A mid-summer lovers’ tale.
Not everyone finds a partner who fills out her life in a way that is about choice rather than necessity. Many of us move through our lives, find love and settle into a family. Often that sense of calm becomes a sense of settling with perhaps a little regret sprinkled in. We forget to take care of our relationships; we take our partners for granted; we ignore our own needs.
There’s one couple who’s never allowed themselves to settle into settling. The take spontaneous wine tasting picnics; they take time out to check in and have meaningful how are we conversations; they take time to nourish themselves: she antiques, he backpacks. Because they take such good care of their relationship and their individual needs, Taryn and Phil have much left to give to their family and friends.
As such, they’re the couple you’d call when you need a hand moving, when you want to head out for a day of hiking or when you’re throwing a big bash at home. When you call, you hope Taryn offers to bring her famous buttermilk scones, which she makes for Phil each time he returns from his annual backpacking trip. He clambers into the house ravenous after five days of Backpackers Pantry freeze-dried-glop in need of some serious food. She hands him a plate of scones he gobbles up in moments, grateful for the fresh-baked, zesty crumble.
Though this is their summer ritual, this scone tradition began out of loss. After Taryn broke up with her first love, she was stuck in grief. As many do after breakups, she looked for solace. She found it in her email. She’d cultivated a strong friendship with her ex’s cousin, Julie, online and Julie proved a true friend comforting Taryn via email. When Taryn traveled to her grandparents’ home, who lived near Julie, they finally had an opportunity to visit in person. Julie served Taryn a lovely meal with delightful pasta and conversation, but what took Taryn’s breath away were the scones. Buttermilk: cream and flake in the same bite. Julie jotted the recipe onto a small piece of paper, the one Taryn still uses to make the scones today.
It seems, out of that first lost love sprouted many things: a clarity about what Taryn wanted in a relationship, a desire to take good care of herself and seek nourishment when in need, and a new tradition. Each time she bakes the scones, the creamy richness, the brightness of orange zest, the tart-tangy-sweetness of mixed dried fruit and the spicy comfort of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top all function as evidence of love. Taryn’s a giver, and she found another giver in Phil, and together they’ve carved out a life that values taking time to focus on the small things. One small scone, placed on an antique plate on a hot summer’s day reflects what really matters.
"These Fruit-laced, buttery scones are sure to please. They're fragrant with orange peel, and sweet with a sprinkling of cinnamonsugar that's baked to a delectable crispness. Serve them hot, with lots of butter and steaming cups of strong tea"
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup firm butter OR margarine, cut into small pieces (12 Tb)
3/4 cup chopped currants OR pitted dates (or mixed dried fruit of your choice)
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 cup buttermilk
About 1 tablespoon whipping cream OR milk (or half and half)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon mixed with 2 tablespoons sugar
"I use Trader Joe's dried chopped fruit medley, but have used currants a couple of times. You can use anydried fruit like dried blueberries etc. Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter until fine crumbs. Add dried fruit and mix. Stir in buttermilk then knead dough on floured board and pat or roll to 1/2" thick and cut out into rounds. Brush with cream or milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 approximately 20 minutes until the tops are light golden, don't let bottoms get too brown, Enjoy!