“Uh, Mom? How do you close an ironing board?”
This, from Jamie, age 12.
I remember how this action baffled me as a kid. You press where? And do what? Perhaps I was or still am challenged by the mechanics. Or maybe no one showed me. I remember my mother teaching me how to iron a shirt and how her grandmother taught her. But how to close the unruly ironing board? I was on my own.
What else am I overlooking? What are the small actions we tend to forget? This recipe comes by way of my grandmother who was a big part of my life and now sadly can’t remember much, let alone how to be gentle with scone dough so it doesn’t get tough. But I can teach Jamie and he can tuck the bit of info away somewhere until he wants to bake for someone or wants to comfort himself as I did the year before I met my husband, baking bread in my dumpy ranch house in the woods.
“Bring the board here,” I tell Jamie and he lugs it out of the overstuffed pantry/laundry room. “Press the little circle lever down while squeezing the ironing board.”
“Yup,” I nod. “Now come be gentle with the dough.”
Apricot-Ginger Chocolate Scones
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
1/3-1/2 cup sliced crystalized ginger
2 cups self-raising flour, plus a bit more for cutter/surface
2 tbsp apricot jam
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp milk or cream
2 tbsp large granule sugar
In a small pot or in microwave, warm jam so it is runny. Pour over sliced ginger and let sit. Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Add in chips and coat with flour. Knead in butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat one of the eggs and add it to the flour mixture. Add the milk and the ginger and stir gently just until combined. Place dough on floured surface and pat or roll to 1-inch thick. Dust a cutter or a juice glass with flour and cut scones. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and brush with remaining egg (beaten). Sprinkle with large granule sugar and bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned on edges and top.
Let cool on wire rack and teach your kids how to make them or change them.