Blueberry Scones–A long term friendship

I love scones. The first time I tasted scones, I was studying in London. I loved the crunch outside and the soft inside. I cannot even remember the flavor I had but I knew I had found a life long “friend.”

So I have eaten scones very rarely but my current job makes some decent scones. I partake in it so no it is not rarely, by rather occasionally. I also have a few recipes. One calls for buttermilk and whole wheat pastry flour in addition to the other ingredients. TOO MANY INGREDIENTS I say, plus I did not feel like going back outside for buttermilk and then having to seek and capture whole wheat pastry flour.

I decided to use this recipe I found online. Blueberry Scones

This was a trial so very rarely is it what you want on the first try.
I followed directions for 97% of it. When I finished making the dough it was a little wet but not such that I could not form it. That may be normal. I also did not use the raw sugar–I had some creme of coconut so I mixed that with heavy creme and brushed the top of the scones.

I do not like to put my oven on 400 (sensitive alarms) so I started with 350, then midway moved to 375 and then for last 5 minutes, 400. It was rather brown but it was cooked. It was nice and crunchy-not to the cookie point. The inside was like a muffin. It was however somewhat salty. The first taste is not sweet, but rather a little salty. HMMMMM. I know that baking powder is salty like and we also added a tablespoon of salt. Next time, maybe just a pinch.

Check it out. (Don’d mind the browness-that was just a few minutes too long in oven)IMG_0182

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Tea and Scones anyone!
Where are the Brits when we need them! 🙂

What I learned on a Sunday afternoon–about pots, I think

In a weird twist of events I ended up at a wedding registry buying fair. Let me set the scene: a hotel meeting room, in the middle of town on a mild Sunday afternoon. My lateness aside, I was the last to arrive.

SO this fast talking salesman (they always are, because if they spoke slowly you would have time to ask questions) started talking about China, the quality, the ability to have it replaced, or not, patterns being discontinued and it breaking. It had me thinking, why do so many people by China and never use it? If it is so durable, it should be everyday fare, NO?

So the part that was really of interest to me- these pots. They looked like pots you could buy in Macy’s, Liquidators, or Sears–light, shiny, with all the parts etc. He then started spewing facts (as much as I could catch) and speaking about durability and use of the pots. I could understand, being a home cook and semi professional amateur cook (whatever that means). He went on to tell us about our current cookware and he even brought out props.

He threw out a question before he started. Why won’t we boil water in a pot or frying pan and use it to drink? Is the end use not the same? How come you would not drink out of your pot but you will cook out of it?

He spoke about:
Aluminium, which is in a lot of pots-it ability to bend, its ability to mark (yeah he scrubbed it with white paper and the paper was black) trick? well the pot was old, worn and destroyed so–jury is out–I have to try it at home and see

Roast pans material,the speckled kind we always cook our roasts/hams/turkeys in-first he put the pot up to the ear of one of the girls and he asked if she could hear anything (we all were like DAHHH NOOOOO) he then smacked it hard against a table edge, and then it was like marbles in a pot, literally it sounded like the pan was alive–he then poured the contents out on a table–I was a believer then

Non-Stick pan –the coating only stays on for the first cook (me I saw this first hand, my mother, in her heat felt attempt to get me something for my cooking interests, bought a wok.-the instant I used it, there were scratches.) and then it comes off in your food. My older wok has begun to go that way as well. I wonder if I could do a cream sauce without black pepper. 🙂

Stainless Steel, which everyone wants–well it has its problems to, not too stainless after a few workouts (I can attest, I have had to use steel wool to bring them back and that is a long process, you must use gloves or the little shards will go into your skin-skin poisoning anyone)

Cast Iron–it is excellent for making breads, frittatas, yeah, and I have heard many great things, but, they have pores. Apparently you “season it” and then it is good to go. ( I have heard the seasoning thing before) With pores, when it is hot/cold the pores open/close and all the juices, etc are absorbed -he used the example of cooking onions the night before and then in the morning having eggs that remind you of onions. LMAO–I was laughing in silence as that happens to some of my pots, you really have to give a good scrub.

Glass–that’s a laugh. Remember when that was popular he said, and I remember. Fancy dishes that allowed you to see your food while cooking, Pyrex was born out of that. I remember, and I thought it was for the well to do. So the bads–it cracks, bursts into shards of glass and it does not cook well. He gave us the example of science class. The teacher warned of things not to mix together as they would undo the glass beakers. Seems we totally let that escape us in class.

