An Answer to my Rhetorical Question?

I asked in my last post if I would ever catch up things, especially in the house. The answer came in an e-mail not long after I posed that question.

We will be hosting a few people from the advertising agency, mono. Tomorrow. Almost exactly 24 hours from now. They want to meet a farm family that raises some of the organic corn that goes into the Prairie Grains Organic Vodka. They are rolling out a new ad campaign, I guess.

This is the time where I would love if my house had a self cleaning setting, like my oven does. Just a flick of a switch and all the dust and grime would simply vanish. Sigh. I can dream, right?

Confession. I hate cleaning. A lot. Don’t get me wrong. I love it when the house is spotless. I just don’t love getting it there. To me it is about as appealing as a trip to the dentist.

In the past, I have bought books on how to clean your house with little effort that turns it into a joy. I am pretty sure the ladies who write these books are not vacuuming up corn, soybeans, wheat, field peas, or the copious amounts of soil that get transported in on work boots. I am guessing they haven’t dealt with hydraulic oil or engine grease on door handles or light switch plates and the walls that surround them.  Then there are the various items that come into the house in the pockets of jackets and jeans. Nails, screws, cotter pins, hitch pin clips,  papers from the bulk fuel guy or elevator weigh slips. I now use a little shop vac to clean the tile floors.  That is my cleaning tip of the week!

The time spent doing the mundane does give me time to plan out what to serve for the “little lunch” that we like to have for our guests. Jonathan and Laura wouldn’t mind Lemon Bundt Cake, but I’m looking for something a little different. Pumpkin Scones maybe?

The good thing about entertaining the folks from mono, is that I will be able to enjoy my clean house. Until harvest starts at the end of the week.

This is my favorite Pumpkin Scone recipe. I actually make them about 1/2 size to make it friendlier to those like me who are watching calories.

Starbucks® Pumpkin Scones
By Todd Wilbur

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg
6 tablespoons cold butter

Plain Glaze
1 cup plus 1 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Icing
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cloves

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ginger in a large bowl.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half-and-half, and eggs.
4. Cut butter into cubes then add it to the dry ingredients. Use a pastry knife or a fork to combine butter with dry ingredients. Continue mixing until no chunks of butter are visible. You can also use a food processor: Pulse butter into dry ingredients until it is the texture of cornmeal or coarse sand.
5. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1 -inch thick rectangle that is about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide. Use a large knife or a pizza wheel to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough.
6. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper. Scones should begin to turn light brown.
7. While scones cool, prepare plain glaze by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Mx until smooth.
8 When scones are cool, use a brush to paint a coating of the glaze over the top of each scone.
9. As that white glaze firms up, prepare spiced icing by combining ingredients in another medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.Makes 6 scones.

Author: Carolyn Olson

I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. In 1988, I married my best friend, and moved to the farm. Jonathan and I have three daughters, and will soon have a son-in-law! I love life on the farm, and wouldn't trade it for anything!

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