About a month ago, I went to my folks place to get some rest and some good old-fashioned country cooking. I had a tick on my head and I felt ill and all I wanted was to get looked after for a couple of days, with Roy away my decision was easy. Mum. It’s amazing that I am 30 years old and I still will go to my folks place to catch up on rest and get fed for a couple of days when I don’t feel great. I am not sure this is a natural instinct for most of us but for me our parents are always there to help pick up the pieces, make soup or generally let me lie on the couch with out me feeling guilty.
Writing a recipe column each week can sometimes be daunting and when you leave it to the last-minute because you are not feeling well is not a good idea. I asked my mum if I could help out in the kitchen for a day making food for their weekly lunches and sweet things for morning/afternoon tea. Over the next four weeks you will get to see those recipes they are all classics in my mum’s kitchen.
I am surprised that I am not orange by the amount of pumpkin scones I have eaten in my life. We never really did plain scones very often it was more about pumpkin. My grandparents live in Bjelke Petersen country and my grandmother has Lady Flo’s cookbook with her prize-winning pumpkin scone recipe in it, which now sits on my bookshelf. So we don’t do plain we do pumpkin.I think that also pumpkin scones are also moister – not sure if that is a real word but you get what I am saying.
Watching my mum craft her scones, which I have not witnessed since I was really young. I forgot that she grew up in a different era from me and is really from a hard-working dairy farm. As I watch mum get the butter out of the container, she slips some of the pumpkin in to get the last of the butter juices out of the container before washing it. She doesn’t want to waste a thing. Its funny, I remember having mashed pumpkin for dinner served up in a margarine container – nothing fancy, yet mum used all the butter before reusing the container for something else.
Watching her do this waste nothing cooking style which comes from her own mothers cooking of the time. I realize I too, yes (mum), do this. I have been known to work in kitchens, where I am teased for making sure every last thing is scraped out of the bowl before going to the sink to be washed, Roy teases me for liking my bowl, I don’t want to waste anything, I finish everything on my plate at dinner – the list goes on. I come from people who don’t waste. In most kitchens I have ever worked in I use to teach people they could eat the stalks of parsley, yes it has the same flavour and to keep all the leafy greens and old bread to take home for my chickens. They would love scraps and in return keep me in good supply of eggs.
I laughed when I too realized I am stingy with food – waste not want not. We live in such a consumer world and maybe I have become a little more relaxed about things. Yet I don’t waste food, I keep my plastic containers, who knows why (mum), maybe so I can store something else in it later instead of adding it to landfill.
Getting back to the scones, taking notes on a piece of paper in my mums kitchen, by the end I have written a novel on how to make the best pumpkin scones. Mind you mum’s didn’t look like they would normally because she has a new oven and still learning how the temperature works as it is a slow heat. Pumpkin scones need hot. The “true test is that you can break them in half without cutting” my mum explains when they are pulled out of the oven ready to be eaten. I take for granted my practicalities – I just thought scones were suppose to do that but apparently they don’t. The recipe is at the end of the post – shorter but still thorough.
Do you still go to your parents place for good old home cooking when you are feeling a little down, sick or tired?
- 400gm Jap pumpkin, cut into 1 inch chunks, skin removed
- 60gm butter, room temperature
- 75gm sugar
- 2 cups (400gm) SR Flour, plus a little extra for shaping
- ¼ cup of milk
- Preheat your oven to 230’c and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Boil the pumpkin in lightly salted water until tender and soft. Drain the water off the pumpkin immediately.
- In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar roughly. Add the warm pumpkin and mix to combine; the butter will melt while you do this.
- Add the flour to the mix and gently fold it through. Once lightly mixed, dust a large chopping board or bench space with flour. Pour the mixture onto the surface and fold again a couple of times with your hands. Being gentle with your hands while you work with the dough the mixture is still a little wet, you really don’t want to overwork it or you will get hard scones.
- Pat out the dough to about 1 inch thick and using a 1 inch biscuit cutter, cut the scones out and place them on your baking tray close together. Keep the biscuit cutter coated in flour so the scones don’t stick to it while cutting.
- Once all the mixture is used up, coat the top of the scones with milk which creates a crust. Place the scones in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, turning the tray around at the ten minute mark.
- Serve the scones immediately with lashings of butter, cream and your favourite jam.
Thanks Mum for cooking for me. 🙂