Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Last March I committed my self (and my long-suffering family) to slow food- seasonal, local, organic, whole. Once we got past the early difficulties-- finding local sources, how to stock a larder when you can't just run to the store, etc.-- we've found it a revelation.

I was famous when my kids were growing up for never having food in the house. I refused to stock up on junk food. Junk food, when we purchased it, was purchased for immediate consumption only; I never had bags of chips just lying around.

The problem was, because I wasn't thinking past "no junk food," there wasn't anything else lying around either.

What we've found since committing to this way of eating is that there is ALWAYS food. Because I don't mind them chowing down on real popcorn, or homemade crackers, cookies or scones, because the homemade bread is so delicious, there always seems to be something to eat now.

One of the things we've given up along the way is cold cereal. I never liked it at all, and no one is that crazy about granola, so I've replaced cereal with weekly scones. I've made some delicious ones, and in nearly 4 months of scone baking have yet to repeat one. They were taking over my other recipe blog.

This seasonal scone can be made with any fruit (last week I made them with rhubarb; next week the raspberries should be ripe), and you can substitute oats or whole wheat flour for the cornmeal (play with the texture when substituting). This is a drop scone; leave out the egg yolk and increase the grain for a denser, cut scone.

Strawberry Cornbread Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/2 cups diced strawberries (¼-inch cubes), macerated in sugar (abt 3 T)

1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Adjust a baking rack to the middle position. In a small bowl, mix the strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar.

Mix the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, knife or your hands until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir the fruit into the flour mixture. Lightly beat the honey, egg, yolk, milk and sourcream together in a bowl (use the same one you used for the strawberries ), then add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Dough will be very sticky.

Using soup spoons (for large scones) or teaspoons (for small scones) spoon out 1 1/2" or 2" mounds onto the cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer the scones to a cooling rack and let them cool slightly before serving.

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