Simply Perfect Scones

Buttermilk Currant Scones

I remember the moment that I broke. I was waiting for them to announce the name of the Taste Canada winner and even though the nasty cynical part of my mind knew my name wouldn’t be called, I couldn’t help but have a last spark of hope that I was wrong. The name was called and it wasn’t mine. I crumbled inside as I sat smiling through clenched teeth as I held in my tears. I sat there thinking, “That’s it. I’m done. I just can’t try anymore.”

That was the moment I broke. That was when blogging brought me to my knees. 

I’ve working through why that particular disappointment affected me so profoundly. I have some understanding of why but I think there will need to be a lot more navel gazing about this before I really get over it.

I had already been dealing with a slow burn of depression that may be post-partum related but I really think that it was just the cumulative effect of disappointment after disappointment as I tried to build some sort of career for myself.

I know now that I was completely naive into believing that I could have built a career out of my food blog. Sure, people do it but very rarely can one do so without having to write posts that I don’t really want any part of. I tell most PR people that email me that their product isn’t a good fit for me. There aren’t that many avenues of revenue for a blog in Canada so sponsored posts are one of the few ways people can make money blogging.

It turns out that I want readers to like my blog and recipes just as they are. What I write and cook here is part of who I am. PR people are saying that the diary style of blog is not commercially viable anymore. So be it. I will keep writing what I want to write and post recipes that I’m proud of. This means that my little blog will fly pretty low under the radar of most readers but there is no point in writing a blog that I get no joy from. I see no reason to bust my ass and pour my heart into a blogging business that is just that, a business. It would provide less income than I’d make if I had a somewhat boring office job that had regular hours and benefits.

The naive hope that this blog would lead to me finding a career was not well thought out. I suppose I had a foolish ‘Field of Dreams’ type plan – “If you build it, they will come.” It turns out that plan only works for magical baseball diamonds.

I was a passionate blogger for a while and I’m slowly picking myself up. It turns out that I was wrong all those months ago when I felt that I couldn’t try anymore. I’ve decided that I will come back to blogging with my whole heart and the best way to do that is to start over.

One of my first blog posts was for simple currant scones. I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly but it remains a very simple scone recipe that I make time and again. I’ve taken the old recipe down because this one is much better, as is the photograph.

If you want to share how you dealt with disappointment or reigniting a passion for something in the comments, it would be most welcome.

Currant scones with Devonshire Cream and homemade jam

Yields 10

Simply Perfect Scones

A recipe for currant scones that is simple to prepare but yield impressive results.

10 minPrep Time

12 minCook Time

22 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (plus a little more for rolling out the dough)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream (for brushing on scones before baking)
  • 1 tbsp coarse decorator sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. You can sift them if you prefer but a quick whisk to blend does the trick.
  3. Using a pastry blender, cut the cold butter into the flour until the butter is in pea size pieces evenly distributed in the flour mixture.
  4. Using a fork, stir the buttermilk and egg into the flour mixture. When the fork isn't blending the ingredients well, use your hands to lightly bring the dough together. Knead it ever so gently in the bowl until the ingredients are just brought together to form a ball of dough.
  5. Turn the ball of dough out onto a lightly floured board. Roll the dough out until it is 1 inch thick. Don't roll it out thinner than that or you won't get as nice of a rise of the scones.
  6. Cut the scones out with a 2 inch round biscuit cutter. Gather the scraps up from the first cutting and roll it again to 1 inch thick and cut out more scones. Gather the last little bit of dough up and make one or two more scones. Discard any tiny amounts of dough or bake them for a nibble of scone.
  7. Place the scones on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops with whipping cream. Sprinkle some coarse decorator sugar on top.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the scones are nicely golden on the top and bottom.
  9. Best if eaten that day.
Recipe Type: Baking
7.6.2
117
http://strawberriesforsupper.com/simply-perfect-scones/

 

