Blueberry Drop Scones

Sometimes I sit down to write here and I have so much to say that there's nothing to say.

If I were only to talk about these scones, I would advise you to incorporate them into your repertoire and start making them your signature contribution to the world. They're like the softest, just-the-right-sweetness blueberry muffins, but with crispy edges and without the fuss of muffin liners. Loretta and I enjoyed them in silence this slow Saturday morning while Wyatt grew 3 more inches in his sleep.

If I were to talk about other things, I would say that my world is widening at the same time I feel very little need to establish my place in it. There is beginning to be a settled-ness in me that makes being 42 (and growing older) very sweet. Good old Richard (Rohr, of course) in his astounding book Falling Upward, says this:

We all tend to move toward a happy and needed introversion as we get older. Such introversion is necessary to unpack all that life has given us and taken from us...Silence and poetry start being our more natural voice...Much of life starts becoming highly symbolic and “connecting” and little things become significant metaphors for everything else. Silence is the only language spacious enough to include everything and to keep us from slipping back into dualistic judgements and divisive words.

Now don't get me wrong. I'll always love a stage. I'll always be making new friends or looking for the opportune moment to crack a joke. But I'm finding the territory of the soul so deep, so fascinating, so enough for me. There's more there than I'll ever need or discover, and that truth frees me from striving, from all the ways I I try to resist reality.

The Sufi mystics say that the body is the shore that the soul--the waves--crash onto. Isn't that lovely? So the territory of the soul necessarily includes this mystery of our bodies, and the whole of us--body, soul, heart, mind--gets to go along for the ride.

Hang Ten

Let me stop sorting all these scraps
into toppling piles--
receipts, bills, lists, books,
momentos,
and even my idea of myself,

and let me go jump
into the limitless, living depth
that is You,
and You in me,
and the way we leave
every shoreline behind.
Amen.

Blueberry Drop Scones
I suppose you could fit these all onto one baking sheet, but that will eliminate some of those crispy edges. I advise fitting them onto two and rotating them in the oven halfway through baking. And if you don't have frozen blueberries around? Use almost any other kind of fresh or frozen fruit. Or dried fruit and coconut. Or mini chocolate chips. Or whatever your holy heart desires! Makes 12-14.

2 c. flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 Tb. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cube (4 oz.) cold unsalted butter
1/2 c. cream (plus a little more)
1 egg
1 c. frozen blueberries
sugar for sprinkling.

Preheat oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fingertips until mixture has pea-sized lumps.

In a small bowl, combine cream and egg. Pour cream mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until combined and adding more cream if mixture is too dry. It should be the consistency of a stiff muffin batter. Add blueberries, taking care to stir gently.

Drop 1/4 c batter onto prepared pans to make 12-14 scones. Sprinkle the top of each with a little sugar. Bake until just golden on top, 15-20 minutes. Watch carefully.

 

Little Miracles (and Pumpkin Scones)

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At the end of this post is yet ANOTHER recipe for pumpkin scones. I don't think the world needs another one, but Saturday morning begged for them--I had a tub of roasted squash (a mix of acorn, butternut, and pumpkin) in the fridge that needed to be used up. So really, squash scones. I brought some over to our neighbors Jim and Marjia who were working in their yard. My favorite thing about Jim is that he doesn't act disinterested. Not one little bit. He grabbed a scone with his gardening hands and ate it right there in the yard. Nothing could make me happier. And Marjia scolded him for taking the biggest one.

We've had a bout of sickness around here this week--Loretta's the worst, but I'm sick, too, Wyatt's fighting something, and we've been blasting through the tissue, iburprofen, cough syrup, and honey lemon tea. But there have been so many moments of connection in the midst of it--more proof that what I really want and need is mutual dependence--there's no such thing as relationship without it. 

A few weeks ago, I admitted to some friends and acquaintances that I was feeling lonely. I didn't enjoy that admission. In the age of Facebook and Instagram, the whole point is to at least appear completely booked and preoccupied . I did this, I did that, so-and-so and I really connected over some amazing meal or moment. To come out and say you're lonely? Not really in vogue. 

But here's what happens when you do: poeple respond! And the discipline is just to take it in, to say "thank you," to let yourself soak up the love that you didn't know you needed so badly. As Rumi says, the need brings in what's needed.

Some of the little miracles lately:

  • Walking on the trail with Margie, my friend from church, who's 20 years older than me and has lived beyond this stage of life, and her putting her arm around me and not saying anything. Holy moment.
  • Having bouts of insomnia and knowing, in the middle of the night, with the Northwest winds raging, that God is alive and doing her thing.
  • Podcasts! So much amazing storytelling that lifts me beyond myself. This American Life, OnBeing, Serial, Radio Diaries. The world is full of people who have survived incredible things.
  • Tracy bringing over chicken noodle soup and Loretta eating 4 bowls of it when nothing has sounded good to her all week.
  • Breeze bringing over cough syrup, elderberry syrup, banana bread, flowers. Some people are born with an extra dose of Thoughtfulness, and she is one of them.
  • Elizabeth doing double duty on carpooling so I can stay home and nurse Loretta.
  • My meditation corner. It's really filling up with talismans now. Finger labyrinth, candles, Mary Oliver's and Christian Wiman's new poems, my favorite box of matches. God is everywhere, of course, but I posiiton myself to catch those beams of love in that 5 square feet.
  • Every healthcare worker who has put him or herself in danger to help Ebola victims. They put me to shame, inspire me, and expose the love that pulses behind everything.

What are your little miracles lately? As always, being here with you takes the edge off the loneliness. We are all on this road together.

Pumpkin Scones

Yep, I googled it. Knowing which recipes are good and which aren't so good is a skill, and I wish I could explain it better. It's saved me a lot of heartache. Where scones or lots of baked goods are concerned, be wary if there's not enough fat in the recipe. Or if lots of waiting and steps are involved. Scones shouldn't be that way. And I LIKED that there was corn syrup in this glaze, which meant that it would harden up and be shiny just like I wanted it to be. 2 Tablespoons of corn syrup isn't going to hurt you any more than sugar will--it acts the same way in your body. And if you buy a bottle, you can make caramel corn at Christmas! The only change I made to this recipe was using fresh roasted squash instead of canned pumpkin, and I used more like 3/4 c. because I wanted more moisture and pumpkin flavor. And I used toasted pecans instead of walnuts. You could leave the nuts out alltogether if you want.

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