The other day, I was chatting with Old Man, a college friend whom I met the first day of freshman orientation. I was 18, rocking a pixie cut hair, and innocently filled of wonder and hope that I would actually learn something of value in college. How foolish I was…Old Man was quiet and understated and we were quite the unlikely duo. I am now fully comfortable in admitting I badgered that boy in to our friendship, nagged him until he finally gave in and threw down the white flag of submission.
Old Man and I were chatting while at work, wondering what the hell we were doing with our lives, lamenting our jobs and our career development. We both did well in college and graduated with decent GPAs. I can say with full confidence that Old Man is one of the smartest people I have ever met, a stunningly talented writer and in possession of an astounding ability to comprehend difficult concepts almost instantly. But our job situation as of late? We both are pretty uninspired.
“Ugh, what is the point? This is killing me. I am so bored”, I opined.
“We went to college so we could secure white collar-esque jobs and get in to a club where we can sit on our asses for 75% of the day and get paid pretty handsomely. Oh, college… aka party as hard as you can for 4 years”, was his response.
“But God, did we fucking party. I don’t think there was a night where partying was off limits”, I nostalgically replied.
Oh, college, when my liver fails, I shall blame you. If it helps conjure an image, lay out the magnitude of the situation, Old Man played rugby and there wasn’t a party I didn’t attend. More nights than I care to remember were spent with us running around completely annihilated, knocking shit over, roaming the streets of DC, eating hot dogs out of a dirty cart, and ordering pizza as the sun rose. When I think of college, I can barely remember anything I learned in class, but I will never forget dawn breaking as we sat a the Washington Monument. I am rarely nostalgic for those days–I kept the good friends and life is much easier with a few extra dollars in my pocket–but it is those early, pizza filled mornings that always creep in to my mind when I am stuck behind my desk and wishing for a time when things were a bit simpler. I see my four boys, Old Man, Bawstin, InspectorG and Shady, and I cramped on one futon, barely awake and drifting in and out of a stupefied haze.
Yet, there is no more pizza at dawn in this adult world, but jobs that await us and obligations that must be fulfilled. On the weekends, we run errands (though admittedly still hung over a lot of the time) and do things like “brunch”. These scones were prepared for a brunch I hosted a few weeks back, and while they are no pizza, they are damn good. I took a very basic recipe from Cooking Light, spiced it up and added apples and the results were stellar. They were fragrant, flavorful, and not at all dry. Warm and slathered with butter, they were quite the treat and not nearly as difficult to make as it may seem. I’ve always had a bit of a scone phobia, but glad I overcame it to try these. As you can see, we didn’t even try to fool ourselves and just ate them straight off the board.
So, this is where I am…from pizza to scones in 5 short years. My body is thankful for it, but sometimes, not my mind.
Apple Spice Scones
Heavily adapted from Cooking Light
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 ground ginger
3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1/2 granny smith apple, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fat-free milk
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Combine 1/2 cup milk, vanilla, and egg white in a bowl. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be soft). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle surface of dough with apple. With floured hands, knead 4 times or just until the currants are incorporated.
Pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut dough into 12 wedges, cutting into, but not through, dough. Brush 2 teaspoons milk over surface of dough; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar and the cinnamon (which have been mixed together). Bake at 425° for 19 minutes or until golden. Serve warm, or cool on a wire rack.