Neruda Ode to enchanted light

Ode to enchanted light

(A recipe for acorn scones to welcome, nay, hurry the turn of the seasons)

A few days ago, I was sitting watching the light change when it struck me that the seasons are turning. The weather doesn’t agree: it’s still in the 80′s, I’m still sleeping with the covers cast off to the side, and my shoulders haven’t seen a sweater in weeks. But the air, you guys, the air is saying something different. I imagine sometimes that the air is filled with tiny little light particles, and that they all dance in a certain direction. In spring, they start to wiggle, moving up, slowly at first, as if they are taking a while to wake up, and then quicker and quicker, as summer approaches. By summer, everything is in full fervent swing. The bugs mirror the pace: frantic, ecstatic. The leaves reach skyward with such power and speed (as they were born to reach these great heights and they know what’s coming). For a second they hover in the air, suspended, weightless, and then, one by one, the particles start to fall. Slowly. Like feathers, in space. Slowly, like slipping into a dream.

I live for this time of year. Without a doubt. The light looks different during the summer. I await those 30 seconds of perfect hued morning light as the sun comes up and hits the tree in the front garden. But its coming, you guys, it’s coming. Soon the air will grow thin. Soon the acorns will be ripe. Soon the leaves will fall. Soon everything will be suspended halfway between waking and dreaming.

Of course, its still hot. Weather hasn’t caught the memo. Nature is bureaucratic, it seems, and these changes take a while to implement.

But looking at the light changing. Looking at the dust falling. Feeling that downward pull beginning, I can tell you that it’s not long off. Savour the summer while you can; though I couldn’t be more delighted.

Acorn scones.

These are really easy and quick to make. No fancy equipment needed. If you don’t have access to acorn flour (I bought mine at the Korean market because my supplies are done until Autumn), then try chestnut, almond, hazelnut, or just use regular flour.

makes 12

2 1/2 cups gluten free flour (or regular if you don’t need gluten free, just halve the amount of baking powder and remove the xanthan gum)

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup acorn flour

1 stick butter

1/2 cup sugar (scant)

1/2-1 cup buttermilk (start with 1/2 and keep adding till its the right consistency)

Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut the butter into chunks, and mix in with your hands, pinching it together, as you would with pastry, until the whole lot has a kinda course sandy consistency. Slowly add the buttermilk, a quarter cup at a time, mixing it all together with your hands until it forms a smooth dough.

Press the dough into an inch-high disk, and cut out scone shapes (I used a small mason jar, you can use whatever you like). Brush the top with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

They’re best eaten warm out the oven but will last a few days until they just don’t have a good consistency anymore.

Cut in half, spread with butter, then a dollop of clotted cream (which is really hard to find in the US- I use creme fraiche or whipped cream) and jam.

  • pepperkorn

    No “make your own acorn flour” instructions? I’m over-run with acorns and hope to find some use for them some day!

  • Brooke

    Thanks for this post. I’m in the Midwest and I felt the change in the air a couple weeks ago. The weather in Ohio is still high 80s but there is a shift. I started drinking red clover because it felt like I needed to start acclimating my body to the upcoming change. But this post really reflected the moment.

  • Michael Blackmore

    Oh, what a great idea. Definitely on my list of things to try in the fall/winter when it is cool enough that hot ovens baking things is a joy. :-)

  • Heidi (AlpineGypsy)

    You are right. The air and light is different…..the sun has a brittle thin quality to it, like an eggshell. I feel ‘expectant’. It’s wild! It’s still very warm and humid here, during the day. But if you are anywhere near the water here on the coast, you’d notice that Scotch mist rising off the ocean for an hour or two in the mornings, before clearing away to reveal the shimmering sea. It brings with it a feeling of sadness for me, every year. But I look forward to it, in a strange way. Getting ready to hunker down.

    Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about bannock with jam, and hot tea with honey in it……but biscuits would do also. :o)

    Great post ~


  • Clare

    Okay, after 7 years in California I am now back in europe and I have no idea what weight a stick of butter is in the US. Can you translate into English please for those of us the other side of the ocean? No reason why the pigs should be the only ones to enjoy our acorns, and that recipe sounds delicious.

    • fairybekk

      Hey Clare- A stick of butter in the US is 112.5g. Without being too finicky, I’d just round up to 115.

      Noway to just letting the pigs have them!!! :D Remember to leach them- I think European acorns run bitter.