A gorgeous tea cup given to me by my grandma. Somehow I ended up with her entire bone china teacup collection and I’m never giving it up.
One of my favorite happy activities is baking. It reminds me of my grandmothers, but especially of my maternal grandmother. She was such a sweet soul and I miss her dearly. She has been gone for nearly four decades. She died very young of stomach cancer and it was a painful way to go, but she kept her smile and her cheerful attitude until the very end. Summer really reminds me of my grandparents as grandpa and I would go out to their garden and harvest the fruits and vegetables and then we would bring them into grandma and she would bake the most wonderful treats for me, plus healthy meals using the freshest ingredients, and can the excess produce to be stored in their cellar for winter. The cellar scared the you know what out of me though, so I never ever went down there. I would always wait at the top of the stairs when my grandpa went down to get the treats, like crunchy dill pickles or sweet red raspberry jam. I have always incorporated gardening, and baking, and cooking fresh, and canning into our lives. Our boys loved to help grow and prepare everything, and they both loved to eat everything too. For some strange reason, this week we have some fruit that sat too long and was not in such great shape to eat fresh, blueberries and bananas. Some weeks these guys eat so many bananas and then other weeks, the bananas sit until they turn brown. I have this suspicion that they leave them on purpose knowing I will make a batch of banana bread if they can just keep their hands off those bananas long enough. Also, berries are all over the place at the markets now and Blue Eyes has been purchasing more than we can eat, but not enough for me to actually take the time to make them into jam. This afternoon while the boys were off at a soccer match, I made banana bread and blueberry scones. I get the pleasure of baking, and they get the pleasure of eating. These will not last long around our house.
My favorite Banana Bread recipe:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 very ripe bananas (mashed well)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. In a large bowl cream together eggs and sugar. Stir in mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla, oil and cinnamon. Stir in flour mixture, a third at a time, until just combined. Pour the batter into a bread pan. Bake for one hour or until set. Makes one large loaf.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
approx. 1/4 cup milk (more or less if necessary for consistency)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough.
Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.
For glaze, combine powdered sugar, butter, and milk in a bowl. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.