Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Breakin' 2: Electric Blizzardloo

So, remember how I said Chiba loves snow? Well, we woke up to a foot of it this morning, and she rejoiced:
There was so much snow, she actually had to eat her way across the yard!
She also enjoys leaping to catch snowballs in the air, wringing their necks, then eating them.

When you're from Arkansas, the first thing you learn about playing in the snow is how to be efficient. In other words, when you're building a snowman, you are trained to get EVERY BIT OF SNOW on your parents' property. (If you've only got an inch or two, you've got to make it count!) As a result, most kids have really grassy snowmen. Today, we were spoiled. We used our skills to amass a really tall pile of snow, and then were at a loss as to what to do with it. Good scholars that we are, Phillip and I decided to turn it into a giant portrait of Karl Marx:

Snow Marx has a bit of a fro, but all things considered, I think we did a pretty good job.

Here's a close up:

The detail was kind of hard to see, so we decided to do his
eyes, mouth, and hair with charcoal and ashes from the grill.

We also thought we should document our snow-sculpting outfits.

Here's Shaun:

Yes, that is a Cobra Commander coat. And a Mork shirt.
Shaun's weather gear comes straight from his box of old Halloween costumes.

Here's Phillip:
Phil went a little more traditional with a Mighty Ducks in South Central sort of look.

And here's me:

I did not purchase any part of this outfit.

Pashmina: Gift from my friend Juliet's trip to Spain
Wolf shirt: Purchased by my BFF Maya at an auto show near my mom's house
Trenchcoat: Vintage Sears, gift from my friend Audrey
Cookie-Monster-molested-me jeans: Levi's, stolen from Shaun
Cowboy boots: Found on the side of the road (really!)

Joel was too cool to bother with a snow outfit.

He watched Heavy Metal in Baghdad instead.

The neighbors made some awesome snowstuff, too:

After a series of epic frustrations (getting trapped in my driveway after the city vehicles threw snow behind Shaun's car, misaligning Shaun's car even after shoveling out our driveway, having our purchases withheld at Wal-Mart, etc.), we decided it was necessary to devour lots of baked goods.

Since I promised my friend Auntie She-She some scones almost two months ago, I decided to finally make good on that. (It doesn't hurt that scones and tea are magical on a snowy day like today.)

A few years ago, when I started experimenting with scones, I happened upon this recipe. As much as I like just messing around and letting the alchemy happen, the scones that I made using that recipe were good enough to make me do it by the book almost every time.

Still, an important caveat before we get started. Ever since a horrible experience with British Starbursts, my already minimal patience for currants has been diminishing. What's a girl to use instead? CHERRIES. I cannot adequately convey how great cherries are in scones. Scones themselves are not meant to be sweet, so choosing the right fruit is really important. Cherries are complex! They are sweet enough to make it clear that scones are part of breakfast, tea, or dessert, but they have a tart kick to them that kills me every time. If you simply must use currants, I will not judge you. But really, extenuating circumstances aside, cherries will not let you down.

Here's what all you'll need for a batch:

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 c white sugar
1/8 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 c dried cherries
1/2 c milk
1/4 c sour cream
(the most magical ingredient in baking, as far as I'm concerned)

1 large egg
1 tbsp milk

Here's the dough in progress:

This stuff can be really hard to work with at first, so be sure
a) to keep the butter pretty clumpy and
b) not to overwork the dough, as tempting as it is.

The trick is to just grab as much as you can and mush it together, honestly. Once you do that, it binds like a charm.

Here's what the scones ought to look like right before they go in the oven:

And here's what they ought to look like right after you take them out:

And here's what they ought to look like right before you eat them:

Tea is really necessary with these.
Today we had Earl Grey, but Vanilla Rooibos is pretty awesome, too.
I also highly recommend slicing a scone in half and slathering it with cherry preserves.

And, because I promised more insane (weather-inappropriate) but mood-maintaining Spring Breakin' costumes, here is what I wore to make scones:

Dress: Pomare
Socks: Stolen from Shaun, who owns only argyles (seriously)

And with that, I wish you good night. Stay tuned for The Great Bedroom Excavation of 2010!


  1. <3 Snow Marx. I want those scones bad, maybe with some chunks of really dark chocolate thrown in?

  2. It should be noted that the snow castle with pirate flag was built at the Joker's house.