The local community center near my immediate neighborhood houses a diverse array of recreational activities for people of all ages and interest. My daughters and I, as well as anyone in the metro area with a child under the age of 5, tend to congregate at the center for ballet class at least two times a week.
In the two years I’ve frequented the community center, my children and I have made a couple of friends. But there is one ‘friend’ that resides in a very poignant, localized place in my heart…
Stephanie’s daughter, Gabriella*, has danced with my daughter for almost a year and the two girls have a brilliant relationship – a relationship that involves shriek-laden conversations about arabesques, curtsies and whose tutu is more reminiscent of a fairy princess’s. Oddly, I cannot describe, nor conjure similar sentiments with regards to my relationship with Stephanie, the mother.
In one word, Stephanie is frightening. She is one of the most egotistical, pessimistic, confrontational and consistently judgmental human beings I have ever met. If you share a story about how you broke your toe while tripping over a crack in the sidewalk, she will interrupt your story, mid-sentence, to share her similar, yet significantly more dramatic story detailing her own toe injury experience.
As a non-confrontational person, I’ve managed to steer away from most debates or discussions with Stephanie (which is probably why she thinks I’m her friend). However, my more disturbed, ugly side made an appearance after Stephanie berated me for feeding my daughter these ‘sugar-filled, highly toxic, fat inducing, hyper-stimulating’ Chocolate Chunk Scones after ballet class last Tuesday (Are we still friends? I hope not). I mean, why can’t I just feed my children raw tomatoes, like the ones her daughter happily snacks on from a Ziploc baggie brimming with cherry tomatoes supplied by her mother?
Look. I’m a supporter of the low-sugar movement that has taken root among families, educators, policymakers and nutritionist looking to fight childhood obesity. But I am, and probably will never be, a fan of: 1) eliminating sugar from my children’s diet and robbing them of the more whimsical, sucrose-filled moments I had in my younger days and 2) other parents offering unsolicited and non-constructive criticisms about my parenting skills and lifestyle choices.
In a fit of rage, I was unable to fully articulate that these scones, while firmly situated in the dessert category, are a delicious, relatively low-sugar goodie devoured by my children as a “sometime food” – a “sometime food” eaten on occasion and not as a substitute for our more nutritious meals and snacks.
(sigh) Perhaps I’ll send Stephanie a link to this post.
*Names have been changed to hide true identity.
Chocolate Chunk Scones
Slightly Adapted from Baking Illustrated Recipe for Cream Scones w/Currants
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup of chocolate chunks
1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)
1 cup 2% milk
Pre-heat an oven to 425 degrees.
Put all dry ingredients in an the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix to combine. Add the butter and mix the flour mixture until it looks like cornmeal. Then, add the chocolate chucks. Finally, add the milk and only mix until just combined.
Lightly flour your work station and dump the dough out. Gently, with your finger tips, shape the dough into a ball and flatten with the back of your hand to about 1/2 – 3/4 an inch thick. Using a knife or bread cutter, cut the circle into 8 wedges (like slicing a pizza). Brush a little bit of milk on the top of each scone.
Place in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Let cool on rack and serve!