He then introduced the pots he had. He babbled about a lot of stuff, technical at times but I remembered most of it. The crux is that this pot is up there with ALL CLAD. It tops ALL CLAD “apparently” because of the properties and that you can actually pick up a hot pot. (I like all clad, it is pricey but I like it.)

Features and proof
-do not need oil to cook something
-do not need to boil vegetables
-you can cook a bunch of stuff at one time and not necessarily with steam, by using stacking
-they are heavy (break your toe in all places)
-they have a whistle to let you know when food is ready: pots have internal temperature gauge and it only cooks food up to a point, then whistles
-he made juicy chicken, and vegetables somewhere between steamed and boiled, not having lost the essential vitamins
-he showed the aluminium scratches and that is why the pots were marked up-he was using aluminium spoons

He even spoke about handles–the whole pot gets hot so you need to buy a special mitt to not burn your hand off. (regular pots that is)
He also spoke about heavy being a “sign of quality”, he was actually just repeating that, as I had heard that before in my life.

I was flipping impressed but silently. I was like, these have to be some decent pots. Then he started a game and he eventually let us know the price–his deal at 40% of, 2499.00. That is right, about 2500$, that is why you need a dam bridal registry.

So I have kept you in the dark long enough-it is some kind of Titanium pot. 316 Titanium is hospital grade as it is used for surgical materials. I could not remember the name of the company as he always said it extremely fast. He said who produced it, sounded Japanese but he said that twice as fast and then I stared at the logo with a name-but after walking out, I could only remember half of the name. Online I found it but it is like a private sale thing. hmmm (1 week later I found SALADMASTER–name of a company that makes pots.)

Here is a shot I found.
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I cannot tell if this product is good or not-as there are many mixed reviews online-some love it and others despise it.

So there are many lessons in this story(sales pitch is a scam-as per online reviews, who knows????) but I really write to ask about what kind of pots do you have? What kind of stories do you have about your pots? What is your favorite pot to cook in–frying pan, sauce pan, etc? Please share–I have a small following and it will be good entertainment and informative.

Until then happy cooking. (Last night I made excellent pork chops with black beans and rice—oh yeah, like eating at a 5 star restaurant. The pork chops, I let brine in chicken stock overnight, and then I added red wine and about a cup of mushroom tomato sauce, onion, garlic, about 3 tblsps of ketchup and 1 tsp of honey–let it cook for 1/2 hour or so till till the meat was soft).

Sculpture at the International Foodservice and Restaurant Show Mar 3 2013

-met a weird old man–where do these people come from
-tasted some stuff
-even passed up gelato on the first walk around on second round got some Lager flavored gelato (reminded me of stout)
-met a spice guy: omg, all the spices I would ever need

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Farmer in the dell–check out his jumperIMG_0145

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Here are some pictures of the Pastry Competition. The Fancy Food Show is coming up next month. Too bad I will not attend that one.

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FOODSERVICE SHOW
FOODSERVICE SHOW

JAN 2013 POTLUCK/Movie Night

Our left over food from the potluck/movie night. Its funny how I can never get my camera out when everything is first put on the table. I think I even missed a few dishes-eating that is. In any case we had a great night, a few close friends and a movie–COMING TO AMERICA.

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Cranberry cake, Banana Q (Filipino Dish-looks like eggroll), and Mini Tarts

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Red Velvet Cake, left over bowties, and one last chicken wing (how convenient)

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Deviled Eggs and Eggplant Rolitini (Years ago I was not an eggplant fan, but then I learned about it in school and have cooked it for my customers every since.–It can be Italian, Thai or Chinese.)

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Homemade gnocchi and tomato sauce

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Arancini–Rice Balls, bread for the Fresh Mozzarella and fix-ins for the Banana Q (if you have never had rice balls–please google it and find a place, they are really good)

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Fresh Mozzarella and pork rolls (yummy)

Potluck 2012/Movie Nght

Chicken Skewers–always a great fit, some meat and vegetables

Q BBQ Restaurant

All I have to say is Q Restaurant New Rochelle–YUMMY-and fit for a small family

Remember, there is a kid’s night. Get your kid acculturated to eating BBQ!! The food is great and if you want to hang with some friends-this is a good place. There is a bar, and a TV. It is right off the train-5 minutes. PORT CHESTER

-brisket
-pulled pork
-ribs
-coleslaw
-mashed potatoes
-corn bread
-chicken
-potato chips