Daily Archives: 19 April 2010

Happy Patriot’s Day

Today is Patriot’s Day. I suspect this is a little known holiday outside of Massachusetts (and Maine, which used to be part of Massachusetts), though it actually has national significance. In the Boston area, many people think of the holiday as “Boston Marathon” Day.

Patriot’s Day actually commemorates the start of the American Revolution, back on April 17, 1775. Remember the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere? Living in Lexington, Massachusetts, we have a lot going on in town for this holiday. My favorite events include: The night before, there is the late night arrival of Paul Revere on horseback at the Hancock-Clarke House to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British Regulars were on their way. Then, there is the early morning re-enactment of the battle of Lexington on the Green. There are fund-raising pancake breakfasts. There’s a road race that goes right by our house. And, there’s the good old-fashioned parade through the center of town.

I made the mistake of not taking off the day from work today. Sometimes, Howard and I both take the day off and get started cleaning up the garden. This year, we had a head start. I planted my pansies and cleaned out the herb garden a couple of weeks ago. I ended up scheduling some meetings for today so I couldn’t even spontaneously take the day off.

After a damp, raw weekend, today turned out to be a beautiful day, crisp and sunny. Unfortunately, I spent the day inside, at my desk. I would have loved to enjoy the parade instead.

I couldn’t really think of anything to cook that went with the Patriot’s Day theme. What I came up with was a batch of scones, as a tribute to the country’s British heritage. Of course, the point of the American Revolution was to separate from the mother country, but we always have to remember where we came from.

Apricot and Golden Raisin Cream Scones
Adapted from Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
Makes 1 dozen

½ cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 tsp lemon extract
3 Tbsp sugar
2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp wheat germ
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
6 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
3/8 cup diced dried apricots
3/8 cup golden raisins
More cream and turbinado sugar, for tops of scones

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, salt and baking powder. With your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is the texture of cornmeal. Toss the apricots and raisins in the flour mixture to distribute and coat.

In another bowl, combine the cream, egg, lemon extract, and sugar. Using a fork, mix the cream mixture into the flour mixture until just combined into a dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 30 seconds.

Divide the dough in half. Pat each half into a circle about 1 inch high and 6 inches across. Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Transfer the scones to a baking sheet. Brush each wedge with some cream, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake scones for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with butter, jam, or just plain.