Scones and Sandwiches and Sweets | VeganMoFo 2019 Day Ten

It’s been a lovely Saturday so far, and it’s not even 4:00 p.m. — the day is young!
I made my weekly pilgrimage to the farmers market in (relatively) cool weather; it was just 71˚F when I headed out. Positively autumnal! I forgot to snap a photo of my haul, but here’s what I picked up:
  • Brussels sprouts
  • An heirloom tomato
  • Cilantro (a nice bunch for $1.50, score!)
  • A basil plant (I had bad luck with basil seeds this year, so I bit the bullet and bought a plant. Yeah, it’s a little late in the season, but I’ll get lots of use out of it!)
  • Two heads of broccoli
  • New potatoes
  • Sansa apples
  • White nectarines

When I got back home, Steven was baking scones! This is becoming a bit of a weekend tradition for him, and I’m not mad about it. This week, he made tomato-basil scones, which I enjoyed with a cup of coffee. I quit coffee a couple months ago after realizing I was getting caffeine withdrawal headaches when I didn’t drink it, so it’s a somewhat rare treat now. I enjoy the taste of coffee and I liked the morning ritual of drinking it, but I haaate the idea of having a caffeine addiction, so I quit cold turkey as soon as I realized what was going on. :( Now that I don’t drink it regularly, I’m extra sensitive to it — a glass of cold brew gets me wired! Anyway, this was just regular ol’ hot coffee with So Delicious caramel creamer. I usually drink hot coffee black, but I had some of this leftover from a family visit last month and didn’t want to waste it.

After the scones came out of the oven, a loaf of sourdough bread went in! I blogged about Mary Berry (my starter <3) last MoFo, and she’s still alive and kickin’. I don’t bake bread every week, but I’ve got some heirloom tomatoes that are just crying to be eaten atop fresh bread, so this loaf will serve us well.

Post-bread baking, we headed across the street to celebrate our friend Ron’s birthday! Sara had gotten a platter of vegan sandwiches from Firehouse Deli, a local deli that bizarrely offers a TON of vegan options, so I feasted on an Italian cold cut sandwich. She’d also picked up a really tasty sesame slaw, along with chips and dip — basically, the perfect summer party plate. Firehouse also makes vegan cupcakes; I chose lemon while Steven had birthday cake (!). I really appreciate that we can support a small local business when we need vegan catering rather than a massive company like Whole Foods. Firehouse is a funny little place located right along a busy main road, but you can spot it by the electronic marquee that flashes the word “VEGAN” along with “GYRO” and “REUBEN.” Ha.

Sara and Ron have a pack of four small and wonderful puppers, including their newest addition: Scooter! Look at this little doofus.

Now I’m off to do a bit of cleaning — we’ve got friends coming over tonight. Happy Saturday, all.

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Scones, and Also, Two Mass Shootings in Two Days | VeganMoFo 2019 Day Four

Hi, hello, it’s me, just checking in from the United States, where we have a mass shooting every day and it’s A-OK because ~*~ the second amendment ~*~ and ~*~ the founding fathers wanted us to be able to defend ourselves~*~ and other excuses that should’ve been rendered meaningless seven years ago (but really many years before that) when a white man murdered 20-plus CHILDREN AT THEIR SCHOOL yet have remained valid because our spineless politicians are deep, deep, deep in the pockets of the gun lobby.

Sorry (not sorry), I know I’m supposed to talk about food but I’m just emptied of all emotions except indignant, incandescent, impotent rage right now.

I am bone-tired of pointless patriotism to a country that refuses to protect its people and instead props up white supremacist ideologies and lax gun laws that lead to dozens/hundreds/thousands of people losing their lives. (“Losing.” What a bloodless euphemism.) I am sick of being told I should pledge allegiance to a flag that does not protect people (literally punishes people) who don’t share my skin color yet offers protection and succor to white people like me who commit heinous, murderous, treacherous crimes. (He was troubled. He needed mental health treatment; it has nothing to do with guns. He was a good kid. We took him in alive. He’ll get his due process.)

