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I celebrated my birthday this past Saturday and spent the day with my family and friends. It was a lovely day that started and ended with a scone. I didn’t make a cake this year… (at least not yet) and my husband Thomas wanted to make me one but I just didn’t feel like something heavy on top of the wonderful meal that we enjoyed that day. I had made a batch of scones the day before and they were still fantastic the next day so we enjoyed one for breakfast with a large cup of tea for me, coffee for Thomas and a glass of milk for Anna (my almost 2 year old daughter Anna enjoyed the parts of the scone around the berries as she has been going through a very picky eating phase lately!) We had a delicious lunch from a local homemade pasta joint and after a light dinner of bread and cheese (a German thing) I opened my gifts from Thomas and we enjoyed the last two scones together. I had a lovely day spent mostly at home where I was inundated with gifts of flowers from friends and family (one of my favorite gifts!) and phone calls from those who couldn’t be present on my special day.

I am thankful for another year spent with my husband and Anna, for the opportunity to take time off from work this year to be able to take care of my daughter from home, to have spent the past year living in a foreign country learning a new language and about a new culture. I am thankful that my friends and family here have made me feel at home, that my family in the US is only a phone call away, that we had the luxury of visiting my family‘s home in upstate NY for 6 weeks this past summer, that I was able to put in a garden at my grandfather’s house again, that my family in upstate NY was safe from hurricane Irene’s destructive path** and only had to endure flooded basements, brief losses of power and no phone, that I have a garden here in Germany (that was ravished by deer, rabbits, moles and slugs), that our balcony garden has yielded lots of delicious food and has flourished and that I am now putting in a raised bed and planting fall vegetables!

Blueberry Flaxseed Scones with Lemon

Inspired by Field and Table and Liv Life

These are two great recipes for scones that I have made in the past and which I used as inspiration for the batch of scones that I made most recently which are moist, full of fruit, have just a hint of sweetness and taste great the next day (especially when toasted!).

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup flax meal

1 1/2 tbs lemon zest

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 tablespoons demerara sugar

1 stick of cold butter

1/4 cup of applesauce

1 1/4 cups milk

1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

extra milk and sugar for the tops of the scones

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl combine flours, flax, lemon zest, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces into the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or food processor cut the butter into the mixture until the pieces are pea sized or smaller. Add the applesauce and milk and stir in gently until it is almost all incorporated but don’t over mix! Mix in the berries very gently and again don’t over mix! It’s ok if the dough is a little crumbly and/or sticky and if it is not completely homogeneous. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat into a 1/2 inch thick circle. Cut into 12 equal sized pieces. Put on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and brush with milk and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 minutes or until the center of the scone when pressed springs back a little. Enjoy warm fresh from the oven or the next day warmed in a toaster oven or regular oven. They are even tasty at room temperature!

**For anyone in the upstate New York area interested in helping the flood ravished Schoharie county where I grew up please contact the Red Cross at (518) 458-8111 to register and sign up for training to help get supplies to shelters (Poughkeepsie or Albany) or you can donate directly to the Golding middle school in Cobleskill, NY or to the Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund. Thank you!