by M. N. Kollar
We Christians have our own language. We say these strange things and other Christians know what we mean and/or how to respond. Think about the Catholic church, for example. If someone mentions Paul getting knocked off his beast, we know that is when he encountered God. And, how about “God will meet you right where you are”? I understand it on an intellectual level but… What? Where?
Well, I am definitely not a theologian, but I am a baker. So, often, where I am is in the kitchen. And, guess what, He met me there today. It wasn’t a knocked off my beast and blinded kind of encounter but it hit me right in my heart.
My Middlebourne asked for a scone but I hadn’t baked one in a while. It’s a fussy little recipe so definitely not one of my quick “go-tos.” However, it is one of the few, very few, foods that the whole family enjoys so I decided to make it.
*** The recipe is below with some of my tips to hopefully make it a little less fussy. I would be honored if you would try it. ***
I didn’t see heavenly clouds as I mixed the flour and sugar. I didn’t even marvel at the triune nature of our amazing God as I broke the egg shell and separated the egg yolk from the egg white.
The recipe calls for 5 tablespoons of cut up butter to be mixed in with the flour and then the wet ingredients are added. And egg yolk, 1 cup of sour cream and a bit of vanilla extract seemed to be no match for the 2 cups of flour and half a cup of sugar. Too dry. Could there have been a mistake? Did I measure wrong? These questions come up every time I make this recipe.
As I was laboriously blending and folding, I again had to remind myself that it was going to come together. There would be enough liquid but only as the butter softened.
It was there, in that dry place, where I had the encounter – where He met me.
Do you have a dry place; a relationship that won’t work, a pain that won’t heal, a struggle that you can’t win? I do, all of them actually. In that bowl I was struggling to make it all come together, arm aching and wondering why it wasn’t working. It was chilly, even though the oven was pre-heating and the kitchen was warming. I don’t know why it took longer than usual but Jesus knew it was just the time I needed to recognize how I was struggling to make some things come together in my life and all the time wonder ‘Am I enough’, “Will Jesus help me get it together’?
It was suddenly as clear and bright as Paul’s blinding light. It can’t come together until the softening, the melting occurs. A broken, tattered heart is cold. It is hard. We Christians know all about hardened hearts. God even used it with Pharaoh against Moses. We know it within ourselves too.
Where is your heart hardened? Where is that dry place? If you melt your cold heart, can it come together? I don’t have any answers for myself and certainly not for anyone else. But I know God was showing me where I needed to start if I want to get it to ‘come together’.
VANILLA SCONE RECIPE
2 Cups of flour
½ Cup of sugar
1 Teaspoon of baking powder
½ Teaspoon of baking soda
½ Teaspoon of salt
5Tablespoons of butter, cold
1 Cup of sour cream-full fat (‘cause might as well)
1 Large egg yolk
2 Teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 ½ Cups of powdered sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. We will deal with the butter in another step.
In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla extract. The is something so satisfying about laying the bright yellow yolk on the white cream. But don’t do it! It’s better to get the yolk in the bowl first. If you’ve ever dropped a teeny-tiny piece of eggshell into something white then you understand this.
Next, you are get the butter cut into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. You can do this just by cutting it with a knife but a cheese grater does an amazing job. I prefer to use the flat kind of grater and lay it across the bowl as I grate the butter right into the flour mixture. It also helps to stop 2 or 3 times to mix the grated butter in so all of it doesn’t clump up. Mix the butter and flour mixture together very well.
Add the wet mix into the dry and mix together. This will take a few minutes, depending on the temperature. Use a firm blending tool to get all the dry bit mixed in.
When it has come together, pick it up and form it into a loose ball shape then place it in the center of an ungreased baking sheet. Pat it down to a uniform thickness of about ½ inch, trying to keep it round.
Run a large knife under hot water and cut the scone into 8 pieces but leave it together.
Bake it for 18 minutes, spinning ½ way. Depending on your oven, you may want to take it out at 18 minutes then separate the pieces slightly and put back in the oven for 3 or 4 minutes if the center seems too wet.
Mix the glaze with the water until it is thin and smooth. Drizzle it on while the scone is still hot, trying to get it down the sides of each piece.