All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

apricot scones in the midst of tears

For the last several months, the kitchen has been my refuge, since my mother was injured in a fall. When it was clear she was not going to be able to move back to her assisted living apartment, my sister packed up all her things to be given away to her family. Yesterday, I looked at her purple hat, and lavender throw; inhaled her favorite perfume, and wept. It will not be long before she is gone, and the finality of it has finally sunk in.
Like most cooks, the kitchen holds our tears, our sorrows - and our joy and laughter. So I made some scones for my sister, wishing my mother could taste just a crumb. Why I didn't think to make her a soup, I don't know. The mind scatters under sorrow, I suppose.
So here are the delightfully tender scones I made, with bits of chewy apricot and crystallized ginger, that are the most perfect teatime treat - I hope you enjoy.
* * * *
To make:
Preheat oven to 375F.
Line a cookie or jellyroll sheet with foil.
2 cups King Arthur flour
1 stick (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup snipped dried apricots (use scissors)
1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger
3/4 cup( +) buttermilk
In mixer bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cold butter until the butter is fully incorporated into the flour mixture.
Add the ginger and apricots and mix again.
Add the buttermilk (sometimes you need a little more than 3/4 cup - if it's too dry and doesn't make a dampish ball, add a little more) until it JUST holds together in a ball.
Pat or roll the dough on a lightly floured counter.
Cut circle of dough into 6 or 8 triangles and arrange on baking sheet.
Brush scone tops with a little milk, and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove sheet to cooling rack for ten minutes, then to another cooling rack until cool.
If you're packaging them, make sure they're completely cool before wrapping up.


Crissant said...

WAW....pretty pretty job!!!!
And this amazing and healthy food!
Congratulations for your blog!

Wendy said...

Your post is very poignant. Unfortunately, I can relate to how you feel, because my Mom has been deteriorating in a Nursing Home for over 2 years. This is not the fun part of life but your wonderful recipe shows us there is hope! Just know that there are other people out there who understand your situation. Thank you for scones through the tears!

katrina said...

Thanks so much for the thumbs up, Crissant!

katrina said...

Oh, Wendy , my heart goes out to you. It does help to know other people are going through the same sorrow. I know my mother would be slightly exasperated with me for being so undone and teary, but there it is, as she would say.
Love to you -

Mother Rimmy said...

What a beautiful post. I am very close to my mother too. I can only imagine how you must be feeling. Lovely scones. I'll be thinking of you :)

katrina hall said...

Thank you, Kristi - my mother isn't the typical "in the kitchen" Mum - you'd be more likely most of her life to find her walking a beach or building a camp fire, pulling weeds or looking up at the beautiful moon. But she's been my touchstone, as well as my mother, and I treasure her.

La Table De Nana said...


Can she read your words? I hope she can..your words about her .. are all a mother could hope to hear or see from her daughter.
She is so lucky to have you.
I am so sorry for you.May I save that first photo? It speaks volumes to me.

katrina said...

Oh, Nana - here I go again, tears running down my cheeks. Mum is unable to read at this point, and speech is harder.
Of course you can save the photo - and I'm honored it means something to you. All day I've been spraying "Norell" - her perfume, all over the house, which makes her seem closer. Hugs right back to you and thank you.

Kalyn said...

I'm sorry to hear about the struggles your mother is having. What a lovely tribute you've written to her. I can understand at least some of how you're feeling because my mom died in 1998 and my dad is in an assisted living center now and isn't doing well. This phase of life is turning out to be more difficult than I ever imagined.

Kirsten said...

Katrina, Big hugs from my kitchen to yours. I know how it feels to try to read recipes through tears.
Don't give up! The sun is always coming back out shining on you.

Chef Fresco said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mother. My grandma just died last night and I know how hard it is to lose someone you love. With that being said, your scones look delicious.

Kathlyn said...

I read your post and mother is also deteriorating and this new place in my life feels lonely and frightening. Your words and kitchen philosophy (the kitchen is also my refuge) are incredibly comforting and give me hope. Thank you! Much love to you and your mother. (I will be making the scones and your poppyseed muffins very soon.)

katrina said...

Kalyn - I well remember your difficulties on moving your father into assisted living. My mother adapted well and continued to have lots of friends, but several falls really took so much out of her and she hasn't recovered. Your words are so true - this is so difficult for everyone, but especially for her, someone very independent and full of vigor.

katrina said...

Kirsten - thank you for that hug ( in the kitchen) through the tears!

katrina said...

Michael and Jessi, my heart goes out to you on the death of your grandmother. I'm so sorry.

katrina said...

Thank you for your kind words, Kathlyn - here we are, in the kitchen, weeping together and mixing tears into the scones. Best hope for you on weathering the unexpected with your mother, and know you have lots of company. Love to you -


Barb said...

Dear Katrina - From what I read about your Mother, I think the purple hat and lavender throw speak volumes about her. I imagine that she is a charming, outgoing wonderful woman with a warm, loving and lively personality. I know you cherish her.


katrina said...

Oh, Barb - thank you for stopping in to leave a note. My mother has sometimes been a puzzle - she has a huge circle of friends, young and old, yet cherishes "alone" time. The hardest thing for her to accept in the last year or so has been having to use a walker, which has made it difficult to keep up her walks outside. She loves to dress up (hat and all), but had no problem camping out on the Boston Harbor Islands (she managed one of the islands in the summer - single-handed!) Marvelous and complex woman who also shares my love of reading, or, I should say, vice versa - but NOT cooking:)

Desiree Crossley said...

I took a pewter eagle charm and one of the few hats that would fit his head after my dad died last week. I can remember my dad wearing them at different times in his life; also, Aramis and morning coffee. He wore those scents daily. I miss him very much, especially tonight.

katrina said...

Oh, Desiree, you must be reeling from your Dad's very sudden and unexpected death. I'm so, so sorry. But it's good to have something to hold onto that reminds you of his presence. Hugs and tender thoughts to you...