The coffee maker clicked. Odd how a sound that tiny and two rooms away can pry my eyes open from a dead sleep. As always, it did. Rolling out and rubbing my eyes, I wondered if the sandman had poured his entire bucket into my eyes the night before.
Roasted beans toss helplessly against the sharp blade. Warm water washes the sandy grounds of their essence and steals it away to the carafe below.
My cup clinks against another as I take it from the cupboard. Glistening white cream splashes into a creamer next to plated scones, a pencil, and a worn spiral notebook.
Long before my little tiny family wakes, I am gathering up my sacred alone time items. This morning is special. For the first time in a long while, I am heading to the patio. As prisoners held indoors by pounding summer heat, we have to wait and wait some more. The first hint of air cooled by the coming of dear, sweet fall is our parole. Jasmine, marigolds and verbena are still showing up. This morning they look a little less weary. Petunias are gearing up for a splendid show.
The summer time silence of the birds is broken. They chatter and ride the cool thin air. Branches bob, and leaves fall from the trees as they play. Sprinklers hiss. We live for these days of respite from the raging heat. Summer is pondering withdrawal of its punishment and the mornings are glorious with the gift of a little chill.
Cream swirls in my cup of sepia wake up juice and turns it to the color of a toasted almond. Perfect. Cinnamon and vanilla scented steam rise from my cup. I dip a scone and crack open my writing tablet. How fortunate to be here, my favorite place on earth, my refuge, my patio. I am happy to scratch words onto paper as birds sing all around me. My words may not be golden, or my backyard The Getty, but to be here sipping coffee and writing as the sun, and flowers are waking up is golden to me.
The day stretches out before me with so many have-to’s. For now, though, I will sip, dip, write, and enjoy this tiny prelude to fall.
Almond Lemon Scones
½ Cup of slivered almonds
2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoon baking powder
¼ Teaspoon salt
½ Teaspoon baking soda
1/3 Cup sugar
1 Large egg
5 Tablespoons butter, cubed
1/3 Cup buttermilk
1/3 Cup milk
1 Teaspoon almond extract
1 Teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 Cup powdered sugar (for dusting)
Toast slivered almonds in a pan on the stovetop, at medium heat. Stir occasionally, and don’t leave, they burn quickly. When you can smell the almonds, remove from heat. Pour onto paper towels to cool.
Put almonds into a food processor and pulse until medium to fine crumbs. Mix all dry ingredients together. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter. Gradually add eggs, milk, buttermilk, and extracts and mix well. The dough will be a little tacky. Form two equal balls, coat each with a little flour and flatten out to 6-8” diameter. Cut the dough into wedges. Bake wedges on parchment covered cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes.
Put powdered sugar in a wire colander and shake over the scones while they are still warm.