And I Don’t Envy them One Bit
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was a broadcast of performances from the cruise they all took down in the Caribbean, and it sure was nice to sit there and imagine the warm wind and the blue of the water and the bird sounds and the coconut drinks and the endless night sky. Imagining it all is enough for me. I live here for the seasons, and don’t mind at all the cold. Don’t get me wrong — I do get tired of a stretch of endless cold air and grey skies, but that grey, day after day, makes the eventual sun all the brighter and warmer.
They’re coming back now, the snow birds, in flocks, those people who flew south for the winter. They return all smiling, skin aglow, hair bleached to coppery shades you can’t get from a bottle, their feet as brown as their legs, with stories of white sand beaches and floating bars and crashing waves and gulls, and I don’t envy them one bit.
They missed the stretch in January when you could barely see from the house to the garage, the snow and wind were blowing so hard. Went on for three days and all we did was hunker down and bake. Missed the Northern Lights in February, green and purple this time around, and the champagne we were saving for just such a night. Missed getting the car stuck at the end of the drive and how we worked together to get it out. Missed the snow sculpture contest in town, missed the pie social, the beautiful rain, the earthy scent of spring in March. Missed the first greening grass, the birch trees at night in the light of the moon, the ice melt on the river, mating season for hawks.
The spring winds will come soon, those warm breezes drying up the damp grasses in the fields and meadows. I love those winds. I crave them. You go out and stand there and they wrap themselves around you like ever-loving arms. Wouldn’t miss it for anything. Not even a flight to the South Seas. Not a chance.
Cranberry Orange Scones
A batch of scones in a basket makes a lovely Easter gift. Try these with some fruit jam and coffee for a Saturday morning treat. Kids will like them, too, and they don’t take long at all.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T sugar
grated zest of an orange
1/2 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
1 stick cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk (plus extra for brushing)
coarse sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
Cut the cold butter into small cubes 1/4-1/2 inch. Mix until butter is just coated with flour, leaving large chunks. Stir in the cranberries and the zest. (You may briefly soak dried fruits in hot water or rum, then drain and toss in sugar before adding).
Stir in 2/3 cup buttermilk and mix just until the liquid is absorbed and the batter begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Scrape the dough down with a spatula and form into a ball.
Flatten the dough into a circle 3/4-inch thick, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, a silicone baking sheet or a buttered sheet of wax paper. Divide the circle into eight wedges and separate the wedges out leaving a 1/2-inch space between them.
Brush the tops with remaining buttermilk or egg white. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Dust scones with confectioner’s sugar, if desired, and serve warm with butter and jam or honey.