This blog all started when my sister innocently unwrapped her birthday gifts. We had gathered at a local Italian restaurant several weeks ago, and had dined on delicious Italian food. I had celestial manicotti, made with homemade pasta and a light, fresh tomato sauce. That and a glass of Chianti left me mellow and slow-witted. So when my sister unwrapped her gifts and began to throw the wrapping paper away, as any normal person would do, I was caught napping. Throw it away? I came to my senses and grabbed the beautifully patterned papers. Our family comes from a long line of paper savers, and I can remember carefully saving Christmas wrapping paper when I was a kid. I never thought twice about it, though in some circles this is thought eccentric.
Back at home, when I pulled the papers out of my purse, where they were balled up in Scotch-tapped, crumpled wads dotted with cannoli crumbs, I wondered what I would do with them. I had some clear glass plates purchased at a garage sale, and decided to make a cookie plate, gluing the green and white paper to the bottom of the plate. The brown paper would have to wait. So I cut off the tape and any torn parts of the paper, and ironed it. Then I placed the plate, face down, on the paper, and carefully drew around it, about a 1/2″ from the edge. Then I cut out the paper circle. Measuring the plate, I determined where the center was, and lightly folded the paper circle to find its center. I had some Yes! paste, and began gluing. I used my finger and began gluing at the center. I glued and smoothed down the paper right to the rim. I had to wash my hands a number of times during this process. Then I used a sharp pair of scissors to cut off any paper extending beyond the rim, though the fit was good. And there it was! A pretty plate.
I decided to make scones rather than cookies, and made a recipe of “Mrs. Macnab’s Scones” from “The Complete Book of Breads,” by Bernard Clayton, Jr. These scones are golden brown with a snowy interior.
Mrs. Macnab’s Scones2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons cream of tartar 3 tablespoons butter, softened 1 egg, lightly beaten 1/2 cup buttermilk
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. With the fingers rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Measure the buttermilk, and than break the egg into the buttermilk, and stir. Gradually stir this into the flour mixture. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until totally combined.
Divided the dough into two and form rough circles. Sliced through the dough with a very sharp knife to form a cross. Then prick the dough with a fork. Lift the loaves onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: In this guise, this recipe is almost like a soda bread. The dough can also be formed into four 6-inch circles, 1/2 inch thick. Each circle is cut into quarters, yielding 16 small scones.