Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Recipes From the Porch: Lemon Blueberry Scones With Lemon Glaze

I am a big fan of lemon-flavored pastries; lemon bars, lemon cream pie, lemon poppy seed muffins, lemon bundt cake, you name it. I also really like blueberries, so, it goes without saying that I am a fan of the lemon/blueberry combination.

For Easter brunch this year, I made a batch of lemon blueberry scones and they were a big hit. Hugh, who typically dislikes lemon-flavored treats (psycho), actually enjoyed the scones well enough to snitch mine from my plate. If that's not a recommendation for this recipe, then I don't know what is.

The recipe calls for both butter and buttermilk, neither of which I had on hand. I did, however, have a carton of heavy whipping cream, so I made my own.

Don't think this makes me some sort of homesteader; the process is actually quite simple. Remind me to share it, sometime.

Anyhoodle, on to the recipe!

Ingredients: For the scones

2 C All-purpose flour

1/2 C Sugar

1 TBSP Baking powder

Pinch of kosher salt

4 Ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and divided into slices or chunks

3/4 C fresh blueberries

Zest of 1 lemon

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 C plus 2 TBSP buttermilk, plus extra for brushing on top of scones 

Ingredients for the Lemon glaze:

1/2 C powdered sugar

1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, blend in butter, until dough forms small pea-sized crumbs. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Add the blueberries and lemon zest and toss to coat. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk. Add to flour mixture, mixing with a fork until dough starts to come together, then with your hands until combined. Again, don't overwork the dough or your scones will resemble hockey pucks, and, not even the flavors of lemon and blueberry can make an edible hockey puck.

Once dough is combined, divide in half and turn out onto a piece of parchment paper. Form the dough into two circles, 3/4- to 1 inch thick. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut each circle into equal-sized triangles and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush the tops of each scone with buttermilk and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to create a thick glaze.

When scones are removed from the oven, allow them to cool completely before drizzling each scone with glaze.

Scones will keep for several days in an airtight container, but you probably won't need to worry about that; these things go fast! Especially if you have lemon-lovers in your life (or, a psycho who says he dislikes lemon while stealing your pastry from your plate).

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Boomer Dog's Gotcha Date

Six years ago, today, we met Boomer Dog at the shelter in Hooterville. His shelter name was Captain, but it was obvious to us from the start that he was a Boomerang. I mean, he returned anything that you threw. Anything.

He's still all about the fetch, and, if you asked him, his perfect day would include hours and hours of running after balls. And frisbees. And toys. And empty water bottles. And just about anything else that you could throw.

When we first met Boomer, I was uninterested in getting another dog. Hugh championed his adoption with promises of being his main caretaker and I eventually caved. Little did I know that Boomer dog was merely toying with Hugh; feigning loyalty, obedience, and dedication to the man while secretly harboring a clear intention to dog.

I'd never had a dog before. I mean, I'd had a dog, several, actually (Trooper, Jake, Sheba, sweet Rowdie Dog), but I'd never had a dog; I'd never been the obvious master to any of our canines. Instead, I'd been the Mistress by Default, when Hugh or the kids were unavailable for doing dog chores, or for giving affection or attention.

That all changed with Boomer Dog.

From the moment he crossed the threshold into our home for the first time, he made his intentions clear: I was his human.

He followed me everywhere I went, settled at my feet whenever I sat, listened to-and obeyed-my every command. When Hugh told him to do something, he looked to me for approval. 

When it came to teaching him new tricks, he humored Hugh and the kids, but got down to the actual business of nailing each one with me. I taught him to ring a bell on the door when he wanted to go outside. I taught him to catch treats off the tip of his nose. I taught him to crawl, and to shake hands, and to push a button for treats.

He was already pretty well trained in the basics when we got him; I didn't have to train him to walk/run on a leash, or to sit, or to lay down. He was also already trained to switch sides to put himself between me and people approaching us when we were on a walk, which leads me to believe that-in his previous life-he belonged to a woman.

A lot of things lead me to believe this, actually.

And, while we'll never know who that woman was or what became of her; I'll be forever grateful to her for loving him before me (I truly believe that him ending up in the shelter is indicative of her passing away; I just cannot fathom it being anything else).

I'm also eternally grateful for every moment that I have had with my dog. My Boomer. My Boo-Bear.

I don't know how much time we have left together, and, I don't really care to focus on that. Instead, I'm going to celebrate his Gotcha Day with extra treats, a few games of fetch, and maybe a walk to the park, if the weather allows. If not, we'll take a drive and get a Pup Cup, or, stop by the bank for a biscuit.

Whatever it takes to make hims a happy boy.

Because he has brought us nothing but happiness and he deserves it.

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

There is Always a Hitch in the Gidyup

The week before last, my dishwasher started leaking, which spurred a trip to the Home Despot, where Hugh and I laid down a fair chunk of change for a new washer, as well as a new fridge.

Did we need the fridge? Technically, no. Was the fridge the exact same age as the dishwasher and, therefore, at risk of failure? Yes, and, maybe. 

Did I want the fancy new fridge with the French doors and ability to make craft ice? Yes. Did I get it because I am a spoiled housewife who gets whatever she wants? Hell, no. I work my ass of and deserve to use that hard-earned money on a new appliance if I so choose.

And I chose the fancy-ass fridge.

