Ten Things I’ve Learned About Pregnancy (Six Months In)

25 weeks

No makeup, yoga pants, loose shirts. Best kind of life.

I go back and forth on how much to share about my pregnancy here. Everyone’s journey down this road is a personal one. But at the same time, it’s also a highly social experience. People seem genuinely interested in how you’re doing, how you’re feeling, what you need, and so on (that or they’re really good actors).

As a somewhat introverted person, I’m never quite sure how to answer or what to say, but that of course doesn’t mean that pregnancy-related thoughts don’t swirl around my head on a daily basis. So, I’ve compiled my top ten observations so far. If no one else reads them, at least I’ll have them here to look back on years from now, when I’m sitting at my desk wondering how it all went by so quickly.

Ten Things I’ve Learned About Pregnancy (Six Months In)

  1. Pregnancy is ten months long, not nine (40 weeks = 10 months). That was news to me. Granted, the first two weeks are basically a freebie (spoiler alert: you’re not technically pregnant for them), but still, it’s ten! Which brings me to point #2.
  2. Ten months is kind of a long time (two months short of year!). It’s also kind of short (a whole human gets made!). This perspective changes on a daily basis. One day you’re like “Holy crap, I can’t believe I have seven more months to go…” and the next you’re all “Ahhh, I only have two more months to figure out what the hell goes on a baby registry and how to find a pediatrician…”
  3. Everyone’s pregnancy is different. Some love it, some hate it, some are sick, some are not—it’s kind of a crap-shoot and I don’t think you can (or should) judge anyone else based on your own experience. Personally, I’ve loved being pregnant so far, but I’m also not totally surprised that I do. I’ve wanted to be a mother since I was about four (my mom will fondly recall that I’d have her write out exact feeding and changing schedules for my dolls…) and as crunchy as it sounds, I feel honored to be a woman and to have this opportunity.

    Kid Essay

    My dreams are coming true, people.

  4. That said, totally weird things happen to your body when you’re pregnant. Seriously, pick the strangest thing you can think of, type it into google with “+ pregnancy” and the answer will be “yes, this is common” and the solution will be to “wait until you’re done being pregnant.” Itchy skin, varicose veins, crying uncontrollably when someone on Homeland dies, you name it.
  5. If the amount of time I spend staring at my own belly, as well as other people’s bellies/babies on Instagram, is any indication of how much time I’ll spend staring at my own kid, I will likely be 100% unproductive at all other things in life come birth-day.
  6. Picking out a name is both fun and exhausting. You realize how many names you associate with specific people (and therefore reasons why you can’t possibly name your kid that), what biases you have toward various letters of the alphabet, and how two people with two different accents (that would be your mom and dad, kid) can say the same exact name in two completely different ways. That last one is usually quite entertaining.
  7. For the most part, you put your hands on your belly in public to make it clear to everyone that you are indeed pregnant and not just hitting the burgers and fries really hard. At 6+ months, I am still waiting for my belly to officially “pop,” so I find this especially helpful in convincing people that there is in fact a baby in there.
  8. You eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and basically have zero qualms about it. Before becoming pregnant, I thought perhaps I’d become even more virtuous once that positive test popped up, but no. Your body knows what it wants and can handle, and there is absolutely no way you’re going near a salad if you don’t want to. This was very freeing for me. While I’ve continued to eat healthfully, I also haven’t been hard on myself for wanting toast three times a day (I’m looking at you, first trimester) or a brownie at 3pm. General balance is fine by me.
  9. The best place to go for advice is your mom-friends. The internet and its 50 million reviews and 25,000 baby wraps are great and all, but asking like-minded friends is really the Cliffs Notes version of all that. (On that note, thank you friends, mom, and sisters for always replying to my texts.)
  10. If you’ve picked a good spouse/partner, you become even more thankful for him (or her). Especially when he talks to your belly.❤

Three more months!


