Since the weather decided to breeze right on through this year without so much as a day or two of below-freezing nights, we decided to get a head start on our spring garden. It’s usually not a good idea to ponder tilling and planting until after spring break, but the shorts-wearing temperatures are giving me confidence to move forward.
This will be our third year of gardening, and I absolutely love it. Our yard is surprisingly large for where we live, so we’ve sectioned off a giant hunk of it with two ridiculously long raised beds. We have a janky fence in place to keep Thing 1 and Thing 2 out while we’re not home, but it does nothing for the birds that have their way with our tomatoes each year.
When the spring garden died down around late last September, we just left it. Left it to grow wildly and whither out under the hot sun, the soil drained of its nutritious resources. To be honest, it turned into somewhat of an embarrassment whenever we’d welcome new people into our home. They could peek right outside two large windows and witness two gargantuan, graying okra plants, across from a dozen mangled and brown tomato plants wrapped in a never-ending maze of wire cages. But the dread of cleanup outweighed the embarrassment.
Until last weekend, when we put on our crappiest shoes and gardening gloves and went to work. Ripping out the old plants is remarkably cathartic, and I only injured myself twice. I untangled tomato vines from their cages and plucked dying herbs from the ground while the boy weed-eatered and mended the fence. Now, we have two beautiful blank canvases, waiting to be tilled and mixed with fresh, rich soil. I plan on saving the actual planting portion of the process for a beautiful evening with a bottle of wine – because that is my happy place.
The plants I miss having the most are jalapenos. We planted TWELVE last year, and plucking up the remains this year got me all the more excited to have them once more. Unlike the ‘roided up peppers from the grocery store, ours grow in small, but fiery. And in abundance. Come June, I’ll be pawning these off on neighbors and friends by the bag-ful, fervently contemplating what and how I can cook them in something.
So these scones are the starting gun to the upcoming spring o’veggies. Although I don’t love the monster and lackluster-flavored grocery store jalapenos that went into these, they got the job done, and they make me appreciate when my backyard is overflowing with the good stuff.
These delicious beauties come from my frequently-used cookbook, The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather. The recipe is solely for bacon and cheddar, so I wondered how it would taste to add a jalapeno, then saw she had a modified version listed on the next page with the peppers interspersed… She gets me.
It’s a simple scone base with lots of butter, freshly-grated sharp cheddar cheese, ample bits of fresh bacon, cracked black pepper, green onions, and spicy jalapenos. Unlike most fruit-based scones, these stick to your ribs.
The boy and I found ourselves nibbling away at them in the mornings, chased by cups of Texas pecan coffee. Is it the healthiest start to the day? Absolutely not. But is it the most delicious start to the day? Absolutely yes.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly cracked pepper
- ½ cup cold butter, cut into ½" cubes
- 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
- 3 green onions, sliced thinly
- 12 slices bacon, cooked and diced
- 2 - 3 jalapenos, diced
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper. While the mixer is running, add the cubes of butter one at a time. Once the mixture reaches a meal-like consistency, add the grated cheese.
- Add the green onions, bacon, jalapenos, and the buttermilk. Mix together with a large spoon until everything just comes together.
- Lightly flour a surface and place the dough on it. If you need to, gently knead once or twice. Pat into about a 9" circle. Cut into 8 wedges.
- Place the wedges on a baking sheet. Whisk together the egg and water, and brush the surfaces. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and set in center.