Becoming Jill: Adventures in Adulthood



Chapter 7: In Which I Fall Off the Map. People Harass Me.
April 6, 2010, 8:21 pm
Filed under: Food | Tags: ,

So, apparently people actually kind of read this blog! I know this, because I have received several mildly harassing emails in the last week, wanting to know why I haven’t been updating. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Basically, I haven’t been writing because I haven’t had much to say! I am kind of stalled out on further financial progress until Karen and I meet again to discuss how much money I can put towards my credit card payment. Hopefully we are going to do that this weekend!

Ooh, also this weekend: for you Twin Cities readers, my St. Paul VISTA group will be volunteering on Saturday morning for the St. Paul Parks and Rec Department’s Annual Spring Clean-Up Day! We’ll be helping clean all the winter debris out of the parks and such… if you would care to help, just give me a holler, and I’ll give you the details. You wouldn’t even BELIEVE all the crap on the ground now that the winter snow has melted. Socks. Scarves. Mittens. Beer cans. Condoms. (Really?!? You REALLY want to do that outside when it’s below freezing?!?) Shoes. Purses. Small children. It’s insane out there, people.

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In my last post, I wrote about my newly acquired baking habit, and people have been asking for pics and recipes, so here you go!

Cherry Chocolate-Chip Scones

Here’s the link to the recipe I used, with some variations. Basically, I doubled the amount of cherries and chocolate chips. I like my scones chunky! If I repeat this recipe, I’ll probably add even more. Also, I left off the last step where you dust the finished scones with powdered sugar and stick them under the broiler. I figured there was enough sugar already. I didn’t miss it.

Unfortunately, I ended up leaving them in the oven about 4 minutes too long… so they are a little crispier than I would have liked!

They were really yummy, and despite the fact that I had to improvise just a tiny bit, really easy! My hands nearly fell off during the part where you cut the butter into the flour. Since I didn’t have a pastry blender, I used two forks, and it took about 20 minutes! Also, I don’t have a pastry brush, so  I just used a paper towel, which seemed to work fine.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Scones

Here’s the link to the recipe. Again, I doubled the amount of blueberries, which I highly recommend! I also attempted to add lemon zest, but since I was mostly zesting my knuckles, I quickly abandoned that process… For those of you with proper micrograters, I am sure it would be a yummy addition!

This time, I underbaked the scones by about 4 minutes… Much like Goldilocks, I can’t seem to ever get it just right! They were yummy anyway. Also, I ignored the part where it said to cut out the dough in biscuit-sized circles, and I really wish I had! The dough expanded a ton, and all my pretty triangles ran together. Alas.

My second attempt at scone making was less taxing than the first, due to spending 3 bucks at WalMart to buy a pastry blender (sorry, Karen! I am pretty sure I had enough in my household budget to cover it, tho…). Let me tell you, that pastry blender is my new best friend (again, sorry Karen!). It only took me about 5 minutes for the whole flour/butter cutting business, and my hands didn’t want to shrivel up and die! Neat.  My favorite part of this recipe was stirring the blueberries into the dry ingredients to get them all coated. Apparently this keeps them from sinking to the bottom, and keeps them from bleeding into the surrounding batter! I love learning new things!

My helpers aren't a lot of help, actually

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Fresh Lemonade


Here’s the link to the best lemonade recipe ever!

I made this to go along with the blueberry scones, and the lovely Karen came over for a Sunday afternoon snack! It was pretty much delicious. Since I have a freezer the size of a loaf of bread, I never have ice cubes, and I was worried about the lemonade being cold enough. I ended up pre-meauring the 4 cups of water and sticking them into the fridge for a couple of hours to get nice and cold, and then made the lemonade immediately before drinking. It worked pretty well, but I am sure ice cubes would be even better!

Of course, I didn’t bring any pitchers with me, due to the limited kitchen storage. I decided to make it in a large pyrex salad bowl and ladle it out into our glasses! Since I don’t have a juicing device, I just squeezed the hell out of the fruit with my hands, which led to a lot of seeds and pulp in the bowl, but I solved that problem by plunking a mesh strainer on top of the glasses and just ladled into that. I think Karen and I were both pretty pleased with the results! The addition of the orange gave it a really subtle, yet interesting twist. I think I would cut back on the sugar a little bit next time…

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Thanks for coming along on this exciting journey into my baking habits! Hope you’ve all enjoyed the ride.