The Mindful Kitchen
A Wellness and Food Column by Heidi Barr
Autumn in Minnesota is defined by leaves turning burnt umber and ruby, picking the last of the garden crops before the first hard freeze, and spending weekends preserving whatever vegetables and fruits have decided to declare themselves abundant. And it’s a time, perhaps, of invitation: To start to shift into a slower gear and remember that all of this abundance of harvest time is meant to be savored. Mindfully sourcing, preparing, and enjoying that which nourishes the body can be one of life’s greatest joys, as well as one of the simple acts that helps a human being thrive in this modern world. Wellness means more than just eating enough vegetables and working out a certain number of times per week. True well-being is underlaid by presence—that is to say, how we show up to our days and what provides a foundation for the choices we make. For some, wellness means eating broccoli and getting to know the stairmaster. For others it means walking outside regularly and ditching the extra helping of Cheetos in the evening for a cup of tea instead. But for all of us, it means embracing whatever abundance truly feels nourishing as we root down into our own unique way of being on the earth. I think, when all is said and done, wellness means feeling abundantly alive.
One of the way abundance shows up in my own garden in September is in the form of berries: raspberries and blackberries. If it doesn’t freeze early, by mid-September the brambles up on the hill are towering over my head and exploding with these sweet offerings. One of my favorite ways to use them is to bake these simple scones. Because when I make these, I feel connected to my landbase, I know exactly what’s going into them, and they abound with wonderful flavor. Mindfulness + sustainable abundance = wellness.
Berry Cream Cheese Scones
- 2 cups flour (one cup can be whole wheat if you desire)
- 1 TB sugar
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 2 TB baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 TB unsalted butter, cold
- ¾ cup plain or vanilla yogurt
- 3-4 ounces cream cheese, softened slightly
- 1 cup blackberries or raspberries (*frozen is fine if fresh aren’t available)
Preheat oven to 425 Line a large baking sheet with parchment paperCombine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter using two knives or a pastry cutter until small crumbs form. Add yogurt and mix until you have a sticky dough. Turn out on a floured surface and knead a few times. Press dough into a rectangle that is about ½ inch thick. Spread the cream cheese evenly over the rectangle, and dot the surface with the berries, spreading them out evenly as well. Fold dough like a letter (in three parts) and press down into a circle about a ½ inch thick. (Berries may fall out during this step…just push them back in!) Cut into 8 wedges and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Set a timer and bake for 15-16 minutes, until tops are slightly browned. Bonus: While they bake, set down whatever stress you have been carrying and sit at the kitchen table. Focus on your breathing. Notice how the smell of baking berries and flour starts to overtake the kitchen, and breathe deeply into your lower abdomen. Inhale for a count of three, hold, and exhale for a count of three. Repeat. Again. Allow yourself time to just exist for these 15 minutes. Then, pick your stress up again if it hasn’t gotten up and walked away. You may notice it’s lighter, now. Remove scones from oven and let cool. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar or a simple glaze of ½ cup powdered sugar + 1 TB cream or half and half. Serve with fair trade coffee. Enjoy device-free and outside if at all possible.
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As Thich Nhat Hanh advises, “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves—slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” May your autumn and winter be lived steeped in wellbeing, one moment, and one bite, at a time.
Author of Woodland Manitou and Prairie Grown, Heidi Barr lives in Minnesota with her husband and daughter where they tend a large organic vegetable garden, explore nature and do their best to live simply. As a mother, spouse, gardener, and wellness coach, she is committed to cultivating ways of being that are life-giving and sustainable for people, communities and the planet. Heidi holds a Master’s degree in Faith and Health Ministries, and occasionally coordinates with yoga teachers and organic farms to offer nature-based retreat experiences.
Visit her at heidibarr.com.
This is a selection from The Wayfarer’s Autumn 2018 issue.
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