I’ve never been one to spend much time dealing with household matters, and have certainly lived with at least one kitchen that was never sullied by such messiness as cooking or baking. I’m not proud of my record of barely ever sorting washing but I struggle with these everyday tasks because there are always more interesting things to do. Now I also have the challenge of trying to complete boring household tasks while a couple of ankle-biters encircle me like mini sharks, demanding cuddles and attention and shockingly, food.
I have a collection of recipes that is usually only perused when preparing for visitors, but actually when I embrace the creative potential of my culinary pursuits I am able to achieve those “interesting things” while also providing food for the young’uns. I’m working on an attitude shift.
Today I decided to bake something that was suitable for the kids. These scones are made moist by mashed pumpkin and sweetened by very sticky dates. Practically health food!
It turns out that scones are difficult. I suspect a lot of practice is required. I followed the recipe, one of my unidentified magazine clippings, to the letter — which is unusual for me — but a variety of things were not quite right. The dough was too moist and impossible to knead and cut without the addition of lots of extra flour. My oven was too hot, so the first batch came out like rubble. And then my second batch, which looked golden and seemed springy, was doughy in the centre.
So even when I try to embrace domestication, I’m not that good at it. And there’s some satisfaction in that, given my reluctance. But can you imagine my dismay when I searched online for the source of my scone recipe, and found that it came from that bastion of female domesticity, The Australian Women’s Weekly. There can be no more denying it; now I just have to either embrace, replace or renovate my role.
(The chopped dates don’t look very attractive in glob form, at top. But once I got the texture and consistency right, the finished scones were tasty and popular with the family).