She was the first person to legitimize this obsessive dialogue of food within me. She drew it out of me and it felt strange to have a companion within this conversation. “Oh god, that was the best I have eaten in a while,” and then she would laugh nodding her head as if to confirm, ‘I’m one hundred percent serious,’ but in a thank-you-so-much kind of way because she was so stoked. “Oh I know, oh my dear goodness how could something taste so good, it’s all about the combination; the ham, portobello mushrooms, the capsicum, which you wouldn’t expect but the sweetness… and the salt, oh my!” And then she would laugh with me/at me (I never would have minded which), “But then you eat way too much and I was actually riving around on my bed last night,” and I would just have invited more laughter which sounded like a chorus that I could have recorded on a tape machine and played over and over again because now I don’t live in the same country as her and it’s harder to remember what this confirmation of the love of food sounded like. And then she would smile and tell me, “that’s a great way to describe it; riving.”
Some people will just always be someone to remember. This morning I was cleaning my new apartment (as of yesterday) which was so dirty you could literally see the black dust on the top of the toilet and I was listening to Neko Case. “Hey when she sings, when she sings, when she sings like she runs,” and was in that moment reminded of my permission into food obsession; Michal. She taught me how to make scones. I say this with great enthusiasm and respect. The process of a scone is, well quite that, a process. I have caused people to make noises of joy from flavour sensation with these bad boys.
I’m doing this new thing where I share recipes. I know there are people way ahead of me here and have posted ‘grandma’s special crumble’ or ‘the family secret’ for everyone to see, but I am a little protective over successes. The way I see it, if I’m the only one who can produce the best sultana chutney in the Eastern Bays, then people are going to come and eat with me, at my table. Which is always a great result. But in this new thing that I’m doing, I am inviting you to have people over to your place to eat with you, which can’t be a bad thing. So here I go, it’s baby steps…
Just Your ‘Add-anything’ Basic Scone Recipe
Adapted from Michal’s original recipe.
If you don’t have enough time you can substitute the grating of the butter with chucking the flour, baking powder and butter in a processor. This comes up just as great but I feel, not as authentic.
If you want to make sweet scones, add 1/3 cup sugar to the breadcrumb-like mixture in the first step.
4 cups good quality plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g cold butter
½ tsp salt
1 cup natural plain yoghurt/sour cream
½-1 cup milk
1 whisked egg (just for egg wash)
In a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, salt and grate in the butter. Rub all together with your hands until the entire mixture looks and feels like very fine bread crumbs. If you don’t have the time for this step (however there is nothing like feeling that oneness with your food), you can throw the flour, baking powder, salt and butter in small chucks into a food processor and process till the same consistency.
With the breadcrumb-like mixture in a large bowl, add the yoghurt and milk and very gently mix with your hands until nearly incorporated. This is the trick, not to mix too much.
At this point you can add whatever you desire; grated gruyere, bits of ham, grated zucchini, etc…
Either lay the dough out on a floured surface (do not knead) but lightly spread it with your hands until it is about 4cm high. Either cut into squares or grab handfuls from the bowl into sort-of-circles and place on a oven tray in with a good amount of room between them. Brush each uncooked scone with egg wash.
Bake at 180° in a fan forced oven until lightly golden and the dough is cooked all through. This will probably take around 12-15 minutes.
second image taken from http://averyjoshblog.wordpress.com/