Sunday, November 25, 2007
First of all, I'm done with the novel. After an all-day stint of writing yesterday, I got to "The End" and to 50,276 words at the same time. I can now cross "Write a Novel" off my list of life's goals.
I had a secret plan in case I couldn't make it quite to 50,000 words. Two of my main characters are amateur bakers (what a surprise!), and they bake various things throughout the book. I figured that if I didn't make the word count by November 30, I'd just add the recipes. The more I thought about it, the more integral the recipes seemed. As it happened, I didn't need the extra words, but I'm still including the recipes in the novel.
I thought I'd already decided what recipes I was going to use. To my surprise, though, Thea's mother entered the story, and she decided to bake scones. I didn't know that was going to happen. You know how writers are always claiming that their characters just do things on their own? That always seemed pretty unbelievable to me, yet there she was, this new character who just barged into Thea's kitchen and made scones. She doesn't even have a name. She's just "Thea's mom." (Like mothers often are--mere appendages to their children).
When I woke up this morning, I was disappointed that there were no scones for me to eat. After all, I'd invented the damn character; did I have to bake the scones too? It seems that I did.
When Jim walked into the kitchen, he was delighted to see me mixing up scones. "Scones! What a wonderful idea!" "They're Thea's mother's scones," I told him. He nodded knowingly. "Ah," he said, and walked out. He may not be sure who she is, but he thinks that Thea's mother makes a mean scone.
Thea's Mother's Cream Scones
1/3 c. currants
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
3 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
4 T. cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla
1/3 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 T. heavy cream to brush on scones
Extra sugar to sprinkle on scones
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt; then cut in butter until the mixture resembles meal.
3. Combine eggs, cream, and vanilla, and stir it into the flour mixture, along with currants and nuts.
4. Turn dough onto floured counter and knead lightly about 10 times.
5. Pat dough into circle about 3/4" thick. Brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar.
6. Cut into 8 to 12 wedges, depending on how big you want the scones to be.
7. Place wedges on baking pan lined with parchment paper.
8. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison