Monday, February 27, 2006

The Weekend: Tea, Scones, Dreams and a Review

My brief "vacation" is over, and now I'm back to work, with a to-do list that makes me want to crawl under the covers. I think it's all doable, so I'm not going to get too worked up about it yet.

Saturday was a lovely rainy day. I have a tile roof, and there's a skylight upstairs in my office, so the rain on the roof makes a nice sound (when I'm awake. When the office was my bedroom, a gentle rainstorm could sound like machine gun fire, and it would wake me up.). I made tea and spent the afternoon reading. I'd ordered The Big Love by Sarah Dunn from B&N because it was on clearance and it sounded intriguing (and I needed one more book to get free shipping), but hadn't had a chance to read it. It was really, really good, one of the best American chick lit books I've read in ages. There was a lot I could relate to, to the point that I found myself wanting to meet the author because I felt we'd have a lot to talk about.

Sunday, the sun finally came out. As much as I enjoy rain and gray skies, after a while you do need a little sun. I kind of had a false start to the day, as I finally proved that all those things I've read about dreams taking place in just a few seconds really are true. My alarm went off, I hit snooze, and then I had a dream where I lived through an entire day. And then my alarm went off again. I was seriously disoriented after having lived an entire day in the span of nine minutes. Some of the disorientation came from being yanked out of the dream so abruptly. I wonder if that's how the away teams on Star Trek felt when they were always being beamed up just when they were in a bad situation, like, "Hey, I could have handled that!" In the dream, I was giving a speech on "So, You've Always Wanted to Write a Book" to a convention of television reporters (I haven't met too many journalists who don't claim that they're going to write a book someday), but in a variation on the "I have a final in a class I forgot I was taking, and now I don't know when or where it is" dream, I'd spent the whole day at the conference writing the speech but had forgotten to find out when and where I was giving it, and there was a possibility that the time had even passed. Unfortunately, the alarm woke me before I found out and before I gave the speech. I was curious as to what I'd say (because that does seem like a good topic for a speech). The only thing I remember writing had something to do with not taking a window seat on an airplane so you'd have more room to write while you travel, so I may not have gleaned any nuggets of wisdom, after all. Anyway, it was very strange going through a day when I felt I'd already lived through a day during those morning nine minutes.

I didn't want to waste the sunshine, so I went out and ran errands, even did a little shopping. One good thing about a hibernation phase is that it's nice for your bank account. I haven't bought much other than food in ages. I only bought office supplies, but I looked at other things. I even tried on shoes. Then I did a wander through the B&N. A lot of times, visiting bookstores leaves me more motivated to go home and write, but I didn't have anything to go home and write, and the bookstore visit left me with a strange sense of melancholy. I think I'm getting a bit of panic about the book coming out so soon, with the worry about where and how it will be shelved, if people will like it, and all that.

For the people liking it issue, I have my first review from someone who has good taste. :-) This is the reviewer who has a quote on the front cover, so I shouldn't be surprised that she liked it, but it's still nice to get that validation.

And finally, the scones recipe. It's from a book called Having Tea with recipes by Tricia Foley. The texture reminded me of really fluffy buttermilk biscuits, but without that tedious cutting the shortening into the flour step. I found that it halved easily to make scones for one, and then I just rolled the dough into a circle and cut it into quarters with a knife instead of trying to cut it into rounds.

Cream Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
Approximately 1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Gradually add enough of the cream to form a soft dough. Knead lightly on a floured board, handling the dough gently to retain the air needed for the scones to rise.
Roll out to a 1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds with a sharp knife or use a cookie cutter and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving a 1/2-inch space around each one. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes 8.

No comments: