under the sky, where you see what we city folk call “nothing” from horizon to horizon.

My family, and my husband’s, have no farmers in our backgrounds for at least 5 generations. The first farmer we’ve been able to possibly identify are my Irish triple greats who came here in the 1850s or 60s, although that’s a guess; they may have been urban victims of the Irish troubles; we’re not really sure why they came. Other than that, we know that they all emigrated from cities to cities-St. Louis, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, LA. I have an uncle who was an engineer that moved his family from NYC to a Christmas tree farm in upstate NY, because he invented the machine that allows pine farmers to plant them mechanically (if you know a Christmas tree farmer, he probably uses my uncle’s invention). But he’s the outlier.

My yearnings for dirt come out of nowhere. No one else in my family shares it. They support it, and love the food, but the desire to grow things and be part of the cycle of life has been bred out of their genes for the last 150 years or more.

Coconut lemon scones
Adapted from: Group Recipes

4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup oats
8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
>1/4 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup thin yogurt
5 tbls butter
4 tbls shortening
1 cup Coconut Milk
Zest and juice from 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla or lemon extract

1/2 cup diced dried pineapple (NOT the sugar coated kind)

Pre-heat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together dry ingredients (including zest) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl (or measuring cup) mix together coconut milk, lemon juice and vanilla and set aside for the moment. Take butter, shortening, and lemon zest and cut in to dry ingredients until you have a crumb-like texture. Mix the wet ingredients in to the dry ones until a sticky dough forms.

Turn dough out on to a floured surface and using floured hands, gently pat out the dough to 1" thickness. Cut out scones using a round cutter (a juice glass works fine) and place with sides touching on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.


  1. Hello Xan,

    Interestingly enough, I'm from rural central Wisconsin with tons of farming relatives on both sides, so my gardening comes "naturally". Oddly enough though, my grandfather gave up his inheritance - the family farm - to emigrate from Germany to Wisconsin. I now live about an hour away from his family's farm, a small "Hof" in a village. Here people greet each other with the word "Mahlzeit" at noon, I guess it's a reference to the meal they've just had or are about to have. I've long wondered why you chose that word for you blog title. Do you have German-speaking relatives?

    And about retiring to Wisconsin - growing a second head is not a prerequisite. And you will, at least in central Wisconsin, be able to enjoy what some call "a whole lot of nothing"!

  2. Grus di, wanderaus! I went to college in Austria, where Mahlzeit is a blessing prior to a meal. I never knew it was also a greeting in Germany until I started this site!

  3. Maybe we're related! My need for dirt goes back as far as I can remember...I could not live in town, its just not in my genes!

    Just your Thursday reminder that the link party is up for kinderGARDENS if you have anything you want to share...I'm also having 'Sunflower House' book giveaway. Happy Gardening! Kim