31 August 2009

losing scones


Wait! Don't out click! This may or may not be the last post about scones for a while since I"m scone'ed out, but these I entered in a local baking contest sponsored by a local restaurant that I decided on entering.


I used the same recipe as in the oatmeal scone post, except with a few changes. Those changes were toasting the oats; just blueberries; adding 1 1/2 bars diced chocolate-covered marzipan; orange extract; freezing the formed scones for 15 minutes prior to baking; brushing the tops with a beaten egg and a tablespoon of milk and sprinkling with sanding sugar. Incredibly delicious and one of the best scones I've made in a long time. You couldn't quite taste the orange extract, but it blended wonderfully with the nutmeg and almond flavors. It wasn't a case of too many flavors since there was just enough of each flavor to create a medley that wasn't overpowering itself.
As for the texture, this recipe delivers: flaky and light, with a melt-in-your-mouth quality. It crumbles somewhat, but only in a tender manner and not because it's too dry, which it wasn't in the least bit. No need for additional butter or jam unless you can't eat a scone without it.


Besides scones, the other categories were Irish soda bread, brown bread, and Scottish shortbread -- I'll get to that in a bit. In the scone category there were 9 or 10 entries. Unfortunately, I was a bit camera shy and didn't take any pictures. You'll have to take my word, or not, that many of the other scones seemed like your typical, anemically pale, standard scones studded with fruit, drizzled with icing, and cut into perfect triangles. One was interesting and it seemed to be a peanut flavor of some sort, though I don't know for sure; it just had peanuts on top. There was a scone that resembled a giant thumbprint cookie filled with jam, though it still didn't have the wow factor based on its looks. Many looked like they might have been pasty.


Anyhow, I did not win. I did not even place 3rd. I don't necessarily care, although I'd like to know out of curiosity. My type-A personality came out in full swing and I started going through the various reasons why I might not have placed (and this is about to sound extremely pretentious) I honestly couldn't come up with many. Like you all are to some extent, I'm sure, when it comes to my baking I am my harshest critic. I know by experience what I want things to taste like, based on trial, error, and eats at restaurants and cafes, and I thought these would have had a shot, as I had that "moment" when I made the first batch that I didn't get with the scones I made before (I didn't blog those). So, I have no clue, basically, and must defer to the judges on this matter.

You may now be thinking that this girl has a rather big opinion of her skillz. I don't know, maybe I do, but I can sum my skillz up in one nifty sentence if need be, and that's not big at all. It's more that in many of the activities I do, baking including, it's easy to spot your errors and figure out how it was caused, and that's what was going on up there.


For a brief moment of digression, this cute apron came from CakeSpy. I won a giveaway sponsored by Carolyn's Kitchen back in July. Cupcakes on an apron! Thanks, Jessie and Carolyn!


Back to the topic, my mom decided to enter the brown bread division at the last moment, baking up a blue cheese-onion brown bread. While the scone category had 9-10 entries, Mom was the sole entry. Whether she placed first truly because her bread tasted excellent or simply by default, she says, doesn't matter to her since in the end she's now and forever an award-winning baker. She then went on to say that it doesn't matter what the judges thought, just that her family thought it was good.

That is me with her ribbon and her bread. =D

On another note, this Augusts marks the second year I've been blogging. My first post was an introduction to this place the direction of my blog. Yeah, yeah, I don't really post much about running, and I'm going to actually do something about that, try and even talk about various topics that pertain specifically to running that will help anyone seeking advice. Also, I don't use that dish nearly enough.
My second real food post was about the cinnamon rolls and coffee at the Victorian Pantry.

Looking back through the posts since then, I feel I have grown both in blogging and experience, though I'll never stop learning. I know what makes for a good photograph even if I don't always take them correctly, and as for the "stress" of blogging, I sort of have a handle on that. My tendency is to take too many unintended lapses because I had too many epic posts containing more than five pictures that I needed to edit on my laptop that has a speed between watching paint dry and grass growing and it just became a bit overwhelming. Sometimes I get in a rut and I don't want to have a photo shoot with anything. I just want to eat, readers!

Another reason is because I don't really have a direction, and I feel I should; I simply don't know which way I want to go in the sense of how my blog might be viewed because of it. Do I blog randomly on what makes the cut? Do I have a running theme I blog about a few times a month? And of course, I should actually blog about running. It's just quite a bit to think about, and this isn't even a job! While it always will remain a hobby, both baking/cooking and running are two things I'm very passionate about and if something comes out of this I would be thrilled. Basically, I'm open to the idea of taking this in another direction that what I had originally conceived.

Readers, friends, and anyone lurking, please share your tips. Also, please share what you'd like to see on She Runs, She Eats. I blog for myself, yes, but I also want to be of use to anyone happening upon this blog, and I like to share what I know with others. I also aim to make this as informative as I possibly can, because cooking is something that I feel is about growing and that occurs through experience and help. Where running is concerned, it's pretty much the same; you can learn so much by listening to what others share, and I know that to be true thanks to the many runners who have given me advice.

And finally, this long-winded post must come to an end. Thank you guys for reading, for sharing my foodie-ing with me thus far, and for letting me into your kitchens via your blogs. =)

7 comments:

  1. Sorry those scones didn't take the... errr, cake :) At least they were winners in your eyes!

    Congrats on 2 great years! I'm all about doing what YOU want to do with your blog, what makes you happy and coming back :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. They look scrumptious!!! I will have to make these soon!

    Congratulations on winning and also for blogging for two years :)

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  3. Ha, I am exactly like you - I enter recipe contests all the time and wonder why mine didn't win!

    And congrats to your mom - an award winning baker!!

    I even entered a recipe contest where they just decided to chose the winner by random integer - WTF?!

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  4. A Long Time Ago...In A Galaxy Far Away.... SCONE WARS

    Actaully they were the best scones you have made yet.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A Long Time Ago...In A Galaxy Far Away.... SCONE WARS

    Actaully they were the best scones you have made yet. Sorry about the scone-aly challenged judges, and the keyboardaly challenged me if this posted twice. (once before I was done)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yeah def congrats on the two years, that's pretty cool in today's busy day.

    As far as blogging direction, I like blogs that are focused on a little more than food. Sure, food is great, but I'd rather read a good story or some cool info about the blogger (which is why I like it here). I'd say just blog about whatever... running, a crazy day, or not placing in a contest :) You're doing great. Give us some stuff that shows what Christina ticks.

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  7. It must be so frustrating to not win when your scones look so good, they really do look and sound delicious.

    As for your blog, I love reading about food but I really like reading about your running too. Maybe you could write up runners recipes, what do you eat before/after a race for example.

    Congratulations on the 2 years blogging, that's quite an acheivement!

    P.S. I'm training for a half-marathon in October so any tips would be very welcome!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^

~Christina

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