I was pretty embarrassed to hear that I'm a hot topic of conversation around town. And all because I like The Parlour, the new tearoom in Old Town.
You see, I go to The Parlour for a few very legitimate reasons. In the first place, who ever said that ladies have dibs on tea? I did some tours in Iraq and now I run my own company training people to do search and rescue. Not with dogs, even though I miss having one. I assist municipalities in coming up with contingency plans for major emergencies, and I train their personnel. So I don't have any doubts about my own masculinity. Where does it say that guys have to eat hot dogs and drink beer at greasy spoon type joints? Can't a guy enjoy great pastries and tea, too?
There is another reason that I like The Parlour. I admit that I'm sweet on Callie Evans, one of the employees. There's something about Callie. I guess it's because she reminds me of the girls I grew up with. I might live in metropolitan Washington, DC but I'm still a country guy at heart. Give me a chair on the back porch and a dog by my side, and I'd be perfectly content watching fireflies and stars at night. Callie's like that, too. We'd just as soon pass up the art galleries and the bars to enjoy nature and not a neighbor anywhere in sight.
Some of the regular ladies like gossiping about me, though. It's like having my mom watch me. How's a guy supposed to get friendly with a girl when they're watching? But even if Callie didn't work at the Parlour, I would be here every day for my current obsession-Bacon Cheddar Cheese Scones with Maple Bourbon Butter. Who knew scones could be savory? Callie gave me permission to share the recipe with you. I'm not much of a baker, so I stop by The Parlour for them. How about you? Do you bake?
There's no other reason a guy like me would hang around The Parlour. Is there?
2 cups flour + extra for kneading
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon mustard
1 cup (about 5 slices) crumbled cooked bacon
Preheat the oven to 400. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the pastry blade into a food processor and add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pulse twice. Cut the butter into cubes. Add to the flour, along with the cheese, and pulse until combined and the butter is barely visible anymore.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and mustard. Turn out the flour mixture on top of it and mix gently with a large serving spoon two or three times. Add the bacon and mix until large clumps begin to take shape.
Sprinkle flour on a cutting board and dust your hands with flour. Turn the dough onto the cutting board and knead 8-10 times, adding just a sprinkle of flour if necessary.
Pat the dough into a 9-inch cake pan. Turn it out onto the parchment paper and cut the round into 8 equal pieces with a very sharp knife. It’s best to press the knife into the dough instead of dragging it through the dough. Slide a knife or thin spatula under each slice and pull away from the center slightly to separate them. (They can be frozen at this point if you don't need them all.) Bake 20-22 minutes.
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon bourbon (plain, not flavored)
Bring the butter to room temperature so it is soft. Place the butter, maple syrup, and bourbons in a mini food processor and combine. Place in a mold or shape by hand and refrigerate. (Note: this can also be done in a bowl with a fork, but Krista finds she gets better results with a food processor.)
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