Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saying Thanks

If you mention the word "Thanksgiving" to most U.S.A. and Canadian residents, you will likely find yourself swathed in their memories of lavish dinners, pumpkin pie and the feelings of realizing that Fall has made itself at home by now, and Winter is on it's merry way! For me, now at least, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are rather interesting occasions. These days (I'm ashamed to admit), you are more likely to find me trying to weasel out of the family pow-wows filled with food, wine and cheer. For me, and I know that it's incredibly selfish to say it, the fact that these holidays revolve almost exclusively around food makes me more and more aware each year how different I now am compared to the rest of the "normal" people in my life. Normally I take most if not all of my meals alone these days, unless I'm in school or out for a sushi lunch or dinner with friends - mostly for logistical reasons, since I have to cook everything for myself separately, and those around me are generally not too thrilled with the idea of tofu or lentils for dinner. So when it comes to big occasions where I'm forced to try fitting the square peg of myself into the round hole of society, it's awkward all around... and more often than not the talk winds up revolving more around what I'm eating than catching up with family.

My point in my sad (melodramatic, if you will) little ramble is that only now do I realize just how much we've strayed from the real reasons we celebrate these days in the first place - being grateful for those around you, the love that you are able to both give and receive along the pathway of your life, and for the little things everyday that we take for granted. I had been thinking about it for a little while when I decided to make these scones - not that the recipe is particularly tied into any sort of event or holiday, but who I was making them for.

I realized that, just like we take the everyday things like TV and running water for granted most of the time, we tend to also take a lot of people for granted too. Bus drivers, pharmacists, tech support and even the stockists at the grocery store all too often only noticed when they make an error or omission, and regardless of their control of the situation are essentially walking targets for the anger and frustration of those they have contact with every day. Even though I regularly bring treats of cookies or muffins to my doctors, friends, teachers and even people I was meeting for the first time, I wanted to let the people I see almost more than any others know that I really did value and appreciate the fact that they come into work and do their jobs every day! To me some of the most deserving people are the wonderful staff at our local health food store and Bulk Barn. They've always been there to help me out with restocking an ingredient, special ordering supplements for me if they were out of stock, and filling me in on news with new products and offerings they think I'd be interested in. They all know me on sight, by name, as I do them, and regardless of what either of us have gone through that day it evaporates in that short space where our lives intersect.

It was for no other reason to say "thank you" that I brought out these scones, without any sort of real recipe, but rather an emotion that couldn't really be conveyed by words alone. I'm not sure if they have realized it even now, but the look of appreciation for such a relatively simple gift made me feel like I had just received the best Christmas gift in the world.

Nutty Mesquite Oatmeal Scones
Makes 12
1 cup flour
1/3 cup mesquite flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup almond flour (meal)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flours, oats, almond flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  4. In a small bowl or measuring cup beat together egg, buttermilk and vanilla.
  5. Stir into dry mixture until everything is moistened. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  6. Turn onto the silicone or parchment lined sheet and shape into a rough disc.
  7. Score with a bench scraper or sharp knife into 12 wedges.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes and cool completely on the sheet before cutting through the score lines into separate pieces.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 243.1
Total Fat: 13.4 g
Cholesterol: 28.1 mg
Sodium: 65.9 mg
Total Carbs: 29.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g
Protein: 4.6 g

5 comments :

t said...

Eventually, as you continue to bring interesting dishes that you can eat, to add to the general board, the looks and concern will stop. Don't give up on your family holidays. If people with difficult dietary needs don't proselytize, just eat, and enjoy each other, it all goes well. Maybe not this time, but next. It's hard, but harmony does come with patience.

Ricki said...

I second t's message--I, like you, always have to bring my own food and while it can feel tiring at times, eventually people will come round and maybe even share yours/make something special "just" for you. And, as you said, it's really the PEOPLE we're there for anyway, right? How sweet of you to bake these scones as a gift--that's the real spirit of thanks!

DaviMack said...

You're buying into their own insanity: don't hide who you are, nor what you eat! It's their own fault if they can't stand for you to be different - you're letting them drive you away. Have you told them this? Please? I'm certain that you already feel strange enough about your diet; having to hide your eating habits isn't healthy at all!

Divina Pe said...

This is pretty interesting to me. Never had scones with mesquite flour. I guess I could find them at the health food stores. Thank for you this wonderful recipe.

Peter said...

Hello, Im very curious where you get mesquite flour in Canada. We are the major US importer and would love to be of help making it easier for people to get. Any ideas on how we can be helpful.

Peter_Felker@hotmail.com