What’s Really(!) Been Cooking + Blueberry Muffins

When I last wrote, I was about 16 weeks pregnant and headed home to share the surprise with my family at the Thanksgiving table (and what a surprise it was!—they were elated of course). Up until that point, Suraj and I had only shared the news with a handful of people, as we really wanted to wait to go “public” until I had the chance to tell my family in person.

Now that I’m well into my second trimester and feeling great, here we are. I am due the beginning of May—just four months away! Eeek! My pregnancy has been wonderful so far and we both feel blessed that everything has gone so smoothly. It’s amazing to me how natural the process and changes have been, and how your body just knows what to do. And those baby kicks, oh, they are just the sweetest, aren’t they?

I’ve still been cooking up a storm, with perhaps a bit more of a focus on carb-y things, cheese, and eggs because those give me the most comfort. I also adore avocado, peanut butter, and clementines (aka our baby’s favorite food), but all of those things I liked before so no major surprise that I love them even more now. All in all, I’d say we are eating very well! (Though you can best believe I am ordering sushi the moment we leave the hospital…)

Keeping with the carb theme, I figured I’d share a simple and (somewhat) healthy recipe for blueberry muffins. I’ve been loving having these at tea time, spread with a little butter. I make a full batch, then freeze half for future snacks and breakfasts. They stay moist and tender from the sour cream, a key ingredient in baked goods, in my opinion. Enjoy!


Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated and Smitten Kitchen
You can use full-fat yogurt in place of the sour cream, but I really think the sour cream makes them the most soft and tender. // Yield: 9 to 10 standard muffins

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half spelt flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
Raw sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray.

Rub the sugar and lemon zest together, using your hands, in the bowl of an electric mixer. This helps release the lemony goodness of the zest. Just a couple minutes will do the trick and it will smell heavenly.

Add the butter to the sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then sour cream and vanilla.

Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Gently fold in your blueberries. The dough will be quite thick.

Fill your muffin cups ¾ full (I like to use an ice cream with a spring release for this) and sprinkle raw sugar on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (assuming you don’t pierce a berry). Serve warm, split and spread with butter.

What’s Been Cooking

Park Walk

It’s been another busy month around here, with more work trips (this time to L.A.) and time spent outdoors enjoying the last of the fall foliage (photo above Suraj took on one of our many walks at a park nearby). This week, I’m off to Buffalo for Thanksgiving and am really looking forward to the break.

I don’t have a set recipe for today, but thought I’d just share some links to things I’ve been cooking these past few weeks, in case anyone is looking for inspiration:

–These sweet potato waffles are my new fav. I made this recipe for the first time a few weeks ago, after finally buying a new waffle maker, and they’re awesome. We have a stash stored in the freezer and they are excellent re-toasted and spread with peanut butter and fig jam (trust me on this one…).
–For a quick, ready-made lunch solution, I made a big batch of these freezer burritos a few weeks ago and can’t recommend them enough. I kept them vegetarian and used sour cream, refried black beans (this recipe), brown rice, sauteed ripe plantains, and cilantro for my filling. They reheat in about a minute in the microwave. Suraj is a huge fan. I may do another batch soon, with scrambled egg, for a breakfast version.
–This wild salmon soup is a staple for us, and is especially easy to throw together when I have homemade broth on hand. We usually use potatoes in place of the squash.
–I thought I didn’t like teriyaki until I tried this recipe, and now I’m a total convert. It’s SO simple and SO good. We had it for dinner last night with garlicky green beans. You can get chicken with the skin on (vital for this recipe) at Whole Foods; it’s in the sealed packages.

