A Day of Honey

I recently read the book Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo with my bookclub.  There is much to love and to recommend about this book.  The author writes about hospitality, humanity, and home and what it is that makes each of those things real for her.  I was struck at how wherever she was, Lebanon, Iraq, or New York she made a home, she created a family, she extended hospitality.  I think that as an expatriate those are themes I can relate to, especially now as I am daily trying to build a home, teach my daughters about hospitality, and how to invest in peoples lives.

She brought up a great premise that really resonates with me, home is something that can be made, it isn't always necessarily where you live.

As we have settled a little more everyday here in Tunisia it is beginning to feel like home. A shower curtain hung, a basketball hoop mounted outside,  people coming over to share meals (and bringing their own dishes and flatware if we have more than 6 to dinner).

I also have a great need to make food that is familiar, comfortable, and known by my family. I've been making soups, creamy mashed potatoes, a pork roast that I remember my grandmother making, roasted chicken and lots of baked goods. This morning I made an old family favorite. I haven't made them in years but this morning it felt right.

Chocolate Chip Toffee Scones
adapted from Bon Appetit

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup toffee bits such as Heath brand
milk and coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the whipping cream and vanilla extract to soft peaks.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the flour mixture. Add the chopped chocolate and toffee bits and mix through gently.  Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a bit until the dough comes together but is still slightly sticky.  Divide the dough in half.

Gently pat out the half of the dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut the dough into 8 pieces and transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.  Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk and then sprinkle with some coarse sugar.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown but still moist looking.

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