Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Earlier today, I found someone's blog post where she counted how much food she and her family had grown, hunted, fished, and foraged in terms of calories. I found this interesting because most people count their production in terms of pounds. Pounds of meat, pounds of produce. The only exception I can think of is eggs, which are counted by the dozen. But I can see how counting it in terms of the calories contributed to the family's diet is useful and fascinating. I'd never thought of doing it in terms of calories. I bet it's also sort of humbling because while you think you might be providing most of your food, you might not be providing most of your calories. This family certainly isn't, and I doubt we're producing as much as they are.
I've been thinking that this summer it might be useful to actually count how much produce I grow. It would be nice to keep track of it, and to figure out how much money (if any) I'm saving. Last summer I figure I spent close to $100 on gardening stuff and Shane said that I didn't provide nearly $100 worth of food, but I'm not so sure. If I could figure out just how much I'm producing and the subsequent dollar amount, that would be cool. However, I'll be doing it in terms of poundage because counting all the calories is far too much math for me.
When I was in high school math was one of the only sources of argument between me and my dad. We've always gotten along well, except when it came to math. These fights were awful, and naturally I now feel awful about them. (I distinctly remember yelling at my dad, "If they're not real numbers, why do I have to learn about them?!" when he was trying to teach me about imaginary numbers.) Now, my dad got his master's degree in math. According to my eldest brother, the way my dad explained math was very simple and easy to understand. But I just could not get it. The rules of grammar and spelling come to me easily. Equations, not so much. (And math teachers everywhere lie--I've never once in my adult life needed to solve an equation that couldn't be done on a calculator. If I ever do encounter one, I have many people around me who could easily solve for X and would even enjoy doing so.)
But one thing my dad and I do have in common is a love of good breakfasts. My dad doesn't cook or bake that much, but he does have a few things up his sleeve. Out of self-defense and practicality, being a both parents work type household, my dad became an expert at a few recipes. One of those is this recipe for scones, which always reminds me of Sunday mornings after church. My family always had Sunday brunch together and these were commonly served because they're so easy and quick to put together. I don't know where he found the recipe, but it's both tasty and versatile. Well worth keeping to pull out at a moment's notice when you need to bake something for a friend, or you just don't have any breakfast foods in the house. You can dress it up with dried fruit, make it healthier with whole wheat flour and various seeds, play with the spices. No matter how you mix things up, it's always tasty.

Dad's Scones:

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk

Heat the oven to 375.
Combine the dry ingredients, then mix in the butter (we usually do this with our fingers), then mix in the milk until it's a damp but cohesive ball. It should be fairly easy to transfer to a baking sheet (my recipe says greased, but I've never found that to be a problem) and smooth into a round about an inch and a half thick. Cut into sixths, then bake for 20-25 minutes.
When I made this the other day, I didn't have enough rolled oats so I substituted some pre-shelled sunflower seeds. I also upped the cinnamon a bit and added a dash of nutmeg. I was disappointed after I ate the last one this morning, because now they're all gone. Now that I have some dried cherries again, though, I'll probably make them again and add the cherries. Yum!

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