As for Thanksgiving, here’s a few things I’m taking home with me, as well as what I’ll be making there (each of my siblings is bringing a dish or two, and my mom’s got the rest…homemade pies included. So excited!):

broccoli cheese bites. Super easy to throw together and will be a good breakfast/snack during my 8-hour drive. Would also make a great appetizer if you did them in mini-muffin pans.
butternut squash and orzo salad. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for months, after my friend Jess sang its praises. She was right; it’s great! I’m packing a huge container and we’ll likely eat it for a few lunches this week. I subbed feta for the blue cheese.
hummus. This is something I seem to take home and on vacation without fail (mainly because my sister loves it as much as I do). This recipe is my go-to; it’s so smooth! I add a little more water and/or olive oil at the end, and it’s done it about 30 seconds in my Vitamix. We’ll probably have it with salad and pita at some point. (Sidenote: Have you ever had pizza with hummus for dipping? You’ll never eat it any other way once you do.)
Italian vinaigrette. Is it weird that I am packing my own salad dressing to take home? Well I don’t care if it is because this is my new favorite dressing and I can’t imagine any salad without it. I also plan on using it in a panzanella (bread) salad I’ll make while I’m there, for which I’ll use this sourdough for the bread.
s’mores cupcakes. I made these a few weeks ago for a Halloween party, and they were a total hit. I’m going to make them again at Thanksgiving, for the kids (in hopes that they will eat them instead of all the pie).

Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday!

Thanksgiving Table


Dutch Babies

Dutch Baby 5

The first time I ever had a Dutch Baby pancake was in Buffalo, NY (where I grew up) at a restaurant called The Original Pancake House. My sister had told me about the pancakes—how each one was made to order (and required a 20-30 minute wait), and how they brought it out to your table piping hot, then prepared it for you by squeezing half a lemon and a flurry of confectioners’ sugar over top (which instantly makes the most delicious glaze-like syrup) followed by a bowlful of freshly sliced strawberries.

YUP. SOLD. Every time I’ve gone there since, it’s all I will order. Can you blame me?

With Buffalo being 8 hours away, however, I’ve been forced to learn how to make them at home. And that I have done. This recipe is my holy grail. I pull it out on weekends and have made it for guests as well, much to everyone’s delight. I actually think they’re easier to make then regular pancakes, as the 20 minute baking time = free time for you to do whatever else you need to do (slice fruit, make coffee/tea, cook sausage or bacon, chill, etc.). And the bonus is that they are super impressive when you pull them out the oven! Light and crisp on the edges and perfectly soft and pancake-y in the middle, they are everything brunch should be.

Dutch Baby 4

Dutch Baby 6

Dutch Babies

I always use cast iron pans for my dutch babies, as I really love how the batter rises in them, but glass pie plates work great too. For the flour, you can swap half of the all-purpose flour with spelt or whole wheat pastry flour (any more and it won’t rise as well). I’ve also successfully subbed in 1/4 cup dark buckwheat flour. / Note that there is no baking soda, baking powder or other leavener in this recipe–it’s not required! The heat of the oven forces the rise (magic, I tell ya).

For 2-3 people (enough for two cast iron pans):
1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp butter, divided, for pans

For 4-5 people (enough for two cast iron pans)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cup milk, room temperature
8 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons butter, divided, for pans

For serving: 
Lemon wedges
Confectioners’ sugar
Strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries

Maple syrup

Depending on what size batch you are making, put two or four cast-iron pans or pie plates in the oven, on the middle rack. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

While the oven is preheating, combine the flour, sugar, and kosher salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract, then whisk into the flour mixture (unlike regular pancake batter, you don’t want lumps). You can also just dump all of these ingredients into a blender and blend for one minute if that’s easier (it is for me).

Once the oven is preheated and the pans are hot, place 1 tablespoon of butter into each pan and close door for a minute, to allow butter to melt. Once melted and bubbly, gently swirl butter around each pan, using pot holders of course, and then quickly pour batter into the center of each skillet. Close the door and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the batter has risen up the edges and it looks puffed and browned. Try not to open the door while they are cooking, as it may cause them to fall or not rise properly.

Remove from oven and immediately squeeze lemon wedges over pancakes then sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar (to make a lemony glaze). You can add a pat of butter too. Dump fresh berries on top and serve with maple syrup.

Note: If you have leftover batter, it keeps great if kept in a jar in the fridge. Just use it up within a couple of days.

Dutch Baby 3

Leftover-batter, weekday version: just as good! With ricotta, a schmear of strawberry jam, and berries.

