Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ginger Scones for Hurried People

The sad fact of the matter is that many people do not cook because they simply do not have the time. Fortunately, this recipe is for everyone, even people with no time on their hands. To prove it, let us examine the case of someone who is very rushed: a man or woman attempting to escape a burning building.

Ginger Scones: Express Conflagration Version

You will need:

Two and a half cups of flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
One teaspoon chopped lemon zest
Six ounces of butter
2/3 cup candied ginger
1 tablespoon powdered ginger
3/4 cup heavy cream, plus some more cream for later

It has already been established that you are in a burning office building. First, take stock of your surroundings. Can you see the fire, or can you only smell it? If you are near the fire, how hot is it? For this recipe, you'll need it to be around 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so stoke the fire if necessary.

First of all, don't panic. People use fires to cook all the time.

Find a bowl-shaped object, such as a plant pot, and get as low to the ground as possible. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in the bowl and crawl toward a window to get some fresh air. Next, add the lemon zest and butter, mixing until you have achieved the legendary "fine meal" consistency. As you mix, observe the structural integrity of your building. Will it hold for the next twenty minutes? If not, crawl under a desk and continue with your recipe.

Find some scissors or a paper cutter and cut your candied ginger into thin strips. Stir these into your mixture, and make a well in the middle. Pour the cream into the well and mix until your dough forms.

Have you called the Fire Department yet? If not, now would be a good time, as the fire fighters would arrive just in time to eat a fresh hot scone.

Knead your dough and gather it into one big sticky ball. Then, shape it into little triangles and brush the tops with the remaining cream. If your coworkers are trying to evacuate you, tell them to go on ahead because you're almost finished.

Ordinarily, you would bake these scones on a lined baking sheet, but in a hostile office environment, you may have no such luxury. Thus, grab your desk and place it directly over the fire. Empty your largest desk drawer and place the scones inside. If you have any pancake batter, you may also use the top of your desk as a griddle.

Depending on the size of the fire, you'll have to cook them around fifteen minutes. Check on them every so often, just in case.

Once your scones are finished, find a fly swatter and hold it in the fire. This will sterilize the fly swatter so you can use it as a spatula to retrieve your scones from the drawer. Arrange them artistically atop a three-ring binder and crawl toward the door.

If you timed it correctly, the fire department should chop the door into pieces with their fire axes just as you arrive. You will then be carried to safety and given a respirator while the firemen and survivors enjoy your scones and thank you for risking your life to make them. You may now congratulate yourself not only for triumphing over the fiery wrath of nature, but also for proving that anyone can cook, no matter how little time they have.

Thanks to Epicurious for the base recipe, as always.


  1. Hi, Travis. Congratulations on introducing humour to baking-blogging, at home and elsewhere, in KC. Yours is the funniest writing on food from there, since Calvin Trillin started writing about fried chicken and BBQ.

    I enjoyed your post on scones on fire and look forward to your future musings.


  2. What a funny bakerman you are :-)

    The use of ginger in scones is certainly a bold choice. St Dalfour makes a sugarless combo jam which, I think, would compliment the ginger scones nicely - pineapple and mango jam.

  3. Great blog!

    You should put an RSS button on your site so people can subscribe via reader!

    I will be following!