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Eat a Gulf Island

Ah, food. Living on a southern gulf island in the Salish Sea, I have been lucky enough to grow many of my own vegetables and fruit and to have access to fresh fish. The best way to eat peas is to wander around your sunny garden, pause at a vine full of curly tendrils and peas, pluck a pea pod and play it like a harmonica until you have eaten each little green pea. In a lifetime of enjoying cooking, I have also created lots of recipes. Many are vegetarian or vegan. Years ago, as the editor of the Slow Food Vancouver newsletter, I began to write down my recipes so other people could make them, too. Here are some delicious ones you can try.

Greater Scones

very adaptable, dairy OR vegan (V), no egg, handmade

 

    The best scones are light and fruity. These scones can be made with whatever fruit you have on hand. I suggest fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries or strawberries OR dried fruit such as raisins, currants, cherries, or apricots. If you use fresh blackberries, you will regret your purple hands and purple counter.

    An apple gives the scones moisture and body, and so does a zucchini half, (as in zucchini bread). Both create a tender dough that seems “short” but doesn’t have a lot of fat. I don’t peel the apple or zucchini, but I like all the colourful flecks - peel them if you prefer. You can use a medium hand grater or a food processor if you are afraid of grating your fingers. You don't need any other appliance to make these.

    The flour measurement is not fussy but do not scoop it into a cup and level it off. Pour or spoon flour into your measuring cup with a light hand and aerate it a bit. I like 2/3 all-purpose unbleached white flour and 1/3 whole wheat flour. In Canada, I like organic flour from Cedar Isle Farm or Anita’s.

 

  Ingredients:

½ a zucchini (not a monster hidden under a leaf) OR 1 apple

3 tblsp. butter, frozen, OR (V) solid cold coconut oil

3 cups flour, all white OR 2 cups white flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. baking powder OR 1 ½ tsp.cream of tartar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 pinch salt

3 tblsp. honey OR 2 tblsp. sugar + 1 tblsp. juice or water

½  cup yogourt OR ½ cup any kind of dairy milk OR (V) nondairy milk + 1 tsp. lemon juice

¼ cup frozen or dried fruit

 

Preheat oven to 400F. If you are using dried fruit, cover it with water to soften.

Grate the zucchini or apple. Right on top, grate the frozen butter and/or solid coconut oil. Put these in the fridge. Cold ingredients make a light dough!

In a big bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and sugar (if using it).

Pour in the yogourt OR other liquid. If using honey, add it and mix it in. If you used sugar, add 1 tblsp. juice or water.

Now gently mix the grated ingredients into the bowl. You can start with a fork, then use your hands. Squeeze the mix together lightly so it coheres into a rough mass, a shaggy dough. Transfer it to a lightly floured counter. Pat the dough down with floured hands OR place wax paper on top and roll it out to about 8-10 inches.

Drain your choice of fruit well; cut it into bits if you like. Place the fruit on top of the dough, in the middle. To incorporate the fruit, lift up the edges all round towards the centre. Turn it over. It will get slippery; just tuck any escaping fruit back into the dough. Now pat it into a chubby circle, about ¾” thick and 8” around, cake pan size.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can sprinkle the top with some cinnamon sugar.

Cut it in half. If you cut each half into 3 triangles, you can make 6 big North American-style scones. If you want more delicate UK-style scones, cut each side into quarters so you have 8 scones.

Spread out the triangles artistically on ungreased parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or til they are a bit golden. Cool for as long as you can wait.

These are delicious plain, or with butter, or with traditional accompaniments like jam and cream.

If wrapped individually, Greater Scones do not get stale the next day. You can also freeze them.

All images and text on this website are copyright Julie Emerson.

Enjoy making the recipe. If you use my images or text, you are stealing.

I deployed my Greater Scones as shortcake here, and covered them with strawberries and cream.

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The strawberries started out like this in my garden.

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They are everbearing strawberries so there were still a few ripening in October!

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In these scones, I used whole wheat flour and  some dried cherries. I soaked them in water, then added them along with (believe it or not) zucchini.

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