This morning I woke up at 6:00 after going to bed rather late, because I wanted to bring some scones to the worship team I'm blessed to be apart of and where I would be joining at 7:30 this morning (as well as leave some warm, freshly baked scones for my little family). I love scones for their multifaceted ability and what I might deem as "kitchen sink baking." And let me tell you that the scones I made were fantastic with chopped up apples, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, buttermilk, & making use of whole wheat flour. However, the sun wasn't out by the time these came out of the oven and honestly, I needed to get going, so no time for a photo and no recipe for them.
Lucky for you is that I made a different scone last weekend, which were the essence of freshly baked banana bread, except in scone form (does it get any better on a lazy Saturday morning?). I didn't get to linger in the aroma of these too long after pulling them out of the oven, because they quickly got devoured by my carbohydrate frenzied daughters.
A bit of a transition from scones to some of what I've been reflecting on this week. There's really no easy transition, but an abrupt bump in the road and steering toward another course sometimes. This would be one of those times. I have to share that a week ago I went to bed thinking I would delete this blog, cut my losses and call it a good run. I've been discouraged in writing posts, looking at other people's blogs, and then coming back to evangitality asking myself, "What in the world am I doing with this blog?" And further asking, "does anyone even read this?...why am I writing?...and who am I writing for?"
And being a thin-skinned, sensitive type, I tend to read into things that aren't there and over analyze and stop being who I'm designed to be and try to be something I'm not (leading to further insecurities). So as I was about to hastily pull the plug, a dear friend sent a message to me on Facebook about this blog. And ya know what, it wasn't anything profound or big, but a simple reminder for me to take a step back and reflect. I needed to reflect upon what inspired me in the first place to start this evangitality blog thing (the name which some people cannot pronounce) and get back to that.
So I've spent a week not feeling any need to put up a new post, but simply be. After a conversation with Ben (and many with God after that), he mentioned how I have to ask myself what I want to convey. He said, "do you want it to become a food blog? What's your mission with it?" Well, I haven't completely narrowed it down; however, I do know that I've felt like I've jumped around and haven't always stayed on track. What I have figured out is that I am not and never was intending this to solely be a food blog. There about a zillion food blogs out there and although I absolutely love baking & cooking--I'm not wanting to sign up for being one in a zillion at this point (stubborn maybe). However, I will still be posting recipes, because it's a means of hospitality, but I don't want to limit this to simply food posts.
But I do want this blog to be centered around hospitality, exploring the theoretical aspects of it and practical, sharing stories from my experience and stories of other people who serve as inspirations to further walk this road of evangitality. I hope you will join me and give me feedback along the way. I hope you will share your stories of walking out evangitality or people who have walked before or alongside you in these footsteps. And here's what evangitality is about
Evangitality is about living out Christ in practical ways, through the monotonous, humdrum of life. It is taking evangelism, which is sharing the ‘good news,’ and mixing it with a welcoming, caring, loving, and safe environment, which we might call ‘hospitality.’
So maybe the next time you are wanting to extend evangitality to someone you know needs to hear this, may I suggest you bring these scones with you, because I'm pretty sure that helps build an instant bridge.
Banana Macadamia Praline Scones (printable version)
These scones were adapted from my Simply Scones book. Instead of using 100% all-purpose flour, I split it in half using whole wheat pastry flour as well. If you love banana bread, then these scones will hit that "curl up on the couch-with a cup of coffee-sitting in your pajamas" spot.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tb brandy or water
- ¾ cup lightly salted macadamia nuts
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 large bananas)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly oil a 10-inch diameter circle on a baking sheet or put down a silipat. In a small heavy saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar and brandy (or water). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook without stirring for 4 minutes, or until the mixture turns amber and caramelizes. Immediately stir in the macadamia nuts and stir to coat the nuts with the syrup. Immediately scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet or silipat. Cool for 20 minutes or until hardened. Transfer the mixture to a cutting board and chop the praline.
In a large bowl, stir the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into ½-inch cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture. With a pastry blender or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. The dough will be sticky. Stir in praline.
Take the dough and drop it on the parchment lined baking sheet (about baseball size). Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once you start smelling the wonder that comes from banana bread take it out and set it on a cooling rack. Serve warm and be careful to not eat all of them too quickly.
Makes about 8 scones