Tuesday night, I dreamt of the characters I’ve been writing about. It was the best dream I’ve had in ages. They were real people! With foibles! I could feel the warmth of them through their shirts, and the cold condensation from a windowpane on my index finger. I hardly ever have such vivid dreams anymore. Since I had my daughter, I sleep like a fireman– always ready to hop up and save the world. Or, in the case of a mom, always ready to escort a sleepyhead to the bathroom or clean up vomit or soothe a sweaty, discomfited little brow. I used to sleep like the dead, but no longer. Because of a late night yoga class, though, I think I might luck out and start dreaming again.
Dreams are goldmines to writers– at least to this writer. The relationship dynamic I was trying to forge with three main characters was floundering in real life, on the page. It felt forced. But in my dream? Their interactions were fraught with natural tension. Bingo!
But today I chickened out. I had my moment to write it down, and I scuppered it. What if I didn’t capture it? Well, so I definitely didn’t capture it, because I avoided sitting down and writing it out of my brain and onto the paper.
I did have company coming, so my excuse rode the edge of legitimacy. But I did NOT have to watch two entire episodes of Jonathan Creek, straight in a row. I also did not have to scour the internet for cute skirts I cannot buy. And I definitely did not need to peruse perfumes online– 1. Because I cannot afford to buy any, and 2. Smell-O-Vision hasn’t actually been invented yet, so while White Musk sounds like it would smell great, I have not learned through enough trial and error that it smells like something died on me.
Another thing I did to avoid writing was to bake scones. I’ve never had an abundance of fresh chives in the house, and I also found I had no snacky things to go with tea– so I made Cheddar and Chive Scones! Unfortunately, I added sugar before I realized I didn’t have any currants, because these were originally going to be Drunken Currant Scones. The sugar’s all wrong for Cheddar and Cheese, so I’m leaving it out of the recipe for you. If you do replace the cheddar and chives with currants, or raisins soaked in Southern Comfort (my favorite!), then add it back in.
Scones of Avoidance Cheddar and Chive Scones
1 stick butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 1/3 cups all-purpose white flour
2/3 cup barley flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
salt, to taste
3/4 cup yogurt mixed with water for a buttermilk consistency
1/3 cup fresh chopped chives
1/3 cup chopped cheddar cheese
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients (including sugar, if you’re making sweet scones instead). Add the chives and cheddar (or, again, if you’re doing liquor-soaked raisins, dump them in now) with the yogurt-water mixture. Turn the dough onto a floured board and work quickly, because you don’t want the butter to melt. Pat the dough to about 1 1/2 inches thick, and then cut with a biscuit cutter. There is no need to grease the baking sheet, because these are pretty rich. Brush the scones with an eggwash, and bake for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. For sweet scones, a milk wash with some sugar sprinkled on top is pretty.
Easy peasy! Now you can have some food with your tea.
Oh, I should have called these Scarlet Chives scones! No, That’d be weird. And slightly creepy.
In other news, I’ve started a sourdough starter. I’m following this site— you should try it, too! Why not? I tried a starter a few years ago, and it didn’t do anything but fester. I was trying a water-starter, so I think it just died right away. I made a very funny tasting bread from it anyway, and I’m probably lucky I didn’t die from it. I am only kind of joking. It really did taste pretty funny. But this starter has juice in it, which I think it really needs to get going and thrive. I’m excited, because this is blending my loves of cooking and eating with my other love of science experiments! To be quite honest, that’s what got me cooking in the first place.
One of my earliest memories is of dragging a kitchen chair to the counter, filling a jar halfway with vinegar, and then adding the vilest combination of seasonings and condiments. I told my mom I was trying to make a potion so that if any robbers came into the house, they would drink the stinky potion and then be so scared that they would run right out of the house. I also remember a separate time, again involving dragging the chair to the kitchen counter, and adding nearly an entire canister of Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder to some kind of batter, hoping to make a chocolate cake. It just didn’t taste like chocolate, so I kept on adding cocoa powder.
My mom doesn’t really bake a lot, and didn’t back then, either, so she didn’t miss the sudden dearth of cocoa powder. I had taken matters into my own hands! My daughter is content to help Mommy follow a recipe, or to let me do the heavy mixing. But she has a Mommy who bakes, so the way she finds cooking is going to be a little different, I’m sure. Hopefully, her whole relationship with food will be different.
Wish me luck for tomorrow’s writing. No excuses. It’s not going to write itself! Well, actually it is, but I still have to pick up the pen.