My morning meditation:
Few things are better than "cutting" butter into flour by hand. I start with frozen unsalted butter and cut it into roughly cubic-centimeters. Then I mix it into the flour by squishing each cube of butter between my fingers until the mixture has a sort of flaky consistency.
SNOW!!!! (and biscuits)
I started following the recipe for the scones served at A Spot of Tea in Rhinebeck, NY (which is apparently and unfortunately now out-of-business!). But we were all out of eggs, so on a whim I decided to just substitute extra milk for the egg. They turned out to be the best biscuits I've ever had with this incredible fresh milk flavor that was absolutely captivating. And if you were wondering (because I was), there is really no difference between a scone and a biscuit in the US, they are both simply a soft leavened quick bread. Though what you use them for might define whether it's a biscuit or a scone; if you eat it with jam and cream it's a scone, if you smother it in gravy, it's a biscuit. Also, shortcake is just a large cake-sized scone or biscuit or whatever you want to call it. Anyway, we smothered these in bacon gravy and ate it with sausage and coffee, so I'm calling them biscuits. Oh, and I did mention the snow, that's the best part!!
After breakfast we decided to go for stroll in the snow to get more milk and eggs, but first we needed a warm beverage to keep us company on our cold walk.
Behold, the makings of The Snowball:
This is a concoction we developed with a previous house-mate during the 2008 snow storm. It's Valrhona hot chocolate, Stumptown coffee, Bailey's Irish cream, Jameson whiskey, and Rumpleminze peppermint schnapps. It gives you the power to conquer the world in the comfort of the best warm fuzzy blanket. It's the perfect beverage.