Monday, March 11, 2024

Let's be honest

When the oh-so-precious wifi craters (Gollum reference intended) and an Internet technician is unable to visit your home until after the weekend, one must pretend it's last century and make a puzzle. 

Let's be honest: puzzle-making is delightful. 

Plus, as you likely know, puzzle-making is such good exercise for our brains: visual-spatial reasoning, short-term memory and cognitive load flexing, problem-solving, concentration, flow state, stress-relief....

Dear friends, do a jigsaw puzzle; stop procrastipuzzling. (Sorry.)

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Some people, eh?

Two powerful images from my day:

  • outside my living room window, a grandfather walking hand-in-hand with his toddler grandchild, following the boy's pace, both wearing matching orange toques.
  • a nurse holding hands with an elderly man as he navigated the hospital hallway with his cane. 
Real heroes? Good examples aren't that hard to find. 

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Either way, delish.

Coconut Ginger Scones
Scone pronunciation debate: I say scone 
rhymes with Post Malone, not Elton John.
But who cares? Either way, delish. 
I make scones now. Why? Honestly: baking makes me happy. 

It reminds me of travels to heavenly little bakeries and coffee shops in Edinburgh, Galway, London, Montreal and more. And that bakery smell? C'mon. It connects me to friends who bake, people I admire, creatives I want to emulate. It's mindful; it helps me achieve flow. It shifts my mind from melancholy. It makes me simultaneously smile and feel nervous: in baker form I'd say my inner critic is more Swedish Chef than Gordan Ramsay but who knows who will show up? It's sensory: I know when the dough feels ideal for baking and that dopamine-hit-moment is niiiiiiccce. It's creative and lets me communicate something I was never properly taught how to be (but want to be): a nurturer. It feels great to share baking with others: people damn near melt. Baking spreads love. 

Dear friends, I suggest you make scones. 

Honestly, they're dead easy: especially here in Canada (during Winter). I realized early in my scone-making how important cold butter is to the recipe's success. So, in a nod to my grandparents and this country I love, I freeze my butter outside my back door (no metaphor intended), plus I chill the batter out there too (again, no metaphor). Not in Canada or a weirdo? Just use your freezer. And if not scones, bake whatever salts your butter (metaphor intended). 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter & set outside the back door (or place in the freezer)
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (substitute heavy cream or milk, if preferred)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
Set aside
  • 1&1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger (or equivalent chopped fresh ginger)
  • (substitute chocolate chips, berries, nuts, dried fruit, spices, lemon zest, etc.)
Combine ingredients
  • add frozen butter to dry ingredients and combine using two forks or your fingers until partially integrated
  • drizzle wet ingredients and mix by hand until it comes together (sticky more than shaggy)
  • add 1&1/2 cups coconut & ginger (or substitute) and mix; avoid overmixing
  • if needed, add more coconut milk or flour to make dough more sticky than shaggy
  • press dough into an 8-inch disk and set outside back door to chill (or refrigerate)
To bake
  • cut 8 inch dough disc into 8 wedges
  • brush with coconut milk & sprinkle on brown sugar
  • bake in pre-heated oven at 400 for 20-26 minutes 
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