Saturday, April 23, 2011
Two weeks ago, right at the very end of cherry blossom season, R and I went to DC to visit friends (and to get some work done at the National Gallery. I really enjoyed both of these shows, by the way). And I was reminded once again that I always love DC when I visit. After NYC, it's probably my favorite East Coast town. I took a ton of pictures, because one of my friends is also a shutterbug and a total enabler. He and I would hang back, stopping at random intervals to shoot, while his wife and R tried to heard us toward our next meal (people after my own heart, those two).
DC is, of course, famous for its Cherry Blossoms, with a festival that even an impending government shutdown couldn't derail.
Since we were catching the city right at the end, in places there were as many blossoms on the ground as on the trees, but they're beautiful in any case.
About the food. Our friends, call them A and M, they love food. (Wanna know more about these two? Visit their blog! There's food, there's home improvement, there's pictures, there's everything.) I believe we've done most of our bonding over food, and I know that we've done most of our sightseeing, in both NYC and DC, centered around food. Which is good for me, because I don't really have many friends here who are quite so interested. We did a lot of eating out, in partial protest of a NY Times article that skewered the DC food scene some months ago (I can't find a link, but will keep looking and asking and I'll post it if I do). Not having read the article myself, I can't really speak to it, but I will say that in the hands of A and M, we were shown a glorious string of restaurants, each of which was great.
But this blog isn't about eating out. And we did make a meal in their kitchen, which is an actual, individual room. And one morning, while I slept off my weekend of putzing around, M got up early and made scones. And R ate three of them. Maybe four. I'm much daintier and probably only had two. So I snuck a plate of them off to their backyard (yes, you read that right. A city in which you can have a kitchen that's an entire room AND a backyard. Sometimes I forget what I'm doing in NYC) and furtively snapped some photos. Then I asked for the recipe. These are a kind of biscuity scone, which is the type that M prefers. I thought they were wonderful. You can use dried cranberries, as she calls for in the recipe, or substitute dried cherries, which she also does when they go on sale. Originally a Better Homes and Gardens recipe, M has made enough changes over the years that we'll call them hers.
M's Cranberry Lemon Scones
Modified and adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe
· 1/2 cup dried cranberries (can sub other dried fruit such as cherries or raisins)
· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 3 tablespoons brown sugar
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/4 cup butter
· Zest of one lemon
· 1 egg yolk, beaten
· 8 oz plain Greek yogurt (you can sub sour cream or regular yogurt as well)
1. In a small mixing bowl pour enough boiling water over dried cranberries to cover. Let stand for at least 5 minutes; drain well. In large mixing bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add drained cranberries and lemon zest; toss to coat. Make a well in the center; set aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl combine egg yolk and yogurt. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Using a fork, stir until combined (mixture may seem dry).
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly knead dough by folding and gently pressing for 10 to 12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough into a 7-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges.
4. Arrange wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes