The gentle comfort of a date & walnut scone
That feeling of being Out of Sorts has crept up on me today. At the time of writing the day is a gloomy one. We've gone from snow, to twenty-four degrees, to moody and cold - all in the space of a few weeks and it's discombobulating.
Then there was the Dental Fear that had me anxious for a week. Yesterday was Dentist-Day and it was fine. Not comfortable but okay and painless. But the state of anxiety I got myself into beforehand is paying dividends today. I feel utterly drained.
This morning, about half and hour ago, I went into the kitchen and, before I'd realised I'd made a subconscious decision to make them, the bowl and weighing scales were out. Ready for me to measure the flour, sugar, butter, dates and walnuts and stir them with the milk to make a beautiful dough ready for baking in the oven.
As I weighed and mixed in my slightly cracked brown Mason & Cash bowl I thought of all the women over the decades who'd made scones. The act of making them, of getting my hands into the flour, plus that thought of generations of women before me going through those same actions, was utterly comforting. As though they were there, on my shoulder, mesmerised by my actions.
Of course, the act of eating them also brings comfort. But making scones is definitely one of the most comforting things to make.
Making something with your hands and concentrating on a recipe soon pushes that Out of Sorts feeling away.
RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE SCONES
- 325g self raising flour
- 40g caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 85g cold butter, diced into small pieces
- 125g dates & walnuts (I used Whitworth's chopped dates & walnuts)
- 160-200ml milk
- 1 beaten egg to glaze
Baking tray lined with baking parchment, 6cm pastry cutter (or drinking glass), egg wash brush.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan.
- Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
- Rub in the butter with your finger tips to resemble breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the dates and walnuts.
- Add the milk gradually to the dry ingredients and stir in. You may not need all of it.
- You know it is ready when the dough is sticky but can form a ball.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and flatten gently with your hands to about 2cm thick.
- Cut out the shapes and place onto a baking tray covered in baking parchment.
- Re-form left over dough and gently flatten again. Continue until all dough has been used up.
- Glaze with the beaten egg.
- Place in oven for about 12-15 minutes.
- Eat warm, on the day of making or allow to cool and place in airtight containers in the freezer.