Thanks to so many of you who wrote me to ask about my eye surgery. I’m happy to report that the entire thing was painless and unscary, thanks to the incredible skill of my ophthalmologist. Dr. Mark Mandel. There have been no complications, and I’m seeing like an eagle. Well, an eagle with a minus 5 diopter, but still eagle-like compared to before! We’re going to lasik down the rest, to zero (i.e. 20/20 vision) in September. Then I really will be hawk-like. It’s been tremendously liberating, and I can’t wait for part II. I’ve even turned Dr. Mandel on to matcha, after I unearthed a study linking matcha with the prevention and healing of eye ailments, including glaucoma.
Other matcha news: had a cup with Morimoto — more on that development soon!
We recently had some visitors from Japan that included three of the world’s cutest children (along with their dad, Aki, the founder of Cookpad, Japan’s largest cooking site, with a mind-boggling 7 million subscribers, and his lovely wife Junko), so I thought I would serve some hot scones and tea. I made them with copious amount of gojiberry and crystallized ginger, and they turned out to be a hit. As you know, I don’t normally include recipes in this blog (it’s the “teach a man to fish” belief that the IDEAS behind making good food are far more valuable than the recipes themselves) but with baking some guidelines are necessary, so here we go. Let me know what you think of them, please. The “secret” to these great scones is cornmeal — it makes for a fabulous texture. And the combo of gojiberries and ginger is a winner; your guests will rave. Yields about 15 scones.
Gojiberry Ginger Scones
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1½ cups cornmeal (medium grind)
- ½ pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, sliced into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup gojiberries
- ½ cup crystallized ginger
- 1¼ cups milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (can also use any kind of vinegar)
1) Preheat oven to 425. Prepare two baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper.
2) Using a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cornmeal. Stir with a sturdy wooden spoon until well mixed.
3) Add the cubed butter and, using a pastry knife or your fingers, work the butter until it’s the size of small peas. Using the spoon, mix in the gojiberries and ginger.
4) Make a well in the center; add milk and lemon juice. Mix briefly, until ingredients just come together.
5) Gently shape the dough into balls about 2 inches in and place them on the prepared pans about 2 inches apart, 7 or 8 balls per sheet. Dust each of them with a pinch of sugar.
6) Turn down the oven temperature to 375, place the scones in the upper and lower oven racks, and bake for 10 minutes.
7) Switch sheet positions (top sheet goes to bottom rack, and vice versa) and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool.