My Gratitude Journal

My August 2020 Gratitude List- It’s the Little Things

Enjoy the little things in life for one day you will realize they were the big things.

There are a few little things that I miss from before quarantine. They really do seem like the big things now. But I realize that they have been replaced with new little things!

My new little things:

  • walking around the backyard to take a break from work and to enjoy the sun and fresh air.
  • sitting with my feet in the pool and feeling the heat of the sun on my skin and face and the coolness of the water on my feet and legs.
  • watching my son play on his scooter, penny board and skateboard or play with his little puppy.
  • Listening to my son share stories or music from his favorite show or videos.
  • Texting with my family and group texts with my friends.
  • My morning coffee and my afternoon tea.
  • Going swimming in the blistering heat.
  • My puppy- He’s a little thing but he’s a big thing to be thankful for. Puppies are a lot of work, but I’ve always been thankful for having him in my life. I am even more thankful for him especially now since quarantine. He is a source of comfort and another being to nurture. I don’t know what I would do without him.
Meet Pepper, my little chorkie puppy

baking

Another delicious attempt at scone making

I love scones. I love going to tea houses for afternoon tea and having scones with lemon curd and cream. Sometimes it’s my favorite part of the tea tradition. With your afternoon tea, the tea sandwiches arrive first, then the scones with lemon curd and cream on the side and lastly, the little desserts.

I’ve made a few attempts at making scones in the past. Although they taste delicious, they don’t look how they are supposed to look because I always have difficulty managing the dough. It’s very sticky so instead of being triangles or cute perfect round scones made with a scone cutter I purchased, they end up looking like little muffins or imperfect flat circles. But they are still delicious!

I’ve tried many scone recipes in the past but I think I just found my favorite recipe so far. I found the recipe on wildwildwhisk.com:

https://wildwildwhisk.com/basic-buttermilk-scones/

The scones are so buttery and flaky. The texture, consistency and taste of the scones actually remind me of the scones that we eat when we are in London. Those scones came plain or with raisins.

For this recipe by wildwildwhisk.com, you will need buttermilk as well as cubed cold butter. I think those are the magic ingredients. Start with your dry ingredients which are flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and sift them into a bowl. Take the cold, cubed butter and work it into the dough with your fingertips until the dough is the size of peas. Next, take the wet ingredients which include buttermilk, vanilla and egg and fold them into the dry ingredients. The next part is the part that I always have difficulty with because of the stickiness of the dough. The dough is supposed to be turned out on a floured surface and shaped into a circle and then cut into triangles. The dough is so sticky that I have so much difficulty. I always end up spooning the dough onto a baking sheet.

I made two sizes of scones. For the bigger scones, I spooned about 2 tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet. The dough spread, so the scones ended up as flat, imperfect circles. They might look imperfect but I must admit that they are still oh so delicious. Especially when they are hot and fresh out of the oven. They are so buttery, flaky and taste delicious with coffee or tea.

My flat, imperfect but delicious circle scones with cranberries

I made some plain and some with dried cranberries. For the smaller scones, I spooned some dough into a mini cupcake tin. The scones came out as cute little 2 bite mini scone muffins.

mini scones

To ensure that the scones end up buttery and flaky, make sure that there are still little pieces of butter in the dough. The little pieces of butter melt while baking and create a flaky texture. Turning the dough over itself in the last step also creates layers, making the scones flaky. It’s important not to use too much flour when turning the dough or else the scones will end up dry. In addition, the wet dough creates softer scones.

If you are able to make these scones into triangles, then each triangle is about 270 calories each. Since I couldn’t manage making the triangles, I made 12 round circles and 9 mini scones with this recipe.

Try this recipe for the most delicious scones to eat with your afternoon tea.

Happy baking!

Sewing

Refashion: Boho pants turned into a Boho dress

I really like the idea of up-cycling and refashioning old clothes into a new item of clothing. It’s fascinating to see the creations that are made from transforming an old or thrifted article of clothing into something new and more modern.

I turned this pair of wide legged boho pants into a dress! I seam ripped the inseam of the pants and then sewed it up into a skirt. There are tons of videos on YouTube with tutorials on how to do this. It’s really easy to do!

For the top part, I removed the elastic at the top and with the extra fabric that was there, I used the top part of a pattern that I have in my stash to fashion a V- neck with straps. I had some leftover black cotton scraps that I used to cut into shoulder straps. I also used the black cotton for the facing. I cut the bodice to fit me and made it into an empire waist. Since there was extra material, I gathered the top part of the skirt.

This dress is the perfect quarantine dress. It’s so comfortable that I’ve worn it many times already. Comparing that to the fact that I haven’t worn this as pants for over 5 years, I’d say that’s a plus! I’m also embarrassed to think that it’s been sitting in my closet unworn for that long. It didn’t spark joy then, but it sparks joy now!

Up-cycling and refashioning is a great way to foster your creativity in sewing. It’s a great way to be resourceful with what you already have in your closet instead of throwing it away. What a fun and fulfilling project… Happy Sewing!

Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.

Fred Rogers