For whatever reason, in fact, for probably no reason at all, I am afraid of an inordinate number of things. There’s fear of death and disease and unforeseen tragedy and the call of the void, yes, but also really stupid fears like showing my writing to other people.
That’s me. And a lot of other people, too—I’ve read many articles in magazines and such that reference this phenomenon. Basically, the fear manifests because we are afraid to be vulnerable; and as any writer knows, writing itself forces you to be vulnerable on the page and reveals what some might call your true self (or maybe not).
Writing this blog, personally, has been an exercise in vulnerability, although it is much, much easier for me to be vulnerable in this context because it is 1) mostly anonymous, at least in that I am not writing for family and friends who know me IRL and will absolutely judge me, for better or for worse, no matter how non-judgmental they insist they are because unless you’re a saint then you are a fallible human being who has biases about everyone and everything, and 2) a very casual setting where I am not trying to impress you with my literary skills or anything but only offering up photos and recipes and a little commentary on cake and shit, which is much easier than, say, writing a decent novel.
Please, tell me that you can relate. Go to the comments section right now and say “yass June I am a vulnerability-fearing blogger too let’s cry on each other’s shoulders”. I know I am not alone in this.
Now, outside of blogging? In the context of, say, writing fiction.
Ugh. No. This fear goes beyond the anxiety I have about sharing recipes and making comments about how much I love cake and all that fluffy bologna. This is like playing tennis with a wall. You’re running around in circles, hitting balls every which way, sweating and pumping your arms and generally getting a good workout in, and the wall just sits there. To beat the wall, you have to put the ball through it, which according to the laws of common sense is impossible. Or you could put the ball over the wall, which would require a Herculean effort to slam that little green orb into the stratosphere so it can creep up to the top of the wall and finally teeter over while you collapse, exhausted, on the ground below. Because the wall is, like, really tall, okay? (Just go with it.)
Well, maybe the fear isn’t that extreme, but it’s pretty ridiculous. And thus far in my life, I’ve managed to avoid confronting that fear, just keeping my work to myself unless, in a few rare cases, I have enough confidence to send out maaaaaybe a few pages of fiction. Which I did a few months ago, with a short story. Since then, I’ve either 1) not written any short stories good enough to send out, 2) been lacking in time / energy to write any short stories, period, 3) been too “busy” writing novel-length works and making cake, or 4) all of the above.
You guessed it—all of the above! Ah, the struggle. Cry with me, people.
Basically—and I really need to get the point here, sorry—I have been thinking that, since this is summer and I have some extra time on my hands, I ought to share some writing. The solution has come to me in the form of a reckless and very ill-advised idea: blog a book!
Blogging a book is a very popular thing these days (I think). It involves writing chapters from a book and publishing them, one post at a time. I’m not sure why most people “blog books”, but I’ve been thinking that it would be a good accountability tool (I’ll do one chapter per week until it’s done or I decide to stop and work on it independently) as well as a fun way to incorporate my fiction hobby into my blogging hobby. Since, you know, running a blog sucks up a lot of writing time if you’re not careful.
So what’s the TL;DR of this disgustingly long post? I’ll be publishing a couple introductory chapters of my newest Work In Progress (WIP) sometime soon. Maybe tomorrow. Here’s hoping it doesn’t totally suck.
NOW! Let’s get back to talking about cake. Or, in this case, coffee cake scones.
|Baked goods are so much easier to talk about than fears and novels and whatnot.|
The other day, I checked out a copy of Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant, blogger at How Sweet It Is, from the local library. If you read her blog, you will not be surprised by how deliciously over-the-top many of the recipes are. I expected to poke through just the dessert section, maybe peek at some of the snack recipes, but found myself salivating over the savory recipes too—even though many of them contain things like bacon and cheese and all that so-so-not-vegan stuff. I ended up saving a few recipes I didn’t expect and picked out some baked goods to make later. Maybe for the blog. Watch out for some more creations from the cookbook soon.
I decided to make these crumb-topped strawberry scones since we are currently up to our ears in fresh strawberries, and what better use for those lovely berries than sticking them in baked goods?
|I have no idea.|
Not only are these scones half whole wheat, they are also relatively low in fat and sugar, making them practically health food. So I assure you, they are indeed perfect for breakfast. Or tea time. Or anytime, really. In fact, they were so not-too-sweet that I found myself cutting them in half and smearing on a little jam and coco oil. Maybe try them with some vegan cream cheese.
Anyway. Here’s my spin on the recipe.
Vegan strawberry coffee cake scones
Adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant
136 grams • all-purpose flour • 1 cup
120 grams • whole wheat flour • 1 cup
38 grams • granulated sugar • 3 tablespoons
6 grams • baking powder • 1 ½ teaspoons
2 grams • baking soda • ½ teaspoon
2 grams • salt • ¼ teaspoon
45 grams • vegan cream cheese • 3 tablespoons
28 grams • coconut oil • 2 tablespoons
170 grams • strawberries, hulled and chopped • 1 cup
244 grams • nondairy milk • 1 cup
7 grams • lemon juice • 1 ½ teaspoons
45 grams • all-purpose flour • 1/3 cup
56 grams • light brown sugar • ¼ cup
1 gram • cinnamon • ½ teaspoon
42 grams • coconut oil • 3 tablespoons
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Start by combining flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add vegan cream cheese and coconut oil and crumble in with a fork or your fingers. Stir in strawberries. Make a well in the center and pour in milk and lemon juice; stir just until a dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead 3 or 4 times. Shape dough into a 1 inch-thick circle and stick on the prepared baking sheet.
To make crumble topping, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl and cut in coconut oil with a fork or your fingers. Sprinkle crumble on top of scone dough in an even layer. Using a serrated knife, cut the round of dough into 8 triangles.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown and set. Let cool for half an hour before serving.
|Almost looks like a slice of cake. Or pizza. Mmmm, pizza.|
For more strawberry recipes, check out these links below.
Strawberry chocolate tart. Super simple and tasty.
Fresh strawberry layer cake. Cake, also, can be breakfast food.
Dark chocolate strawberry banana bread muffins. Basically a salad, as I explain in this post.
Strawberry coconut sweet rolls with Grand Marnier glaze. Reminds me, I ought to get some cinnamon rolls on here.