Christmas Cake

Comments

  1. says

    Oh how I relate to your story. This week I shared a post about gaining a new perspective and what the future holds for my blog. I hope you'll continue to stay on your own path as I feel that's the only way to be truly successful. The outside needs to match the inside or we're just living to please others. Good for you for following your gut. I enjoy your personal approach to writing <3
    • says

      Shauna I just commented on your blog saying something similar! It seems like there are many of us on the same path. Thanks so much for commenting. The blogging world is changing yet again...
  2. says

    I love everything about this. Success for a blog can mean many different things, and you can define what it means to you. I would rather read your blog with diary style stories about your life, kids and dogs plus an amazing recipe, over a blog with sponsored posts about chocolate spreads stuffed into places they just don't belong. You do you girl. xoxo
  3. says

    I've always been SO impressed with your blog! I've shared it with family and even told people that you've been nominated for awards! I can totally TOTALLY relate to career disappointment (since moving to Ontario, my teaching career has essentially ended). That said, for the many years I've known you, you've always been SO great at everything you've done and I've admired (and been jealous of) that many times :)
    • says

      Oh Sonya -thank you so much for saying that. I'm just my own worst enemy aren't I? That is so tough about teaching. I hope that things swing in a better direction as more teachers retire in years to come and jobs open up.
  4. Anne says

    Hi Christina - I discovered your blog last Fall and I LOVE it. I love your writing and your recipes and I am drawn to your approach - it feels honest and real. It took me a very long while to realize that when a food blogger is going on and on about loving, say, Nova Scotia, it's because she's been paid to say that. I hate when I realize that I've just spent time reading a giant advertisement when I thought I had been reading about a real-life event. I have no interest in reading about fake lives. Thank you for sharing your great perspective and your yummy recipes. I always look forward to your posts.
    • says

      Thank you Anne. I truly appreciate this comment. There is certainly a knack for doing sponsored posts which I do now and then, but not often at all. It is nice to get paid for hard work once in a while but it needs to be done in a way that is relevant and authentic to each blogger.
  5. says

    Christina, thanks for sharing this. I can totally relate. For the first 6 or 7 years that I blogged, it was only ever as a creative outlet and I was so happy... and then somehow I got pulled into this whole idea that I could earn money from it... and everything changed. I burnt out around the end of 2014 and I had to stop and step back. And when I did that, I realized I already have two businesses, and I love them both. I don't need a third. What I need is my creative outlet back. So I took it back. And I'm so much happier. I get tired sometimes of all this "follow your bliss" and the money will come stuff. The truth is, a business is hard. You can love it and you can be passionate about it but it's still hard work and a job and that's totally different from doing something just for the pure joy that it brings you. I hope you'll get your passion back - I, for one, think your little corner of the internet is a nice place to visit :)
  6. says

    Christinaaaaa!! I want to hug you. Running your own business - whether it's a blog or not - just totally and completely sucks sometimes. Since I went full time with my blog a few months ago, I've definitely been in the "what am I doing, I'm the dumbest for thinking I can make real money from this" boat a few too many times. But we're all our own worst critics - I find it always helps to step away for a bit and think really critically about what I want to achieve with my blog. Setting specific goals and deep diving into the tech and strategy stuff has given me so much more focus (and kept my brain so busy that I have far less time to hate on myself!) I love your blog and your voice and will forever be grateful to the blogging world for introducing us. (And you're doing all of this with kids!! Girl, I can barely remember to put real pants on in the morning. You're amazing). Maybe we all just need to recharge our blogging batteries a little bit - perhaps a bloggy retreat weekend in upstate NY soon? :)
    • says

      The blogging world can be a great and getting to meet you and other blogging friends is by far the best thing that has come out of blogging for me. I'm still knee deep in my re-evaluation of my blog etc. as I try to figure out at way to be more content. I am definitely stepping away from the 'blog as business' model and all the tech stuff to build traffic. An upstate NY trip would certainly help me. :) A blog retreat sans any talk of how to increase pins would be ideal.
  7. says

