scone and jamTEA SCONES

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1 stick (4 oz.) cold, unsalted butter

1 egg, plus enough milk to make total 2/3 cup liquid

Optional: 1/2 cup dried or fresh berries

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.

Place in bowl of a food processor or in a mixing bowl.

Add butter and blend until well distributed and mixture resembles oatmeal or tiny peas.

Lightly beat egg in a measuring cup, then add enough milk to produce a total liquid measure of 2/3 cup. Ad the egg/milk mixture to the dry mixture.

Beat gently until mixture holds together.

Gather dough into a ball, place on a lightly floured board and knead gently about 10-12 strokes.

Pat dough into a square evenly with hands to 1/2 inch thick.

Cut this large square into 4 smaller squares and each smaller square into 2-3 rectangular pieces. (You can use cookie cutters for this).

Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Serve warm, with butter or jams, or use to make tea sandwiches.

Makes 8-15 scones.

I bake for three reasons:

1) Celebration (autumn, holidays, birthdays, a friend coming home from Iraq).

2) Distraction (working off nervous energy or trying to reason something out).

3) Craving (I have the job of eating the corners of the brownies because all my co-habitants like “the middle pieces”).

Today I went to the store to get stuff for cookies and tea scones. She’s three, my youngest, and as much as I like to think I have control of my little world, I am honestly just at the mercy of her whims.

Take for instance, what I call the MELIA BATHROOM TOUR ’09.

The second we walk into an eating establishment, the market, a recreation center, or department store, she exclaims “I have to go to the bathroom!” But I try to ignore her for as long as I can.

“I have to go to the bathrooooooooom, Momeeee!” I try to divert her into different store sections, market aisles, or pointing out things that she really couldn’t care less about.

When she starts pulling on her clothes and yelling “I am going to peeeeeee in my pants, then!” I realize I’m dealing with a savvy negotiator, she knows she’s got me, that all eyes are upon us after she exclaims that she will soon soil herself if I don’t comply.

So I give in.

And chalk it up to another stop on the the MELIA BATHROOM TOUR .

I should make t-shirts listing all of the bathrooms we’ve visited in various cities and locations – that would be our family’s version of homemade tie-dye. Or make her baby book into an event program highlighting her extensive restroom experience – it would have more integrity than the most foo-foo pink scrapbook or prettiest picture of this kid that I could ever paint.

Parenting – girls or boys – isn’t always pretty.

My kid likes public restrooms. It is what it is.

She’s never sat patiently and quietly in the kiddie seat of a shopping cart, nor has she been content to color or dot-to-dot on a kid’s menu. She has her own agenda, which includes investigating foam vs. lotion soaps in the varying dispensers restaurants have. She enjoys being scared by aggressive, loud flushing mechanisms, and must display her independence by climbing onto the potty all by herself.

She especially likes motion-activated paper towel machines, and full-length body mirrors by bathroom doors. Sometimes she walks into a stall, places a toilet seat cover onto the toilet, and says “Mommy go pee.” Other times, she walks into a public restroom, takes a look around (behind the doors, under the stall, what not) and looks up at me with a smile, saying “I’m done now.”

Maybe she’ll be a health inspector.

Maybe I should stop trying to figure out what is so fascinating about touring public bathrooms. I think I’d have to be three-years-old to know. All I know is that this little quirk of hers keeps me from ordering a side salad or grabbing a carton a milk and getting into the check stand quickly.

While shopping today, she waited until we were checking out – items on the belt – before she did the potty dance, adding emphatic vocals. Making this more difficult was the fact that I was doing the self-checkout. I looked at her, teeny little thing that she is, trying to think of a workable solution that didn’t inconvenience other shoppers.

I came up with none.

So I gave in.

I picked her up, ran her into the bathroom, tapped my foot on the tile floor until she was through, then rushed back out, smiling the smile of “please feel sorry for me I have a toddler”, not actively seeking out any eye contact from anyone. A sweet, young market employee had bagged some of our items for us while we made this latest bathroom detour, all of which took less than three minutes.

I’m getting kinda good at this.

No one else seemed to notice we had to stop our productive inertia and make said detour. Only me.

Me, who is at the whim of a 3-year-old (not to mention the 10-year-old, or the 7-year-old). On a bathroom tour. It’s one of those things about being a parent I couldn’t have thought up. No way.

And those are the things you remember most.

So I give in.

And I bake.

Smantha Gianulis

Smantha Gianulis

Samantha recently released my her family food memoir, Little Grapes on the Vine…Mommy's Musings on Food & Family .

Samantha is a self-taught chef. She worked in the Catering and Special Events industry for seven years before becoming a stay at home, now a work at home, Mom.
She appeared on NBC's ivillage Live.

Smantha Gianulis

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Smantha GianulisApron Strings Cooking ColumnHome CookingCooking and RecipesTEA SCONES 2 cups flour1/2 tsp. salt2 1/2 tsp. baking powder1/4 cup sugar1 stick (4 oz.) cold, unsalted butter1 egg, plus enough milk to make total 2/3 cup liquidOptional: 1/2 cup dried or fresh berriesPreheat oven to 425 degrees F.Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.Place in bowl of a...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids