More gardening! More picking! And radish scones!

It used to be too hard for me to look back on a year and see how it changed me. It was weird, to think that the pebble that skipped between one spot and another could create either too many ripples or not enough. In California, between ages 20 and 24, I grew up; but it was in a fractious way that I still have a limp from nowadays. I'm learning from that, though.

Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones

But now I look back at a year and see where I am and it is both humbling and terrifying and satisfying all in one. A year ago, I was living at home and Nolan was living at his parents', too, and we would see each other once in a while and drink and fall asleep. A year ago, I was sequestered to my old childhood bedroom while I saved up and figured out what I wanted out of life and a relationship and if we were buying a house or moving somewhere new again. A year ago, there was a lot more silence in my life and a lot less to do during the day. A year ago, everything was different and uncomfortable and I wasn't ready to move forward.

Now--now we have a house and the dogs and the chickens and the land. I have room to stretch in bed and still be cuddled by the person I am going to marry. My hair is grown out and curled and I tend to wear old flannel shirts and there's usually dirt under my nails. We garden now, picking from our little bed the lettuce and radishes and onions we'll have for dinner. Nolan's dad planted them when we first moved in. We throw our scraps to the chickens and eat the rest. Just another thing we take care of, just another responsibility we have for our land.

Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones

We have only the smallest recollection of How It Used to Be. And we savor the mornings with cups of coffee and the nights with a beer and everything in between is working towards a goal now--whether that goal is painting or fencing or just pulling out the sofa bed and watching movies for three days. It's all there to make us happy; to make others happy, too. The only part of us that still exists from a year ago is that Nolan still smokes the same brand of cigarettes and I still have a flair for dramatics. Everything else is different.

A year can really change a person or two. 

And each year it seems like we take a small vacation in the summer for something with food. Last year, we spent a couple days in Charleston, WV to tour the JQ Dickinson Salt Works. This year, we are heading to Vermont on Friday to go see Vermont Creamery, so i thought what better way to begin celebrating than with a goat cheese scone. And to commemorate our growth in a year, to look at how a year can change two people, I added radishes from our garden. Spicy and plump and terribly beautiful, they added an element to the scones that naturally flavored them beyond the usual salt and pepper of my upbringing.

Enjoy. 

Dill, Goat Cheese, and Radish Scones

Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones

This recipe is a riff on last week's post for my shortcake scone. This is a savory version, so either you can really use as a base and just swap out the flavorings with whatever your heart desires.

Ingredients:

  • 2  cup AP flour
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk (for egg wash)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese 
  • 1/2 TB dill, chopped
  • 3 large radishes, rough and finely chopped + 1 or 2 sliced for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400*F and prepare a sheet pan with a Silpat or parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. With clean hands, roll the butter into the flour with your fingers, creating flakes. Continue to crumble butter until fat is the size of peas
  4. In a measuring cup, whisk together your egg, cream, and cheese
  5. Create a well in your dry ingredients and with a wooden spoon slowly mix while you pour your wet ingredients in
  6. Continue to mix until fully incorporated and a dough comes together
  7. Add dill and chopped radishes and fold to incorporate into dough
  8. Pat out onto a floured work surface and shape into a rectangle
  9. Cut into 9 pieces and transfer onto your prepared sheet
  10. Make an egg wash (1 yolk + 1 TB water) and brush onto your scones
  11. Top each with a radish slice
  12. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones
Radish Dill Goat Cheese Scones

Nostalgia from a crunchy baguette

When I was 18, I lived on my own in Europe.  I rode a subway system that was in a foreign language.  I shaved the sides of my head and wore a rabbits foot around my neck, a gift from a fling I had in the summer with a boy who's now a model.  I lived the life I thought I deserved, the life I thought I wanted.  I lost a friend of eight years that year.  I lost my uncle, too.  I never made it to France during my time abroad, I ran out of money and there was a terrorist threat on the train I was going to take when I could buy the ticket.

I lived in Italy, but never really saw the world for what it was.  Instead, I was born into a secular understanding of cause-and-effect.  The bookends of hard work and the inevitable payoff stood in my mind.  They call that a Protestant work ethic.  I lived this fantasy of being a poet.  I lived the fantasy that being in Italy would make me more lovable.  I came back with bags of chocolates for my family, grey and chalky farewell presents from a bartender in Belgium.  My family saw it as ostentatious.  I came back with a resolute longing to be not only a different person, but a better person.  A person who tries new things, a person who changes with the seasonality of produce and temperament.  

I've kept that promise.  I call my parents and beg for the same gratitude in others that I wish to give them myself.  I was going to be a lawyer and profit off the misfortunes of others.  I took up cooking and raised three dogs instead, acting on the impulses of creation rather than the slow and steady toxins of tit-for-tat successes.  I took up baking and paint my palette in floral hues, clipping roses that grew wild in the Texas humidity and sprinkling them on a finished cake.  I surprise myself every week by baking something I've never made before--beet pasta, an almond cake, a rosemary soda--and I do it to remind myself that the takeaway from my time abroad wasn't that I was in any way better off than those I left behind, but I need to constantly evolve, change, develop into the person I want to become.

And this week, I wanted to be a bread baker.  To be the kind of person who can create a baguette in triplicate.  I found the recipe on food52 and paired it with the Lee brother's radish butter.  I sat with this delicate snack on the chaise lounge, in the sunset where Murphy sleeps, and I thought about how the last time I ate a radish, it was at the housewarming party of an aunt who now lives in Indiana.  How the sun melted the sherbet and my sister and I played badminton while the sun settled in for the night.  I thought about all the delicate memories that hang by a thread and how easily we can forget them.   I wonder what will trigger my memory of this morning, stretched out with mint tea and a baguette smeared with radish butter, and if I'll remember it fondly or with the sudden urge of nostalgia, like the kind that still grips me when I think of all the missed opportunities I spent hating my family for never just taking those damn chocolates and appreciating that the effort was there all along.