But, y’know, life goes on (for me at least, until I’m the next victim of gun violence) so hey, I had some scones today. Steven made them this morning while I enjoyed some blessed hours of laziness, reading in bed with my pups.

They were cornmeal and blueberry. They were a little flat because Steven didn’t chill the coconut oil ahead of time, but if less-than-perfect scones are the worst part of my day, I have zero right to complain. (“My child was killed in Parkland and I should’ve done more to stop this most recent mass shooting. I failed my daughter.”)

I completed a hospice volunteer assignment, sitting quietly with a patient who is dying. I went to a brewery. I had beers with a friend who is dealing with his own heartbreak. I came home. (How many didn’t, today?)

All my thoughts are laced with expletives. I am out of words.

The catbird fledgling we found yesterday is at a local wildlife rehab center. He might have spinal trauma, or he might have West Nile virus, or he might just be too weak for this unforgiving world. I held him in a small box yesterday while we drove him the five and a half miles to the center. I listened to his mother cry, squawking indignantly as we picked her precious, weak, dying baby up off the ground and took him away. I don’t speak catbird but I heard her distress. I wanted to tell her, “I’m giving him the best chance I can. I’m trying to save him. I’m not stealing your baby. I want what’s best for him, just like you do.” He let out a few sad little peeps during the drive and I wanted to hold him close and tell him it would be okay; he would be okay.

I couldn’t tell him that.

He might die.

I might die.

I might die tomorrow, next week, next year, from a misogynist/white supremacist/guy with a grudge.

But that’s OK, because my neighbors ~*~have a right~*~ to own assault-style weapons. Because the men in this country ~*~have a right~*~ to attention from women. Because the white people in this country ~*~have a right~*~ to it (never mind that we stole it from the brown people who lived here before).

If I die from gun violence, please politicize my death.

It will not be too soon. It will not be unseemly. I will not want your ~*~thoughts and prayers.~*~

I want action. I want change.


I know a lot of people who read my blog don’t live in the United States. If that’s you — what do you think and feel about the gun violence here?

Vegan Chamomile-Lemon Scones | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Twenty-Nine

VeganMoFo 2017

Week Four: Entertaining
History. What would you cook for your favourite historical figure?

The idea for these chamomile-lemon scones came to me a few weeks ago, but I haven’t had the energy to try them till this weekend. On our all-vegan fjords cruise last month, Steven and I became wholly enamored of the afternoon tea tradition. Between 3:30 and 4:30 PM, we could choose from a massive display of little finger sandwiches and sweet treats — including lots of vegan scones (served with cream and jam, of course). We inevitably filled up on all these delicacies, but that meant we just availed ourselves of a later dinner. No problem.

This is perhaps an obvious pairing, but I’m going to invite Jane Austen over for afternoon tea. I wouldn’t say she’s my all-time favorite historical figure, but I’ve long admired her writing and think she’d be a lively companion. I could ask her all about her life and her works, getting answers to the questions biographers have puzzled over for centuries. We’d chat over pots of dark tea and heaping baskets of scones — including these chamomile-lemon ones.

Vegan chamomile-lemon scones // govegga.comThis is a relatively straightforward vegan scone recipe, but the inclusion of dried chamomile and lemon gives these scones a somewhat unusual — yet subtle — flavor. They’re not super sweet, so feel free to add a little more sugar if you’d like. I opted for refined coconut oil as my fat of choice for; unrefined will give you a more coconutty flavor, and you could easily substitute vegan butter or shortening. I also used oat milk instead of the usual suspects (soy, almond); it’s America’s Test Kitchen’s alt-milk of choice for baked goods, so I figured I’d give it a shot. (Look for a review of their new(ish) cookbook, Vegan for Everybody: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and In-Between, soon!) For the chamomile, I used the contents of a few teabags, but looseleaf would be a great choice here as well. Serve these with butter and vegan clotted cream, if you’d like!

Chamomile-Lemon Scones

Makes 12

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon solid coconut oil (use refined to avoid coconut flavor)
  • 1/3 cup vegan sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers, ground
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Scant cup oat milk (read instructions for details)

Preheat oven to 400˚F and prepare a baking sheet by lightly oiling or lining with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined. Add the coconut oil and use either a pastry cutter, your fingertips, or two forks, cut in the oil to make a crumbly, sand-like mixture.

