This morning, our friends – who also happen to be family – headed for home. We were sorry to see them go.
Something great happens when you have overnight guests, especially a 3 or 4 night stay. Formality falls away. Spending morning until night together opens conversations, lowers guards, and exposes common ground.
In the mornings we stumble one by one into the kitchen with coffee in mind. We arrive disheveled, bleary eyed, and crowned with bedhead (my short hair fluctuates between Joan Jett and A Flock of Seagulls). On most days Keith and I greet the day with yogurt or cottage cheese and some kind of fruit in our bowls. But these mornings call for something more decadent.
They call for scones.
Among the many recipes I’ve tagged to try in Maria Speck’s excellent cookbook, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, Orange-Scented Scones with Dark Chocolate topped the list. Even though they’re made with all whole grain flour instead of a mix with all-purpose, I trusted Maria when she promised they’d be light. They were. But that’s only part of the story.
Maria’s approach to food resonates with me – to eat whole foods not just because they’re ‘healthy’, but because they are delicious. And when I say whole foods, I mean whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, but also rich whole foods like butter, cheese, and chocolate. She says, “I believe the only way to eat well for good is to eat all good food, within reason.” Amen.
She says that for whole grains to tempt us, they must be prepared in ‘deliriously delicious’ ways. These scones qualify. Their delicate texture defies whole grain’s weighty baked good stigma. But, for me, the orange scent is the magic. It tantalized me as I stirred the zest into the dough, as it drifted from the oven, and as it filled my nose when I took my first bite.
I made one version just as the book suggested and another with dried cranberries, omitting the chocolate and walnuts – they were equally good. You can be creative with additions, the sturdy base recipe easily adapts.
Thank you Maria for making our mornings even better. And thank you Beth, Ron, Justin and Conor for a fun visit. Come back soon. xoxo
Here’s Maria’s fantastic book :