My husband hates where we live. He thinks it is too hot and that is about his only complaint but I guess, for him, that is enough. We used to live further north along the coast where I could probably count on two hands the times it got above 85 degrees. The same could be said for when we used to live south of here, also along the coast, except I would move that to 95 degrees. I am not sorry that we have handfuls and handfuls of those days now. I live 15 minutes away from my dad and my sister and that is all I need and that is that. Get over it honey.
Sure, sure, beaches are great and we still live close enough that we can go whenever but you can’t forget the mountains. Now, my husband would have you believe that mountains are for camping in the WINTER. I beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong, I am a camping girl but the last time I went camping in the winter I almost shivered to death and I was pregnant. My husband says I exaggerate but whatever, I vowed NEVER again. Anyways, I think the mountains are great for well, not really the mountain part. I LOVE the flats at the bottom where you get all the runoff from the snow. My parents took us a few times when we were kids but my favorite memory is when my mom took us once after school (I wasn’t in school yet but it was after we picked up my brother and sister). I don’t recall her even bringing towels or swimsuits. The water is sometimes so cold you can’t get in past your feet anyways. That was when I knew that I would try to do awesome stuff like that with my kids and surprise them when I could. She also tried to surprise us once with an after school trip to Disneyland but some little munchkin that couldn’t keep her mouth shut, spilled the beans. My mother was not amused and yet she brushed it off because well, we were Disneyland bound!
Anyways, the flats we go to have lots of blackberry bushes around and we knew it was just about time for them to be ripe. So before we left for home, after enjoying the water with the kids we made sure to pick some. I went with my 5 year old and just as we were about to get in the car, my husband got the itch and picked for awhile. A few were a bit underripe but for the most part they were perfect. I knew exactly what I was going to bake with them when we got them home. My husband (and I) were surprised by how much we liked the scones I made before and I knew I wanted to make some again so that was that. All the scones I had ever eaten before must have been day old or older. NOTHING compares to fresh scones. Nothing! Now get to baking…or wait till it gets cooler and then bake.
Now, for some GeekyLinks. I am so NOT sorry about the GeekOut that I subjected you to on Sunday. My daughter and I watched the Curiosity landing live on our computer on Sunday night and it was spectacular! I was on the verge of an anxiety attack before it landed and tears afterward. You can relieve those moments here. And yes, now this household has two ladies obsessed with this man. And this tumbler page is almost as awesome as the pictures coming from Mars. I just love that this next generation of kids will have a new cool science guy to look up to, maybe not as cool as Bill Nye, but cool nonetheless.
Fresh Picked Blackberry Scones
adapted from Joy the Baker
3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup shortening, cold and cut into small pieces
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cold buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, I used my vanilla paste
3/4 heaping cup blackberrries
more buttermilk for brushing
more sugar for sprinkling
Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 400°
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
Whisk together egg and buttermilk in a small bowl and set aside.
Using a box grater, quickly grate the cold butter until it is all shredded. Add the butter and shortening to the flour mixture. Using your hands, quickly incorporate the butter and shortening into the flour mixture. Rub it in until the entire mixture becomes like little pebbles. Do this quickly as you want to keep the butter as cool as possible.
Add the egg and buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with the fork until it all comes together. Gently fold in the berries, being careful not to break down the berries too much.
Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and begin to pat the dough down and out till it is about 1 1/2 inch thick. You can cut the dough into 12 squares or cut out with a biscuit cutter.
Place the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets and brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before digging in. Scones are best eaten the day they’re made.