The Mother-in-Law.

November 7, 2008

Have I told you about mine? I have the world's greatest. She is fun, totally girly, never meddles and always tells me how lucky her son is to have me (and not the other way around -- we girls must stick together, you know?). But.....a foodie she is not. It's not that she didn't feed her family right. She had a home-cooked meal for her family of five probably 360 nights per year. But she was the type of woman who was more into painting (art), playing softball, trying out new hairstyles, etc., rather than slave over complicated recipes. That being said, the woman has some damn fine recipes. Like some of the best. I know. This doesn't really make sense.

Let me give you an example. I love scones. Yummy, buttery, flaky, lightly sweet scones. In other words, nothing that can be found at Starbucks or any other bakery for that matter (although there is one seriously good place in San Diego, if anyone cares). I have tried many recipes through the years, but they all end up like Starbucks': heavy, dense, deathly sweet. I gave up. And then just as the search for my life partner was drawing to a close (hi B!), another prayer was answered. B's mom came to town and made us scones. I have her recipe now, which she scribbled out onto a piece of paper that was to be a grocery list and have since used it dozens and dozens of times. It has all of the crusty splatters to prove it.

As you know, this week I have had pumpkin on the brain and I really wanted to make pumpkin scones, especially after reading Anne's post (seriously, how beautiful are those photos??). But I kept going back to the MIL's recipe because I knew they would be so good. And I really didn't want to mess around with the measurements by adding in pumpkin (what can I say? I am a natural-born rule follower), so I made them just as she does. But with fresh cranberries. Because you can add dry stuff like berries, raisins, nuts, etc. no problem. That's where all my creativity came in.

So yesterday afternoon, Adrianna (not the pumpkin soup one, a different one), C-Man and I enjoyed ourselves some of these lovelies:

The Mother-in-Law Scones

3 c. flour
½ c. sugar
2 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
¾ t. salt
¾ c. cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. berries, raisins, nuts, etc.

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter until the butter is the size of small peas (or, rub butter in with fingertips, but work quickly so as to not warm up the butter). Add the berries (or whatever you are using) and mix well. Add buttermilk and mix just until blended. Work dough into ball and knead 10-25 times (this is what the recipe says, what can I say?). Pat dough into two circles about 2 ½ inches thick. (The dough will be sticky and a bit hard to deal with. Don’t worry. Keep going.) Cut each circle of dough into 6 or 8 pie-shaped pieces. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm. (These can also be frozen and heated in the oven until they are crusty on the outside.)


  1. Are you talking about Con Pane? I lived in San Diego 3 years ago and still pine after their scones [my heart lept a little when you said amazing scones in SD]. My bro-in-law even shrink-wrapped a dozen for me for Christmas last year :)

    I've never found a good recipe either - I'll try yours! Can't wait....

  2. Ben/Anne: I was actually thinking of Rebbekah's in South Park, but Con Pane's are good too! I forgot about their's... Rebekkah's are insanely good -- you should have your brother-in-law send some from both places :)

  3. I am so trying those scones! I have a recipe from Martha Stewart that is pretty good, but not great. These look like they use a little less flour and buttermilk instead of cream -- worth a shot!

  4. I don't blame you for not making the pumpkin ones---these look divine! And your MIL sounds like a dream. I adore mine too, and it's such a relief because I've heard so many horror stories about bad ones...

    So here's to amazing scones and even more amazing mothers in law!

  5. I don't even like scones--probably because I've never had your MIL's, now that I think about it. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'd like to give it a try. Maybe I'll turn into a "sconie."


  6. My new favorite coffee shop has scones that are to-die. I have never found any recipes that aren't like a brick. I think I might try these in the morning because I happen to have some buttermilk left over from my biscuit baking. I keep you posted!

    PS - I had such good luck with your chicken soup, I'm definitely trying the pumpkin too.

  7. Yum. My grandmother is known for hosting grandiose tea parties, so I'm definetly passing this recipe on to her.

  8. These sound lovely. I wonder if a European scone recipe might be good - I have tried scones in the US and they just aren't right. In the UK they are much fluffier. I have a delicious recipe (somewhere) for date and wheaten scones.

  9. Thank you, thank you! I made these today and they are perfect. I posted the recipe over at my blog and linked back to you - hope that's okay. Thanks!

  10. ohhhh.....these look amazing!! And so fun to hear about your mother-in-law!! Mine is freaking awesome, too. aren't we so lucky? XO


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