    I was moved by your description of your heartfelt disappointment at not hearing your name called, and it's been on my mind for a while. I've been blogging for almost five years now, on a no-income basis. I've had the occasional sponsored post and I do use the blog as a portfolio for other work I do. I find myself occasionally thinking about whether I should "monetize" it, so I could work with brands more. I'm concerned, however, that such a step would diminish the satisfaction I find in blogging (and I already have my days!). I figured out quite a long time ago that I write primarily for myself (keeping my audience and the fact that it's public in mind). Right now it's a labour of love. I do have a posting schedule, but if l-i-f-e intervenes with all its happy times and heavy times, and I fall behind, oh well. So, I go along, doing my thing, keeping an eye on the trends but more or less ignoring most of them. As to the validation issue, I certainly understand that sometimes we really need the external validation of an award or even positive feedback, and it's wonderful when we receive it. I've learned that a lot of people read and enjoy my blog, but never click a "like" or post a comment. But I may run into a friend or acquaintance I haven't seen in months and they mention they laughed a piece of my writing (in a good way, haha) or tried one of the recipes and liked it. So, it's good to know that there are people appreciating our work that we may never hear about. Internal validation is important too: one of the most satisfying things I do is to go through my blog once in a while to reread old posts and check out recipes I may not even remember. Since I write foremost for myself, I can be my own appreciative audience. I did just submit an entry to Taste Canada 2016 (I didn't have anything that qualified last year), and I enjoyed the process of reviewing the past year and selecting the posts to submit. Of course I'd love to be short-listed or even win ... who wouldn't!? And one final note in what's turning into a novella here ... I remember reading the post about you making Christmas cake in your grandmother's pan long before the Taste Canada blogging awards were announced. I know I left a comment at the time you published it, but you might like to know how often I've through about it in the time since, and that I've mentioned it to other people too. Award or not, that was a beautiful piece of writing and memoir that has lingered in this reader's memory, and for that I thank you. If this kind of connection with a reader is what blogging is all about, then there's no doubt in my mind that you and Strawberries for Supper are successful. Best wishes as you decide on the blogging road ahead.
  8. says

    Oh Christina! You can see from the comments of all of the lovely bloggers above, and plus I will add my two cents in to the mix - YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I've hit the wall so many damn times and I know a number of East Coast Bloggers who feel the EXACT SAME WAY. The 'What the hell am I doing?' moment happens often and it's only when you step back and realize that it should be FUN and putting pressure on yourself is NOT FUN, that you can attempt to recapture a little bit of the original pleasure. I hope you find your joy again! xoxoxo.
    • says

      Thanks Kelly. It seems like it is an epidemic of blogger burnout these days. I will try to focus more on just putting my little voice out there and come what may. It is more fun doing that then trying to scream through all avenues of social media all the time to get some attention. It gets awfully tiresome to play that game after a while.
  9. says

    So many feels Christina. I am right there with you. I was in awe how you returned to blogging so soon post baby. Here I am 8 months later with not one word written. Some days il relieved. It got to a point where it was a chore, no longer a passion. But then some days I feel a void, like I'm missing a piece of myself. It's so hard not to caught up in the whole scene - the cookbook deals, the constant barrage of blogs on every aspect social media - and thus hard not to feel so insignificant in comparison. But you and your blog are exactly what they need to be. And that is not only good enough, it's amazing. So you keep doing you. And we'll be right here by your side.
    • says

      Aww thank you Kathy. I keep hanging onto the blog in my mind. I just can't seem to get passed the mental aspect holding me back. Oh well. It is really comforting to know that there are so many of us feeling the blogger burnout.
  10. says

    Christina, I'm right there with you. As a reader, I'd much rather follow someone authentic and who sticks to her values than someone who only ever writes posts that will sell. Good for you!

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