Sunday, March 19, 2006

Chef JR

In honor of my ethnic heritage, which often seems to get lost between the overwhelming Italian-Americaness of our neighborhood and Dad's close-knit family and the search to learn more about JR's Kazakhstani culture - I decided to make soda bread with JR this afternoon. We used my friend Kate's tried and true recipe for "scone." It's a great recipe for cooking with a toddler, since it involves lots of flour and other white ingredients and butter, best mixed in by hand. Finally, a healthy dose of raisins is thrown into the mix. At one point, I looked at JR, covered head to toe in gloppy doughy white stuff. "Mom, I look like a chef!" That or the Pillsbury Doughboy.

If I do say so myself, JR's first scone was AWESOME.

Kate's Scone:

5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 qt. buttermilk
1-1/2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put flour in a big bowl. Work the stick of butter in with your hands until it blends into the flour in little pieces. Add sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, tartar. Mix. Add buttermilk. You may not need the whole quart (depends on the flour, humidity, etc.) Add the raisins. It should be a big gloopy mess, very wet. Flour a well seasoned cast-iron pan (10"). If your pan is not well-seasoned, grease and flour. Bake at 350 degrees for 70 - 80 minutes (I covered the pan for the first hour, then finished with the pan uncovered. Do the toothpick test to see if it is cooked in the middle (the top should be a golden brown). Allow to sit in the pan about 15 minutes, run a knife around the edge and bang it out.

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