Friday, May 11, 2007
Mother's Day Tea and Writer's Celebration
Every year, the kindergarten classes at our school do a event for just the moms where they share some of their writings. As one of the class moms this year, I got to help put this on. It seems like at every school event you'll find the same sorry buffet display - bagels, coffee and doughnuts or muffins from dunkin doughnuts. Maybe an odd assortment of Italian cookies (does anyone really like those tri-colored things anyway?) We decided to do something a little different, first of all no coffee (gasp!), we just didn't want to mess with it. Some of the moms found coffee in the other kindergarten classrooms, so we didn't get any complaints. Megan (the other class mom) did a great punch; frozen pear, passion fruit juice mixed with ginger ale. And we offered scones (buttermilk, currant and cherry, apricot) with lemon curd and Sarabeth's blueberry & cherry jam, and fresh fruit (strawberries, grapes, blackberries). The table was perfect with just a few potted plants that we gave to the teacher and aide. I copied Jordan's idea for flags, very practical and cute.
The kids recited a poem together and then each read their "How To" books. Jonah's was "How to Help My Mom Wash the Table."
These scones are so divine. There is a bakery/eatery in Soho called Once Upon a Tart, that is famous for it's scones, salads, tarts, etc . . . I've never been, but I've baked out of their cookbook, lots of yummy things.
Buttermilk Scones with Dried Currants
(from Once Upon A Tart)
4 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2/3 c. sugar
20 T. cold, unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 large eggs
1 c. cold buttermilk
1 T. vanilla extract
1 C. dried currants (or other dried fruit)
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Dump the dry ingredients into the bowl of the food processor fitted with ametal blade, and pulse a few times to mix.
3. Add the butter to the bowl all at once, and run the food processor for 15 seconds. Switch to pulse, and continue pulsing until there are no chunks of butter left and the mixture looks like moist crumbs. Be careful not to overmix the ingredients. Remove the blade from the food porcessor, and dump the crumbs into a big bowl.
4. In another, small bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Use the whisk to stir in currants.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour-butter crumbs and stir with a wooden spoon. It will be dry at first, and you may think there is too much flour, but keep mixing and it will come together. Stop as soon as no flour is visible.
6. Use a 1/2 c. (I used 1/4 c. and they were still big) measuring cup to scoop the batter out, and plop it onto the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between the scones. (For the cherry-apricot scones, I brushed the tops with a mixture of 1 beaten egg and 1 T. cream. Then I sprinkled them generously with raw sugar. They were golden and had a lovely crunchy sweet top, a nice compliment to the tart apricots and cherries.)
7. Place the baking sheet on the center rack in the oven, and bake the scones for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a small knife or toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.
8. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and place it on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. Move the baking sheet off the rack, and use a spatula to transfer the scones from the baking sheet to the rack or to a serving dish. Serve fresh out of the oven at room temperature.