calendula and sage scones & sage advice

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This may be the wisest advice I can ever hope to impart. For the next time you have a scone disaster, I’ve discovered that there is nothing more pleasant than jam and softly whipped cream. It can rescue even the toughest and stoutest of scones–these scones are one such example of those magically restorative powers. They were suddenly rendered fully and even pleasantly edible. (This was lucky, as I found the bits of sugar and flour they shed a bit too inconvenient to replace some flattened loaves of bread rocks as my favourite paperweights.)

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A not-so recent discovery is that my special skill is “bread-transformation”. Whether biscotti, pastry, or scones, I always manage to overwork the dough and produce something chewy and tough…but with some rather decent gluten development of course.

Calendula flowers apparently taste quite buttery. I can sort of see (though it’s hard to say how much of it is just the power of suggestion and imagination) when I eat them, but they hardly come out in the scones–the main purpose is just for an excitingly speckled dough.

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And what else would this post be without more on the odyssey of me struggling to write blog posts? (Oh woe is me). A friend, who I’ll refer to as the Very Smart Friend, writes this clever and funny and amazing blog, which mostly composes “prose to concrete nouns”. We talked a bit about my struggles, the only conversation topic I typically engage in.

She gave some rather sage advice. It was hardly unexpected; she is one of the most self-composed and disciplined people I know, and awfully good at giving advice.

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Very Smart Friend’s advice was to write about whatever has happened to you lately or whatever it is you’re thinking about. If it’s a bad exam, she suggested, write about that, or maybe write about papers after doing nothing but sifting through pages and pages of papers. From there, you can branch into all sorts of directions. For her, a single word can sprout into a clever essay. For me, I squint, lean back, eat some tough scones and hope that something will come of it. 

And so, today I took her advice.

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calendula and sage spelt sourdough scones

Adapted from Vanessa’s gorgeous sourdough scones.

35 g spelt flour

90 g flour

16 g sugar

good pinch salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

50 g cold butter

15 small sage leaves + extra

2-3 calendula flowers

55 g sourdough starter

70 g buttermilk

egg, to glaze

Whisk together the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder. Thinly sliver the sage leaves and rub together with a spoonful more sugar. Pick the petals from the calendula.

Cut the butter into small pieces, toss into the flour mixture. Rub together with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Add the sage and calendula petals, mix lightly to combine.

Whisk together the sourdough starter and buttermilk until smooth. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add the buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a rough dough.

Turn it out onto a floured surface, knead only once or twice until cohesive. Pat out into a thick circle and cut into desired shapes. Reroll scraps.

Place on a baking sheet, glaze with a bit of egg, sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until golden.

Serve warm, spread generously with apricot jam and whipped cream (or clotted).

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13 thoughts on “calendula and sage scones & sage advice

    1. Thank you Lina!! You’re really so sweet! 🙂 I usually start from recipes, but it’s always more fun if I try some changes as well. These scones didn’t exactly start out delicious, but after the cream and jam…it got there! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Haha, I do wish I had been able to taste the flowers though! If I imagine hard enough…maybe… 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed reading the post as well! I always seem to find it difficult to think of something to write…and as a result, I’m always open to ideas 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am exactly the same, I never think I have interesting to say so reading the advice your friend gave you was super helpful! But I think you do awesome.. I have not read all your posts but the ones I have I have really enjoyed. I find I get bored if things are really long and random but You posts are just the right length and always a little bit of something interesting in there! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. (Awww, she does give good advice, doesn’t she!! 😉 ) Thanks so much! I see what you mean, there definitely is some balance. Sometimes I come across posts that are quite long, but they’re also so engaging and well written that they’re definitely well worth the length. Though I think, especially after your insightful comment, that this length is growing on me (it’s also about all that I can manage!)–enough for, well, SOME randomness and then perhaps an anecdote if something comes to mind. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow, such a wonderful post, and congratulations on your last win :). This is just gorgeous, love your step by step photos, it all makes it so real doesn’t it? I also love the unusual ingredients in these scones, brilliant idea!

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    1. Thank you Loretta! I do like taking step-by-step photos, though I’ve realized that I always start making something as soon as the light is right for photo taking…and then once I’m done, the light usually isn’t so good anymore! Thus, lately I’ve been considering cutting down on the progress photos 🙂 –it does make things a bit faster as well!

      Like

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