Mom gave me a couple of special vintage cook books - the one on the left belonged to my Scottish Grandma and has her handwriting all over it, and I remember the one on the right from the years my folks lived in Mackinaw City. That recipe taped to the front page of Grandma's cookbook is our family recipe for Scottish scones:
Very gently mix together
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
Fold together until just combined - dough will be sticky. In our family, scones (pronounced rhyming with FAWN, not PHONE) the dough was rolled out with a rolling pin on a heavily floured board into a circular shape, cut into triangles and and dry-fried on a griddle. I have made more American/contemporary style scones with the same batter by mixing in dried fruit, or chocolate chips and orange peel, and dropping the batter by spoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined sheet and baking them - these are like the "typical" American scones.
My friend Linette helped a stray cat last Winter who is semi-feral and wasn't doing well as a house cat. She moved into my barn this weekend, and is doing just fine - getting along with the other barn cats and seems happy and relaxed.
Owl passed away from natural causes last night. She came to me a few years ago from neighbors down the street whose kids had raised her for 4H, and she was no longer "wanted". Owl was by far the friendliest hen of the flock, never minding being held or petted, and she consistently laid beautiful khaki blue eggs. She was probably about 5 or 6 years old, the average lifespan of a hen. I laid her under a pine tree out in the woods.
So two middle aged men just came to the farm. They got out of a red truck wearing ties, and from a distance (I was out in the cheese room) I was sure it was some kind of state drop-in by my dairy inspectors. One of the guys looked like the bad guy from Diamonds Are Forever (see picture above) and the other one was wearing a walking boot cast. I asked him what happened to his foot, and he told me he had a diabetic ulcer removed, and he had the worst halitosis. So disgusting.
They invited me to church and give me a copy of Watchtower, the famed free paper I used to get offered all the time when I lived in Jersey City, where there was a huge Jehovah's Witness church. I stopped them pretty soon into their pitch and informed them, super politely, that I admired their commitment to their faith to try to inform people about their religion door to door, but that I very conscientiously did not attend church or participate in organized religion of any kind. They were nice about it and didn't try to push me.
For the hell of it, I asked where their church stood on homosexuality. The foot cast guy said something like this:
Footcast: "We don't HATE gay people, in fact we have some who have been baptized and are Witnesses at our church. We just require that they be INACTIVE gay people."
Me: "You mean celibate."
Footcast: "Well, yes. But we don't HATE them.
Sue: "Well then, I'm afraid you would not welcome me at your church because I have gay family and friends, and take the complete opposite point of view."
Footcast: "We believe that HERTERO (he kept mispronouncing it) sexual intercourse takes place between one man and one woman, as it says in the scriptures. We adhere very strictly to the scriptures."
So we chatted about cheese making and other light topics and DAF (Diamond Are Forever) told me he was 55 (I asked them both how old they were) and that he was going through MAN-o-pause, that it had contributed to his divorce, that he cried all the time and that he was really self-conscious of having lost his hair. He believed he lost his hair because he produced too much testosterone and that as he aged, he had hormone imbalance. He said he worries a lot about what people think of him.
They were nice people, but so misguided and I can't relate to how they think or lead their lives in any way.
On Sunday, the Traverse City area got hit with one of the worst storms in years. The sky looked like something out of a science fiction movie - this is a picture that I found on line. Thankfully, the animals and I were not much worse for wear - the power flickered a few times, but we were OK. Some people are still without power today, and there was a lot of crop damage, trees and power lines down - terrible. But it was spectacularly beautiful and surreal.