We’re something of a TV watching household. Yes, we like movies (though I still haven’t been out to one since Maddie was born oh, 18 months ago), but we are nearly always too tired to sit through an entire movie in an evening. By the time Maddie goes to bed, we have maybe an hour or so of attention left in us before it’s time for us to go to bed in anticipation of our 4 am wakeup. (Yes, you read that correctly, more on that in a minute…)
So when TV goes on hiatus, say, over the winter holidays because we’re all supposed to be busy with festive parties and family togetherness, we find ourselves revisiting old TV shows that we neglected to watch the first time around. Most recently, it’s been Gray’s Anatomy, Season 5. We had watched the previous seasons only slightly behind schedule, but as Season 5 approached, we had just had enough of the groan-inducing, eye-rolling melodrama of the show. Sometimes it’s fun and sometimes it’s just too much to stomach.
Now that Dylan is a full-fledged surgical resident (an intern, just as the Gray’s Anatomy crew were in their first season), we have a decidedly different perspective on the show and its, uh, creative take on the medical profession. I won’t even get into the OR issues (loose hair, lack of face masks, etc…) or the fact that all of the doctors are sleeping with one another. No, what really gets us is the schedule our beloved TV doctors enjoy.
Meredith, Izzy, and the others routinely lounge around in their sun-filled house drinking coffee and relaxing before work in the morning. Even in the height of summer, the sun isn’t up when Dylan and his fellow interns head to work. When you have to be at work by 5, there’s just no room for morning chatting. He’s lucky to find a moment to grab a portable breakfast before rolling out the door. This one really irks him, needless to say.
What irks me the most? That he has virtually no control over his schedule at this point. His three vacation weeks were chosen for him in advance with no input from him. And he gets to request 5 days off (weekend included, mind you, as surgeons typically work 6 days a week) at either Thanksgiving or Christmas. We requested Christmas off. We got Thanksgiving. Surprise!
All of which goes to say that for the first year ever, I was unable to spend Christmas with my parents and extended family. Instead, Dylan, Maddie, and I spent the day on our own- after he got home from work at noon, that is. In fact, we were lucky that he was able to trade or he would have been on call at work ALL DAY on Christmas. Yeah, that’s what it’s like being a surgical intern. All glamour and glory.
One of my family’s few Christmas traditions is making scones on Christmas morning and then eating them while we open our stockings. In an effort to try to keep this year’s unusual Christmas at least a little festive, I whipped up a batch of these cranberry oatmeal scones from Joy of Baking on Christmas eve, popped them in the freezer unbaked, and then stuck them in the oven the moment Dylan walked in the door on Christmas day. May I mention what a genius idea freezing unbaked scones is? Thank you, Smitten Kitchen! You can do all of the prep ahead of time and just whip them straight from freezer to oven at your convenience. Voila!
All in all, Christmas wasn’t quite the same as in previous years, but the scones were our best ever- moist, rich, and delicious, especially laden with jam, lemon curd, and clotted cream. (It was Christmas people, time to live a little!) Yum. If all goes well we’ll be bringing these delicious scones with us when we go visit my parents for Christmas next year.
Cranberry oatmeal scones (makes 8 medium scones)
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (60 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup (40 grams) dried cranberries or cherries (raisins or currants)
Zest of one lemon or orange (we skipped this)
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk
Egg Wash: (not sure this added anything- I’d skip it next time)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use Silpat) and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl place the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and whisk to combine. Add the butter and using two knives or a pastry cutter cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the rolled oats, dried cranberries and zest. Mix until combined. Stir in the buttermilk (adding more buttermilk if necessary) and mix just until the dough comes together. It will be fairly dry.
3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle into 8 triangular sections. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Make an egg wash of one beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk or cream and brush the tops of the scones with this mixture.
4. Bake for about 15 – 18 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (Add just 3-5 extra minutes if baking frozen scones.) Remove from oven and then turn your broiler on high. If you like, sift confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar heavily over the tops of the scones and place them under the broiler. Broil for just a few seconds, turning the pan as necessary, until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown. Make sure to watch the scones carefully as the sugar will burn very quickly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.