Did I regret that decision when it was actually delivered to the house and we discovered that, while it technically fit in the space previously occupied by the old fridge, it was just about a quarter of an inch too tall for the cabinet doors above it to open? Yes, yes I did. But, only for an hour or so, which was the amount of time that it took Hugh to begrudgingly remove the cabinet doors and to plane them down to fit.

Did I congratulate myself on having married a man with skilz? Absolutely.

Thus endeth the Saga of the Fridge.

Now, let's talk about the dishwasher.

The dishwasher was delivered several days ahead of the fridge. Hugh took receipt of the machine and had the deliverymen open the box so that he could make sure there was no visible damage, which, there was not. Hugh then left the dishwasher in the garage for a couple of days, until he had time to install it.

The drama unfolded when, on the day that he went to install it; he opened the door on the front of the washer and water poured out of the door. From the electronics panel.

Apparently, dishwashers are shipped with water in them (from having been tested or some such shit) and are not supposed to be placed on their sides or back. One can only assume that that message got lost somewhere in translation because, clearly, the washer had spent some time in the wrong position for this to have happened. 

Hugh, on the phone with customer service, wishing there was someone he could throat-punch.

Blurry screenshots, taken from the video Hugh took of water cascading from the electronics panel.

Hugh immediately called Home Despot and then spent the better part of two hours on the phone, only to be told that the earliest they could get to us for either repair or replacement would be April 15th. Until then, I would be handwashing dishes. I had ten people coming over for Easter brunch and was, as you may imagine, not happy with this piece of news.

Hugh was incandescent with rage. Like, vibrating in anger. I'm not even kidding.

He finally said "Fuck it; let's let it dry out and see what happens. If it works, great. If it doesn't, you can make like Ma Ingalls on the prairie until the replacement comes".

That's what I heard, anyway.

So, I worked up a lovely pair of dishpan hands Saturday and Sunday morning, while waiting for the machine to dry out. Then, in an Easter miracle, we plugged the sucker in and attempted to run a load of brunch dishes and the damn machine actually worked.

I haven't run it since, but will probably need to in the next day or so. Hopefully, it will continue to work, but, we aren't cancelling the appointment with the repairman just yet.

We're smart like that.

Anyhoodle, it took a hot minute to get us here, but behold! My new, slightly oversized, way overpriced, and anxiety-inducing appliances! 

Please, in the name of all that is holy, let them last as long as the appliances they are replacing.


Monday, April 01, 2024

Easter Was Delicious

Hugh and I hosted Easter brunch yesterday and I think we outdid ourselves on the food. And you know that by we, I me I.

That's ok; Hugh had a really stressful day previously, while struggling to install my new kitchen appliances. That, however, is a story for another day.

Anyhoodle, Mom, Oscar, Emily, the Man-Cub, Shanti, Shanti's mom, dad, and brother all joined us to celebrate the holiday and it was a fabulous day. I really enjoy Shanti's family and look forward to meeting her sister and other brother closer to the wedding.

When we weren't discussing the wedding, which we did a lot, we were eating glazed ham, egg casserole, lemon blueberry scones, asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, fruit salad and coconut macaroons (those of us who actually like coconut, anyway). Naturally, we chased it all down with mimosas.

I do love a good food holiday and Easter is a close second to Thanksgiving in my book.

The feast did require me to spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen, which reminded me that I do actually enjoy cooking and baking. I should probably remember that the next time I am hungry but feeling too lazy to prepare a meal., for instance.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Easter Decorations on Parade

 I can't believe that Easter is on Sunday; having it so early this year is doing a number on me, despite the fact that I have had my Easter decorations out since roughly the day after Valentines Day.

It seems like today is a good day to document the decorations, since they will be coming down on Monday (or, thereabouts).

As usual, the Martha Stewart brand tulips that I collected the past couple of years from Marshalls are on full display throughout the house. I still love how realistic they look, and; the fact that they can stay up until well into May makes my heart very happy.

My bunny collection is also spread throughout the house (numbering just under 60. We know this because Hugh wagered with the Daughter-in-Love that there were 60 and she countered at just under 60. The exact count was 58, so Shanti was the victor in that particular contest).

Hugh swears that the bunnies multiply every year, and, he's not exactly wrong. In my defense, they are adorable, and, who doesn't like a bunny? Psychopaths, that's who.

He should just be happy to know that he did not marry a psycho.

You're welcome, Hugh.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

This Is What Happens When You Name Your Cat After a Special Needs Fish

Because our family was apparently put on this earth for the sole purpose of providing hospice services to pets with cancer, it will come as no surprise that Queen B's cat, Nemo was diagnosed with bone cancer mere days after we received Boomer's death sentence.

The good news is; Nemo's cancer had not metastasized to her lungs, which meant that a quick amputation of her back leg will likely save her life.

Her surgery was on Monday and Queen B was able to take her home yesterday. It's going to be a long recovery for her, and it will take some time for her to adapt to her tri-pawd (see what I did there?) reality, but her odds are good.

Prior to the surgery, Queen B did a quick photo shoot with Nemo and the resulting pictures are adorable. 

The pictures she has taken since the surgery are, to be honest, a bit pathetic. That is to be expected, however.

When Queen B adopted Nemo, she chose her name based on the fact that she had one clipped ear (vets do this to indicate rescue cats that have been neutered/spade prior to either releasing them back into the wild-if they are feral-or to placing them in adoption centers). She never imagined that her namesake's half-missing fin would somehow predict her fate.

Funny how life works.