One of the things I’m known for within my culinary classrooms are the ‘tips’ that I share in every session. I also like to share a large part of myself with the guests, opening the door for more communication and warmth. I thought this week I would share a few ‘Debbie’ tips for the next few weeks. There is a need to preface this by openly saying: “I don’t always have the time to implement some of my own suggestions.” Especially as I get older the energy level kind of putters after coming home from work. But still, it is the effort the counts. Let’s see what we can do here:
- On Sunday make a big dinner. Providing leftovers for at least 2 more family dinners.
- Constantly have fresh stock in the freezer. This makes every dish taste better!
- Remember to stock in specific ingredients in the case of a serious power
outage. Canned spam, instant oatmeal, applesauce, soups, vegetables, fruit, peanut butter and dry milk powder for starters.
- A small chest freezer is imperative for most families. I was single for many years and I always had one. If you’re going to be a savvy shopper you’ve got to put things back when they’re on sale. E. This past weekend it was butter….man did I stock up!
- Establish a group of friends that you can cook with. You don’t need a ‘company’ to organize this for you, with a fee attached. Agree on 2-3 dishes that you would like to have for the freezer. Plan a couple of weeks in advance so items can be procured at the best price. Each person is responsible for bringing ingredients and freezing containers for each person participating. I know folks do ‘cookie’ exchanges, but I think main dish exchanges and sides is a much healthier avenue.
- Make grocery lists and try to keep additional items from the cart.
- Brew your own tea and don’t buy gallon jugs at $2-$3. Each.
- Serve Breakfast meals one night a week. It saves considerable $.
- Consider meatless meals once a week and do bean dishes instead.
- If you want to entertain but find it too expensive do a pancake breakfast!
These tips aren’t just for the holidays they’re for all year round. As is the recipe this week. Scone recipes can be very simplistic once a solid core recipe is outlined. Start re-creating the flavors and ingredients from there. Today it’s cranberry/orange, but in the spring it’s almond/blueberry.
Scones are probably one of my favorite baked goods, as long as they are moist.
Simple to make, easy to freeze, yummy on the palate.
This morning while I was darting in the grocery store, to get milk, for the culinary school I did an about face. I had the best intentions of running in, grabbing the milk, paying and getting right out the door. As soon as I stepped inside the door I visually saw one of those ‘Whoa’ signs with the horse head printed on it. I sincerely believe that it’s because of the running, grabbing and exiting that our countries are in such turmoil. My mini lecture series is that we have to show an interest in those around us. Step out of our comfort zones and visit with someone in the grocery store. There are people who need our warmth, kind words and encouragement. Texts & emails cannot replace the human connection, only we can.
With that said, grab a pan of scones and a thermos of coffee and head someplace besides the easy chair and make someone’s day. Mini lecturette complete, enjoy the scones everyone.
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Cranberry Orange Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
- tablespoons sugar
1-1 1/2 teaspoons zested orange peel
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup dried craisins
3/4 cup buttermilk
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to blend. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter. Add craisins and milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
Divide the dough in half and roll out each portion onto a floured work surface. If you’re doing a circle style scone, work into a round ball and then pat down into about an 8 inch circle. Mark round scones with an impression for 6 pie shaped wedges, being careful not to cut through. Bake 10-15 minutes at 350-400 degrees. Allow to cool. Yield: Approximately 12 when cut into biscuit portions.