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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Killing Time in the Kitchen

Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Terrific Cooking

My wife and i have a pretty good thing going.  She likes to bake while I like to cook.

Baking is a tough business.  Yeasts, flours, soda and  powders all have to be administered in exacting doses.  Any deviation from the precise formulas and disaster is just around the  corner.

I remember my mom's pie crust.  Arguably the best on the planet.  But her recipe called for the arcane use of crushed ice.  Crushed ice sounds to me to be better suited to a Daiquiri.  This haunting childhood memory is exactly why pie crust recipes scare me which is why I like to keep frozen, store-bought crusts on hand for fun cooking recipes like pheasant pot pie.

One day I will attempt to make a proper homemade pie crust. But I'm not giving-up my bread machine just yet.

Until then I'm happy to stick to cooking.  Flying by the seat of your pants allows for less orderly improvisation and is much more forgiving.

If you're like me and somewhat intimidated (or inhibited) by baking here's a recipe that any kitchen fool can handle.  This is baking without all kinds of opportunities for error.  It also allows for improvisation.

Scones.

Everyone appreciates a good scone for breakfast, a snack or dessert.  And they're fast and easy to make.If the Queen were to stop by for a spot of tea - with this recipe you'll be all set for entertaining.

Me? I like my scone with a hot cuppa Joe, a morning paper from the porch and my pooch instead of a personage of royal lineage.

Here's a recipe adapted from one I found at cooks.com

Gas Pains' Giant Scones

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2 cups flour

3T sugar

3t baking powder

1t salt

1/4 t baking soda

Whisk all the dry ingredients together and add the following:

1/2 cup low fat sour cream

1 beaten egg

3T skim milk

1/2 cup of small dried fruit (I reconstituted some craisins and chopped dates I found in the pantry)

Mix by hand until the dough is moistened.  Turn it out on a floured board and knead about 10 times.  Go easy on the kneading or your scones will be tough.  Divide the dough into halves.  Form each half into a ball and roll out to about a half inch thickness.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Cut each into six wedges and place on a cookie sheet with a little non-stick spray. Bake for about twelve minutes or until done.

Serve warm.

I doubled this recipe making my scones the jumbo size.  Indulge - they're basically fat-free.

For a variation on this theme skip the dried fruit and the sprinkled sugar over the top.  Substitute a double handful of crumbled crispy bacon, a small can of mild green chilies (drained), some chopped scallions and a couple of cups (give or take) of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Indulge your inner cook and improvise.

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