Scones. Moist, tangy, sweet orange scones. We'll get there. Make a proper cup of tea and stick with me...
It is the nature of people to be reactionary. And this post is a bit of that... Life going on amidst the rubble of devastating realities in our world, in our country, in our community. My heart is weighed down with so many things, including the very recent suicide of the son of a dear teacher. It's enough to suck the happiness right out of my soul and replace it with blackness. It isn’t the first time the shadows have reached for me and it won’t be the last, and this post is a reminder for myself as much as it is anything else.
I have decided that I am not going to be robbed of my joy, or my faith that humanity, even in the face of grim circumstances and frightening events, can be beautiful and brave. If I let my little light be snuffed in sadness, the world gets even darker, and I won't be able to spark joy in those who need it. Like so many people, there are times in my own life where I've felt the icy despair of depression. And I am grateful for that life experience because I am better equipped to embrace the pain and suffering around me. But with a heart rooted in the hope of Heaven, I will defend joy, I will find beauty in the darkness, and I will share it.
Mr. C, the ageless teacher who just lost his 20 year old son, is an amazing example of that. He taught me as a 7th grader (way back when), and continues to teach my kids' generation at our wonderful school. He stopped into the school just a couple days after the tragedy and left this note on his chalkboard for his students, a bright beacon of joy even from his own broken heart:
Say what's in your heart. Hug tighter. Make peace. Make memories. Find beauty. Share joy. Be grateful. Give love.
Also on that list for me is bake. I bake when I grieve, I bake when I celebrate, I bake when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Food made by hand involves skill and knowledge and commitment. When given as a gift, even as a simple family dinner, it communicates nurturing love and gratitude for the company of those who partake in it. Food itself is not the solution to troubles of the heart, but it can be a language to express the otherwise inexpressible. And it fits handily into the directive:
Whatever you do, do everything for the Glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31
And, sometimes, scone is just the word you're looking for. I made a batch of these and took a couple of them over when visiting a dear friend who feeds my soul. We laughed, we sewed, we made memories over scone crumbs.
Sweet Orange Scones with Butter Icing
(original recipe from mybakingaddiction)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp orange zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cold or frozen
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat oven to 400. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet. Mix sugar and zest in large mixing bowl. Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate cold butter into the flour mixture and combine. In separate bowl, blend egg and sour cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir with a spoon, then use your hands to form it into a well-combined ball. Pat the dough into an 8" disk of fairly uniform thickness, then cut into 8 wedges and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle with demerara or granulated sugar and pat it into the surface. Bake at 350 until just beginning to brown on the bottom and at the points, about 15-17 minutes.
While the scones bake, mix all the icing ingredients until a thick but pourable consistency is reached, adding more sugar or orange juice as needed.
Allow scones to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then drizzle/spoon several layers of icing over the scones and allow it to firm up as it cools.
Before you feed them to anyone, be sure to spellcheck:
Please always remember that you are here for many reasons, one of which is simply to bring your own brand of joy to those around you. No matter who you are, the world is richer simply with you in it.