Garlicky White Beans in Olive Oil

White Beans 2

Between work and weekends away, September was full. I started the month by participating in two back-to-back swim races—the first a 2-mile swim in the Merrimack River, and the second a 1.4-mile ocean swim in Cape Cod. I should probably preface this all by first telling you this: swimming in races, or competitively at all, is very new to me. I’ve never been on a swim team, or done a triathlon, or anything like that. I swam a lot as a kid, but that’s about it.

My close friend, Jen, however, is an accomplished swimmer and equally great cheerleader. After a few lessons with her last year (in which I actually learned to breathe properly while doing laps—eureka!), I felt good enough to try the 1-mile version of the Merrimack swim. I survived, and vowed to do it again this year, only this time aiming to complete the 2-mile stretch instead of the one. I also decided to finally join her for the ocean race, which I wussed out of last year because 1) shark sightings, 2) choppy waves, and 3) fear of swimming the wrong way into the great abyss.

Swim Race

Alas, both were great events. Exhausting and humbling too (the 60-70 year old bracket is NO JOKE). My favorite by far was the ocean swim. Over 400 swimmers, amazing views, great crowd, and a chance to swim in the open ocean—it was a really cool 53 minute moment.

After the swims followed a work trip to Pennsylvania (during which I also visited my sister and her family, woohoo), and then my birthday. And here we are. October. One of my very favorite months. For eating and for just being. And also for wearing scarves.

Continuing on this fall theme, I’ve wanted to post this recipe for white beans for a while now. I have been making them for years and it’s another staple in our house, especially in these cooler, heartier months. We eat beans and lentils a lot, a fact which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before. They’re such a great protein source and I find them especially perfect for incorporating into packed lunches.

This particular recipe is dead easy too—cook your white beans (or use canned), then simmer them in olive oil, garlic, and maybe a few spices until they’re silky smooth and flavorful. The recipe is very similar to the garlic confit I talked about here (tip #7), but probably even more versatile. You can eat the warm beans and oil with bread, toss with pasta, mix into salad (the oil is an instant dressing), spoon over cooked chicken and rice, or purée into hummus. And because oil is a natural food preserver, you can keep a jar in your fridge indefinitely, pulling it out whenever inspiration, or time, is running low.

Garlicky White Beans in Olive Oil
You can always use canned white beans in place of cooking your own—I just prefer doing it myself as it’s cheaper and I prefer the taste. If you end up cooking too many beans, just toss the extra in a freezer bag and lay flat to freeze (as I mention here—see tip #4), then crack off a chunk whenever you need them.

1 cup dried white beans (navy, cannellini, “small white,” or whatever you like), soaked overnight in water
Olive oil (I prefer “light” not extra-virgin for this, because you’re heating it)
Kosher salt
6 to 7 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
Spices: red pepper flakes, dried basil, oregano, etc.

[If you’re using canned beans, skip directly to the next paragraph.] Drain and rinse the soaked beans and transfer to a cooking pot. Cover with at least one inch of water and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender—this usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes but will depend on the size of the bean and how long you’ve soaked them for. You want them cooked all the way through and somewhat tender, but not falling apart.

Drain the beans well and return to the pot. Cover with enough olive oil to cover by about 1-inch. Yes, it’s a lot of oil, but it can be used/re-used in tons of ways! Even if you end up eating all the beans out of it later, the garlic-infused oil that remains is great as a salad dressing, as a bread dip, or drizzled over pasta.

Heat the beans and oil on low until you start to hear the oil sizzling a bit, but not popping like crazy, which would be dangerous. Add the salt (a generous amount—I probably use a teaspoon of kosher salt at least), garlic, and any spices you like. I use the three spices listed above—a big pinch of each. You’ll have to taste as you go along for seasonings, but just add whatever looks good to you. You could also add garlic powder, fresh herbs, or even a few tablespoons of pesto.

Cook on low for 20 minutes or so, until the seasonings are fragrant and the beans are really tender—it’s okay if they start falling apart. Just be careful not to let the garlic brown (instead of leaving them whole, you can also finely grate/microplane the cloves, which allows them to just melt into the oil—both are excellent).

