Exhaustion, I think, is a masterful teacher of surrender. So is the ground. I was in a yoga class this week and it wasn’t until shevasana (the end of class, when they let you lay on your back, palms up, eyes closed) that I came to fully appreciate the ground beneath me. So much of life is spent teetering, hovering above the earth on the tip of a toe and the edge of a heel (if you wear shoes like those I love)—we barely touch the ground. We skiff the surface of things, making the merest of contact with the terrestrial, with things grounded.
Lying flat on my back I became richly aware of the abundance of ground there is to support us. When I lie flat, assume a position of humility now and then, I get the chance to feel every part of myself being held up at once, and not by any effort of my own.
My musing today has nothing to do with what I baked, which does happen from time to time. My powers of abstraction are only so strong. But, reaching, scones do mildly resemble brains–I see sulci in them, but that’s probably just me.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 T sugar
1 T baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup ground ginger (I grate up a fresh ginger root if I can, more zing)
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
5 T cold butter (grated on a cheese grater)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (all pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon.
3. With clean hands, work the grated butter into the dry mixture until it is thoroughly incorporated and has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the heavy cream, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract into the well. Still using your hands, combine the ingredients until all the dry mixture is wet, but do not knead!
5. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and gather the dough together. Gently pat the dough to make a disk about 1 1/2 inches thick. using a 3-or 3 1/2- inch biscuit cutter, cut out as many scones as you can and lay them on a nonstick baking sheet. Gather the remaining dough together lightly to cut out more scones—just don’t knead the dough too much.
6. Bake the scones for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let the scones cool slightly on the baking sheet (about 20 minutes) before glazing them with whatever frosting or caramel glaze you prefer. Or not—honestly, I think they are perfect just as they are.
Don’t forget to lie down, y’all, and when you can, gaze up at the stars and feel contented in your smallness. Because if we are small, so are our problems and worries small in the grand scheme. Lay lady lay. How divine when a scone can be a moment’s enough.