Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scones and Work

Do you ever feel like you are just going to die if you don't get something as soon as possible that is sugary, breadlike and goes well with an afternoon coffee?  No?  Well, good for you, although I don't understand you at all.  I get those urges a lot, and Niek's suggestion to go eat a piece of fruit to stifle that craving is insulting.  Firstly, gross, fruit and latt├ęs don't go together at all.  Secondly, I have tried that trick before and no matter what nutritionists say, an apple does not make my desire for cake go away.  If anything it leaves me irritated, because I feel full from that stupid piece of fruit but completely unfulfilled.

I'm trying to get myself into a bit of a re-writing frenzy (when am I not doing this?) so I can finish a chapter and send it to my advisor.  This means spending a lot of time at home willing myself to be productive and taking lots of "breaks" with housework and yes, occasionally baking.  There's nothing particularly Dutch about the scones I made for myself during one of these said breaks.  Regan could even make these in Nigeria if she could her hands on some chilled butter.  Fortunately the Dutch are plagued/blessed with a surplus of dairy cattle, so that's not a problem for me.

In fact, the price of milk and butter is shockingly low here, probably because they've been conditioned to consume dairy in large quantities.  It's the only place I've ever been where it is standard practice to serve milk and buttermilk as drink options during a conference lunch.  I've been to a few history conferences here, and it's always the same lunch: lunch meat sandwiches and cheese sandwiches (but never meat and cheese together) and your choice of milk or buttermilk.  You should have seen the look the caterer gave me when I practically had to beg for a glass of water instead.
So when I found myself needing a snack to go with my coffee, I went for quick and easy.  A few turns of the food processor and fifteen minutes in the oven later, I had dense scone topped with some sugar and cinnamon to complement the coffee and work.  So much more satisfying than an apple.


  1. Wait a sec. I couldn't get past the fruit doesn't go with latte. Have you tried raspberries or cherries? Chocolate-covered strawberries work well, too.

    My travel advisor tells me that my planned trip to Netherlands, Germany and Denmark (all Frisian islands) is the worst idea ever: "Cows and grain. You've got that where you are now."

  2. I love raspberries or cherries with coffee if they're in a pie or pastry. So in that sense, they go perfectly with a latte. Coffee just seems to upset my stomach if I don't have it without something a little bready, and coffe plus fruit equals a really upset digestive system for me. Is that weird? Maybe I'm just a wimpy coffee drinker.

    I laughed out loud about your travel agent's comment. It's true, although I still can't get used to the lack of corn fields. I grew up in Indiana, so I was used to seeing endless fields of soybeans and corn. Here I've seen everything from tulips to sweet peas but no soybeans.

    What a fun trip you're planning. I've only been to Texel and Schiermonnikoog, but I loved both of them. If you're visiting the Wadden Islands in the Netherlands, you can tell your travel agent that you'll be seeing many more sheep than cows. The islands are full of sheep it seems.

  3. May I just say how much I enjoy the conversations between Diana and Steve Q? I feel like you guys are two old friends I introduced to each other, yet I have only met one of you once for one minute.

    Diana, I have the same problem with fruit and coffee. I wouldn't dare mixing them. I couldn't even tolerate coffee with berries, even dipped in chocolate. But that scone with coffee? Yes, please. When exactly are you planning that part of your history project that takes you to Denmark? :)

  4. I love the comments from Steve Q., and it's all because you added me to your blog roll. So, thanks! Getting comments from your guys makes writing this blog so much fun.

    Come on over to Amsterdam. I'll have some scones waiting. You know, I suppose I could incorporate Denmark into my project. There were plenty of Danes working for the Dutch East Indies Company in the seventeenth century. Too bad I don't read Danish. Maybe if I squint my eyes a bit, I could pretend it was a mixture of Dutch and German that happens to have a few o's with lines crossed through them for fun.

  5. Hey Diana,
    I saw this post yesterday and it made me want a scone too. Unfortunately the one I got at the campus coffee shop was not good at all. I am looking forward to getting a scone at my favorite coffee shop in San Diego this weekend. Where did you get your recipe? I would love to try to make these, the last scones I made did not turn out very well.

  6. Hey, Rell! So good of you to come over and read the blog. UCLA's scones were never very good either, except for their cranberry ones. Have fun at your coffee place in San Diego. Did you guys make it over to Intelligentsia in Silverlake yet? That's some good coffee, and you get to observe all the hipsters in their natural environment, too. :)
    My scone recipe came from Williams and Sonoma Baking. I'll send you the recipe, super easy and quite delicious.

  7. Diana, we'll just have to find a good Dutch race to run to get a scone. That's our usual excuse for travelling.

    How does a girl like me get your email address? I'm trying to contact all of the book authors via email and realized I don't have yours :(.