Once the beans are silky smooth, remove from heat, cover, and let sit until warm but not hot. Serve however you like (see suggestions above), or transfer to a large glass jar and refrigerate—it will last indefinitely so long as the oil is covering the beans completely. I’d argue it even gets better with age.

White Beans 3

Foraging Elderberries

Elderberry Bush 1

This summer has been a great one. We’ve spent most weekends at the beach, taking walks in our local parks, and just relaxing at home. I’ve even managed to get in some summer reading, which, if I were the type of person to have a summer bucket list, would probably be somewhere near the top of my list. I’ve made my way through Americanah, The Girl on the Train, Everything I Never Told You, The Good Earth, and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (I really enjoyed all but the last one, which just kind of bored me, despite others loving it). Granted, a few of these were audiobooks, but with my ridiculously-long commute, the hell if I’m not counting them.

I also had a chance to do some foraging for elderberries this month, which, along with nettle, are one of my all-time favorite things to forage. And fortunately for me, the spot I get them from is right along the sidewalk of some nearby woodlands, so the picking’s easy! In five minutes, I have an entire bagful.

Elderberries are part of the honeysuckle family (which I had to tell you because, really, doesn’t that sound like an awesome family to be part of?) and if you haven’t heard of the berries, you’ve probably heard of—or even tasted—the flowers, as that is what the famous St. Germain liqueur is made from. The scent of the flowers is delicate, like a cross between vanilla and honey (some bushes are more fragrant than others). Here in New England, they bloom around mid-June and can commonly be seen alongside roadsides—every highway I drive seems to have at least a few bushes. Locating the flowers first is a good way to find the berries a couple of months later. I swear you’ll see them everywhere once you start looking!

Berries in Bowl

By mid-August, the flowers have turned into dark purple berries, which tip down toward the ground like little berry umbrellas. You can’t eat the berries raw (or, at least, they don’t taste all that great), but when you cook them, their very best qualities present themselves: a deeply fruity berry-grape taste and an intoxicating scent. You can bake with them, turn them into jams and compotes (see my version here), steep them in alcohol (photos here and here), or—my favorite—simmer them into a syrup, which is excellent when diluted with seltzer, or drizzled over yogurt or pancakes. I also love to use the syrup in my kombucha (during the second ferment, for you all kombucha brewers out there).

Aside from their lovely sweet-tart taste, elderberries are highly nutritious and medicinal. They are rich in flavonoids—the natural compounds with antioxidant qualities that protect cells against damage or infections—and contain vitamins A and B, along with significant amounts of vitamin C and amino acids.

Elderberry has long been known as one of the most effective medicinal plants for preventing and treating cold and fever, and it also stimulates the immune system. Many people take a shot of the syrup a day during winter to stave off viruses. In fact, Whole Foods and Amazon both sell tiny 3-oz bottles of the stuff for over $20 a piece! Even more reason to make your own (recipe below).

If you’re new to foraging elderberries, this link provides a great resource for positive plant identification. Once you find the berries, the options for using them are endless!

Elderberry Syrup

Bottled syrup.

Elderberry Syrup
Once you collect your ripe elderberries, the most time-consuming part is removing the berries from the stems (see photo above), which cannot be consumed. I find the process really relaxing though—get some tea, sit outside, and start tickling those berries off their little umbrellas. // As for the syrup, feel free to swap or add in whatever spices you like (clove or anise are nice too). I like to use raw honey as it ups the nutrition factor even more—it contains live enzymes that are good for your gut—but regular honey is fine too. // Yield: 3 cups

3 cups fresh elderberries, washed, unripe berries discarded
6 cups water
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1-inch cinnamon stick
1 whole vanilla bean
1 cup raw honey

Combine everything but the honey in a large pot (I like to scrap the vanilla bean seeds into the pot, then throw in the pod too).

