The love of place is as real, as strong, and as important as any love. I felt it on the wild remote coast of Tasmania. I’ve felt it over and over on visits to Yorkshire – my ancestral home and the place I spent my formative years. I’ve felt in the south of France – the north of France – the middle of France. The sunshine coast of Australia. Salt Spring Island off the coast of Vancouver. I’ve felt it in the rugged, wilderness of Northern Canada. In Killarney Provincial Park as I watched a blue moon rise over the lakes and listened to the loons call to each other. I’ve felt it the Rocky Mountains, in Mexico. And absolutely in Newfoundland. Definitely there. That was love at first sight.
Yet, no matter how far I go in the world, it’s hard to beat autumn in Eastern Ontario. Even despite what’s coming next – that unspeakable long cold season that follows – it’s hard to resist the allure of autumn here with its long cool nights and crisp bright days. The sky is strewn with wisps of clouds, the sailboats are still bobbing on the water, the garden is still productive, and I’m back in the kitchen, happy to return to leisurely, long, slow cooking. To homemade soups and simmering stews and braises.
This morning I had the first craving for pumpkin. I made these scones before breakfast and ate two dripping with butter alongside a huge mug of coffee while I listened to the radio. Could there be anything better? It’s always the simplest of things that provide the most pleasure.
Make these pumpkin scones round, or in wedges, or even hearts. They’re so easy, and despite the whole wheat flour and pumpkin, they actually rise. And so easy to vegan-ize – just use vegan margarine in place of the butter.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup cold butter or vegan margarine
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup cream or almond milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp almond milk
pinch of ground cinnamon and ginger
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl.
Cut in the margarine until reasonably well blended. The mixture should be slightly crumbly.
In a separate bowl combine the pumpkin, almond milk, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and form dough into a ball. If you need to add more liquid add almond milk by the tablespoonful until you have a slightly wet, but not sopping wet, dough.
Pat out on a lightly floured board, folding the dough over itself two or three times. Shape into a circle about 3/4 inch thick and cut into eighths. Place on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for about 14 minutes or until the scones are browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Combine glaze ingredients and use a whisk or a fork to drizzle over the scones. Allow to set before serving.
If you want to “Starbuck” them – add a drizzle of melted white and dark chocolate glaze. Mine just have a simple white glaze – 3 tbsp icing sugar, tiny bit of vanilla, tiny pinch of salt, and enough cream or coconut milk (or whatever you like) to blend.