Make a well in the center of bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, holding out some of the milk. Mix gently until a soft dough forms. If it’s too dry, add the rest of the milk.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured, clean surface. Flour your hands and gently give the dough a few kneads. Pat dough into a circle about 3/4″ to an inch high. Using a floured cookie cutter or a glass turned upside-down, cut out circular scones about 2 1/2″ in diameter.

Transfer scones to the prepared baking sheet. (Optionally, dust the tops with extra sugar.) Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two before serving.

PIN IT

Vegan chamomile-lemon scones // govegga.com


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Lemon-Glazed Blackberry Spelt Scones

The astute among you might notice that this second MoFo blackberry recipe uses the same accompanying flavor as my previous one: lemon. I couldn’t resist! The two fruits are just so complementary. Blackberries are the stars here, though, studded sparingly throughout a simple spelt scone that begs to be savored with a cup of hot tea.

Working with this tender dough requires care and attention so as to avoid crushing the large yet delicate berries. Don’t be afraid to use your hands when you fold them in, gently tucking them into their doughy cushion. The results are worth the extra work.

 

lemon-glazed-blackberry-spelt-scone_9669291651_o

Blackberry Spelt Scones
Makes six large or eight medium

  • 1 C spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ C sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 C coconut milk
  • ¼ C vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ C fresh or frozen blackberries (I used fresh, but I think frozen would work well here!)

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 T Earth Balance or other margarine of choice
  • 1 T + 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T non-dairy creamer (non-dairy milk works fine too)
  • 2/3 C confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 375˚ and prepare a baking sheet by lightly oiling or lining with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (except the blackberries!) and mix until combined. Make a well in the center of bowl and add the wet ingredients. Mix gently until a soft dough forms. If it’s too tacky, add an additional 1-2 TB all-purpose flour. Add the blackberries, gently folding the dough over them.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured, clean surface. Flour your hands and gently give the dough a few kneads. Pat dough into a circle about an inch high. Using a floured bread knife, cut the circle into sixths or eighths, depending on how large you like your scones. (I did sixths and they were quite large!) Transfer scones to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 17-20 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

To make the glaze, melt the Earth Balance in a small bowl, then whisk together all the ingredients until a thick yet runny paste forms. Drizzle on cooled scones and let set a bit before eating.

Scores o’ Scones

Do you ever set out to bake/make something, and you just know in your heart and/or tummy that it’s going to be delicious, but then when it’s done it’s actually even more delicious than you’d anticipated? I dooo! My latest better-than-anticipated treats were the scones from Vegan Brunch. Man, I don’t know what it is about these little guys that tickles my fancy so darn much, but I can’t get enough of ’em! Maybe it’s the fact that I didn’t substitute a low-fat alternative for the shortening, or perhaps the almond milk I used added a little extra somethin’-somethin’, but these scones are seriously ace. I love the haphazard shapes that form from dropping dough on a cookie sheet:

An apple-cinnamon lovely.

In the interest of Using Up Things, I made two varieties. I chopped up a mealy Braeburn and threw it into the larger portion of the dough to create some really lovely apple-cinnamon scones, and then I used up the remainder of a bag of chocolate chips in the rest of the dough. Although I’m usually all about the chocolate, the apple-cinnamon variety really captured my heart. They are just perfect with a cup of tea, with their tender little crumbs and soft, moist innards. I think that, maybe, “traditional” (whatever that means) scones are meant to be triangular and a bit drier than these (like the orange glazed variety from VWAV), but I have a soft spot for moist baked goods (to the extent that I get giddy about desserts that border on the underbaked), so these are a delight to me.

I will say, though, that for someone who is used to eating lower-fat baked goods, the higher fat content in these scones leaves a noticeable strange coating in my mouth, and it’s not entirely pleasant. It was a bit surprising to me when I first noticed it, I must say. But it’s certainly not a dealbreaker, and if you’re used to full-fat baked goods, I doubt you’d even think twice about it.

I think I now have a new “impress the omnis!” teatime recipe. Hooray!