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for at least one hour, or until the liquid is reduced by half (I can usually tell by the streaks/marks left on the side of the pan as it cooks down). Mash the elderberries a few times while it’s simmering, if you happen to be in the kitchen. The scent will be intoxicating.

Once reduced, let the mixture cool to warm (about 100°F degrees; if it’s any warmer, it will kill off those good enzymes in the raw honey), then strain into a large bowl, mashing the berries in the strainer to get all the juices out. If a few pieces get through, that’s fine.

Whisk in the raw honey until thoroughly combined, then bottle. Refrigerate indefinitely and use however you like—in seltzer, over yogurt and pancakes, or on its own as an immune-boosting shot.

For Elderberry Kombucha: Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the syrup to a 750-ml swing-top bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with brewed (fermented) kombucha. Let sit on the counter for 2 to 3 days, or until effervescent and fizzy. Refrigerate. Serve over ice.

Elderberry Kombucha

Elderberry kombucha (syrup behind it).

Cream Scones

Scone 5

This scone recipe is one of the only recipes I know by heart. I’m not sure how long I’ve been making them—it’s probably creeping up on a decade now—but I can tell you this: every person I have ever made them for has either 1) requested the recipe, and/or 2) requested that I bring them to all future gatherings. This includes people who 1) don’t normally cook, and/or 2) say they “never thought they liked scones.”

The secret lies in the cream. Use any other liquid—milk, buttermilk, half & half—and they’re just not the same. Use the cream and you’re in for the flakiest, tastiest, most delicate scone you’ve ever had in your life, I promise. Even fancy bakery shop versions pale in comparison.

I’m headed to the Adirondack Mountains in New York next week (vacation! finally!) to spend some time with my family, and these scones are already on our pre-planned menu (yes, my sister and I do this in advance to make everyone’s lives easier). We bring the scones frozen and unbaked (dried cherry and chocolate chip are this year’s options), and bake them up fresh in the morning. Scone and vacation bliss all rolled into one.

Unbaked Scone

Cream Scones
I first found this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog, but it’s originally from the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook (which I own and love). I’ve tried countless other scone recipes in addition to this one, and none have ever held a candle to these. As I mentioned, I make the full batch then freeze the extras (cut and unbaked, as seen above). When needed, just bake them straight out of the freezer—adding a minute or two to the cooking time (no defrosting required). They are a freezer staple and especially convenient when hosting overnight guests.

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour (I’ve tried subbing half whole-wheat and it’s good, but not quite the same)
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or chopped dried fruit
1 cup heavy cream (I like Trader Joe’s brand or High Lawn Farms because they are the only two I’ve found without stabilizers or additives)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in large bowl.

Using a pastry blender (this is what I use) or your fingertips, quickly cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps; when doing it with your fingers, just quickly rub the flour-coated butter pieces between your thumb and middle finger, almost like you’re snapping your fingers. The goal is to create thin little sheets and pea-sized flecks of butter, so work quickly. You do not want the butter to melt or soften at all (the coarse, cold bits are what make the scones flaky)—it should not be uniform in texture.

Stir in chocolate chips or add-in of choice.

Pour the heavy cream over the mixture, and mix with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to your countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Try not to overwork the dough. You still don’t want those butter bits to melt.

Form dough into a large square or circle and cut into 8 wedges or squares. You can also just scoop out the dough using a large ice cream scoop if you prefer rounds.

If you don’t want to bake all the scones at once, place the extras on a sheet and transfer to the freezer. Once frozen, transfer scones to a plastic bag for future baking.

For those you want to bake right away, place rounds or wedges on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with milk or cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake until edges are slightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, within a few hours of baking them (scones are one of those things that don’t keep very well—though they can be saved by a little reheat in the toaster oven if necessary).

Note: If you have extra cream and you’re not sure how to use it up, just put half a cup or so in a mason jar and shake vigorously until the “sloshing” noise subsides and the cream has turned from a liquid into soft-whipped cream. Add a spoonful of sugar and shake a little more. Voila, fresh whipped cream! Put it on your scone with jam or stewed berries (as pictured below).

Scones 4