I found out I was pregnant with my son the day before Mother’s Day, and this time of the year always brings me back to those months of first kicks and drinking so many topo chico’s that I gave myself the worst heartburn of my life. I loved (almost) everything about being pregnant. I loved feeling my crazy child tumbling around in my growing belly and the way older women I didn’t know would notice my baby bump and smile. He brought life to so many hard times, like losing my father-in-law when I was 5 months pregnant. Those months held so much promise and sweetness in the midst of tragedy.
I haven’t been a mom for long, but I hope when my son looks back the word that defines his experience of me is kindness. I’ve made so many mistakes as a mother. I frustratedly fumbled my way through the first months, it took 10 months just to feel like I had my feet under me again and there have been so many seasons since that I felt like I was losing my mind. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last 4 years it’s that when my son is at his craziest I’ve never regretted choosing kindness over frustration. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. When I look at my sweet, curious little one so many questions come up about his future and who he will be, but my greatest hope is that he will grow up to be kind and to love people well.
I think so much of modeling kindness to our children is not just showing them how to be kind to others but also showing them how we are kind to ourselves. Remembering, in our moments of failure, that giving ourselves permission to fail and try again gives our children permission to do the same. An apology and a piece of chocolate go a long way when you’re 4 and have had your feelings hurt (…or when you’re 30). It’s reconnection that matters.
When I notice frustration arising faster than grace doing something fun with my son is so helpful, and baking is one of our favorites. These scones are simple, easy and great to make with little ones. They can get their hands messy, help pat down the dough and cut circles out to be baked. I love these with the slightly floral scent of lilac sugar but they are equally as delicious with plain (or vanilla) sugar. You could also add a few drops of lavender extract instead of using lilac sugar.
I’ve found that the trick to making delicious scones is working quickly and baking immediately. The ingredients should be very cold, especially the butter. I’ve seen recipes that involve grating frozen butter, etc. but I find it’s easiest for me to work the butter into the dough by hand. Feel free to use whatever method works best for you.
- one bunch of fresh lilacs
- clean, dry jar
- This recipe is really about proportions, so you can make as much or as little sugar as you'd like. Give your lilacs a good shake to be sure there aren't any little critters hiding in the blossoms, then pinch off individual blossoms and place them in the jar. Fill the jar to about ¾ full, then fill with sugar and give it a good shake. Seal, leave it for a couple of days, then sift out the flowers and bake away!
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated lilac sugar, vanilla sugar, or plain sugar
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- few pinches lemon zest
- turbinado sugar (or another coarse sugar), for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt to combine. Add the butter and, with a pastry blender or your fingers, work it into the flour until it is the texture of coarse breadcrumbs.
- Whisk together the egg, whipping cream, vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add the cream mixture, and mix with a wooden spoon just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work
suface, pat the dough into a ½ to ¾ inch circle, and cut rounds with a biscuit cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheet, brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned.