Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Munchies: Blueberry Scones

Since this is my very first post, I should probably explain the purpose of this blog. Currently, I maintain two other blogs: one about U.S. travel and one about my unpublished novel. There is a third, very neglected blog – also about travel – that needs serious revamping, so forgive me if I ignore that one for now. Although I’ve been reading other writers’ blogs for the past few months, I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to use my newly acquired Blogger account to launch yet another blog of my own. That is, until this past weekend.

While fiction writing and travel are two of my favorite interests in the whole world – and I’m truly tickled to be blogging about them on a semi-regular basis – I realized just how many of my inspirations are being overlooked by such targeted sites. Musings about yoga, karaoke, movies, religion, blueberry scones, Willie Nelson, and Woody Allen have no place on my Ruby Hollow website or American Nomad blog.

So, I decided to start a new blog – one that would focus on all the people, places, and things that interest and inspire me on a daily basis. After brainstorming possible names for the blog – many of which are too embarrassing to list here – I settled on something short and sweet. Hence, “Laura’s Simple Pleasures” was born.

Now, given that I’ve only been posting two articles per week for my American Nomad blog – and that I’ve been lucky to post a few times per month since starting the Hollow Souls blog – what I’m proposing is perhaps more than I can handle. But, as the saying advises, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained," so here goes nothing...

I will attempt to post six entries per week, adhering to the following routine:

1. Musings about my favorite foods and beverages for MONDAY MUNCHIES
2. Tales of memorable people, places, and events for TUESDAY TRAVELS
3. Thoughts about varied hobbies and interests on WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAY
4. Notions about nature, religion, meditation, and yoga on THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY
5. Reviews of assorted books, plays, movies, TV shows, and music on FRIDAY FANTASIES
6. And everything else that’s fit to print for the WEEKEND MISHMASH

We’ll see how long my enthusiasm – or, more aptly, my stamina – lasts. But, until my already overloaded schedule fails me, I’ll happily share my myriad inspirations with you. Because no matter what’s happening in the world around us – from poverty and disease, to pollution and war – it’s the simple pleasures in life that keep us going... which brings me to the aforementioned blueberry scones - the thing that actually inspired this blog in the first place.

During the summer months, my husband, Dan, and I live in the northeastern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, along the mucky shores of Big Bear Lake - truly an amazing place for a writer to be. The rustling trees, the star-filled night sky, and the occasional deer or fox sighting simultaneously calm my nerves (which are routinely tested in my other two homes – New Orleans and Los Angeles) and feed my stories. I relish wandering through the vibrant forest, swimming in the cool lake, and, of course, picking wild raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

Wild blueberries, which usually flourish in July, are my favorite to pick. Though smaller than the kind you usually spot in grocery stores, they are infinitely tastier – and ideal for baking. Every summer, I pick as many berries as I can wrestle away from the deer – and bring them home to be used in various treats. Typically, I make blueberry muffins, while Dan, the real cook in the family, prepares blueberry pancakes and blueberry preserves.

This summer, however, I decided to try my hand at blueberry scones – my treat of choice at coffeehouses around the country. After collecting enough blueberries – which wasn’t easy, as it’s been a particularly cold summer in northern Michigan – I searched for a decent scone recipe online and settled on the one recommended by
EAT.DRINK.THINK. Earlier today, I gathered all my ingredients, rolled up my sleeves, and prepared my first-ever batch of blueberry scones. True, it took me longer than planned and required Dan’s help during the dough-kneading phase, but I was not disappointed.

As advertised on the EAT.DRINK.THINK. website, these homemade scones were some of the best I’ve ever tasted – not too crumbly, not too sweet, and loaded with blueberries – the perfect complement to my ubiquitous mug of Tetley tea. Even Dan, the gourmand, approved – he assured me, in fact, that there was no need to refrigerate the leftovers, as they wouldn’t last that long. What a compliment indeed!

So, thank goodness for the little things... and for the fact that my blueberry scones came out a lot better than my last batch of oatmeal cookies – or whatever those flat, chewy things were.


A misinterpreted wave said...

I am so excited about this blog and can't wait to read more. Thanks for starting it and writing a truly interesting first post :)

jbchicoine said...

Are those bluberry scones, in the picture, the ones you actually baked? If so, you ought to pursue a career in baking or photography!

Laura Martone said...

Hi, Wave & Bridget! Thanks so much for visiting my new blog... and for becoming followers, too! I really appreciate being able to share my half-baked notions beyond my own little bubble - but I'm sure you two know the feeling. And, as for the photo, I'm not sure that I have a future in photography OR baking, Bridget - but, yes, those are the scones themselves! Thank goodness I had the wherewithal to snap a photo because, thanks to me and the hubby, they're all gone now. Take that, you annoying diet, you!