Saturday, March 29, 2014

Headaches and Diet, Butter and Scones

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I'm starting this post while suffering from a pretty serious headache. It's in the back of my neck and behind my eyeballs. Sounds lovely, right? Further, I'm sick. I imagine the two are related. I started getting sick on Wednesday evening; I woke up Thursday morning with a painful chest cough. Yesterday my boss told me to eat some ginger so at Whole Foods last night I bought a made-in-store juice called The Fog Cutter, which was simply carrots and ginger. The ginger flavor was intense, causing the juice to have some spicy heat even. As I drank it throughout the evening, I kept telling myself it would cure my cold, trying to harness the power of positive thoughts.

Anyway, the headache started last night. I took something and was able to sleep. But the pain woke me this morning. This is my second, possibly third, headache in the last couple months. In the past I got headaches all the time, like once a month even. But they all but disappeared when I changed my diet and started exercising.

So I'm wondering about my diet being the cause of the headaches lately. As you know, I've been eating more junk lately, more processed foods, than I normally do. Yesterday I had Taco Bell for lunch (2 regular tacos with sour cream) and later I had a Snickers bar. I know, poor choices, though it's not like I'm eating this way regularly. Doesn't really matter, my point is I've been making choices that I don't think my body likes very much.

I took some Advil and now my headache is gone. Between starting this post and now I got up and baked - candied ginger scones. I haven't made them in a while but they're a favorite of mine. And since reading in the New York Times that Butter is Back, well, I feel even better about making them. I like The Joy of Cooking's recipe, easy and flaky and all around yum.
Classic Currant Scones
Makes 8 to 12 

* 2 cups all purpose flour
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 Tbsp baking powder
* 6 Tbsps (3/4 stick) cold, unsalted butter
* 1 tsp orange zest (optional) [I had some on-hand and forgot to add it]
* 1/2 cup dried currants [I used candied ginger]
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 cup heavy cream (plus more for brushing)


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.

2. Cut in the butter using either a pastry blender or 2 knives, until the largest bits are the size of small peas and the rest resemble breadcrumbs. Add the currants (I used candied ginger instead) and stir briefly to combine.

3. Beat the egg in a small bowl with the heavy cream and the zest. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients (you can make a well in the middle of them to pour the egg/cream into), then combine with a fork or wooden spoon until all the dry ingredients have been moistened. Pull together into a ball of dough by kneading against the sides of the bowl until it sticks together and the sides of the bowl are relatively clean. Try to handle the dough as little as possible as it will get stiff otherwise.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it out into an 8" round. Cut into either 8 or 12 wedges, depending on how big you want the finished scones to be. Place the wedges on an ungreased baking sheet and brush the tops with 2-3 tsps of heavy cream then sprinkly lightly with sugar or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops are nicely browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack or serve warm.
I served warm. With coffee.

So, now I'm feeling better, less coughing than yesterday and no headache. It's going on 1:30 and I'm dreaming up errands to run and things to cook. I almost feel like exercising but I don't think that's a great idea. I skipped exercise on Thursday and yesterday to let my body rest. Maybe, if I'm still feeling up for it, I can go on a short run tomorrow.


  1. I hope you feel better soon! I can't wait to try out this recipe. I love scones, but everyone seems to think they're making them "healthy" by using nasty margarine and fake sweetener nonsense. Sending healing thoughts your way!

  2. Hmm...those scones look tasty, maybe have to get baking!

    1. They are so tasty I'm making a blueberry batch tonight!

  3. Old post but I got here for the recipe. You have been consistent with this blog. Well done...


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