Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Tea Party (with scones, of course)

Wow. It's been quite some time since I last posted. I wish I could fool you all into thinking that my head is hung in shame and that my feeling of guilt has been plaguing me since I last posted, but guess what? That would be a lie.

Don't get me wrong - I enjoy blogging, taking pictures of food, baking, and well let's be honest: I like eating, too. But this summer I was a camp counselor where computer access was limited to 5 minutes here or there on my daily 2 hour break, and this isn't even taking into consideration where on earth I would find time to bake things for this blog anyway. Needless to say, baking blogs weren't one of my priorities.

CW Thurs 079 

But let me take this time to tell you all of the things that DID happen this summer that will stay with me for the rest of my life:

- I canoed for the first time ever and made up songs to commemorate my groups extremely leaky canoe
- I made a hat of stegosaurus spikes and wore it all day long. And got many compliments, thank you.
- I made better friends in the course of three months than I thought was possible
- I ate lots of smores. Lots and lots and LOTS of smores (which taste suprisingly good with peanut butter. Give it a try sometime).
- I conquered my fear of horses and spiders (well... sort of)
- I saw a family of racoons
- I stopped being intimidated by my scary co-workers

CWO Sun 093

However, camp is over for the summer, and despite my week of post-camp depression, the time has come to return to school, restart my real-world life, and, of course, begin baking once again.

camp session 1 closing campfire 041

Today was such a lazy Sunday - I stayed in bed reading until 10 and had absolutely no qualms about it. The rest of the day I lazed about in the same fashion, and it wasn't until around 3 that I started getting restless to do something productive. That's when the brilliant idea hit me: TEA PARTY! (And not the political kind. Let's not even open that can of worms today...)

Now, here's what I envision when I think of tea parties: frilly dresses, bouquets of flowers, dainty teacups, and beautiful platters of delectable pastries.

Well, considering that this tea party was taking place in the teensy apartment of two college students, we had to make a few modifications. Instead of dresses we wore sweats (I suppose we could have worn dresses, but I'm not going to deny that sweats are just like... ten times comfier), we put trimmed flowers from our yard in an old peanut butter jar, we drank teabag-tea from coffee mugs, and had old fortune cookies from last night's takeout. Pretty legit substitutions, I think, right?

Err... Let's just skip to the highlight of the ragtag tea party, shall we?


Orange Craisin Scones

I made orange cranberry scones and they were absolutely amazing. The recipe called for buttermilk, and it gave it this slightly tangy flavor that matched so well with the sour-sweetness of the dried cranberries. Flavor aside, the texture of these scones was what I've always expected a scone to have: a nice, crusty, flaky shell and a moist and fluffy inside. Perfection, scone-ified.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed our little tea party. We talked about life while drinking tea and eating scones. I felt very sophisticated (wouldn't you?). After we had drained our cups and finished the last crumbs of our scones, it was time to get back to reality: cleaning up the apartment and dredging through homework. Ah well, such is life; at least until the next time you have a tea party.

Orange Craisin Scones (2)

Print This Recipe!

Adapted from

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more if necessary

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest.
 2. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in dried cranberries.
 3. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add buttermilk, and stir until just combined; do not overmix. Use a little more buttermilk if dough is too dry to work with.
 4. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; shape into an 8-inch round. Transfer to baking sheet. Cut circle into 8 wedges; space them 1/2 inch apart (to prevent sticking, dust knife with flour). Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

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