Well, here we go.
It's deep into fall, here in the PNW (Pacific Northwest, if you're not in the know) and I actually think it's fall everywhere else in the Northern hemisphere, though I never knew it for the last 9 years living in SoCal where it's perpetually stuck somewhere between late spring and early fall year-round. The leaves are setting a spectacular backdrop of red, yellow, green and orange across the azure sky as the cool fall breeze sets them in motion and the technicolor leaves flutter to the ground and create a blanket of color just waiting to be raked up and jumped in. Yeah, I dig fall in case you didn't read between the lines over the last couple sentences.
What says fall in the PNW more perfectly than apples? Nothing. So, we're using them as the 1st ingredient. It is low hanging fruit and I could have gone with asparagus or arctic char or artichokes? Sure, but apples are way cooler and more versatile and I like cooking with them so there. After seeing Bittman's podcast devoted to scones a couple weeks ago and then stumbling onto this recipe I decided it was a sign that scones were the delivery vehicle for the 1st ingredient in the project.
I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and was instantly intrigued: apples and cheddar cheese in a scone? It was sort of a freakshow which means you just have to check it out and I'm glad I did. I followed the recipe pretty much as-is (it's baking, after all) but my big substitute was for Beecher's Flagship as the cheese. Again, we're in the PNW so let's use local ingredients as much as possible; you will undoubtedly see this cheese again before the end of this project as I fell madly in love with it the first time I tried it. I also used whole wheat flour (eh, wish I used all purpose instead) and opted for the goldencrisp apples we just picked up over the go-to cooking apple the Granny Smith.
How were they? Awesome. The savory from the cheese, the sweet from the sugar and the apple, the tartness, it really worked. I'm not a baker (more a candlestick maker, myself) and I don't know how much I'll be baking throughout this project but these were a big success.
So, it's on to B. No clue what I'm doing just yet but there are some good ideas floating around that I'm looking at. There are still some kinks in the process, the kitchen is a total PITA for taking photos with the incandescent lighting and other little things I'd like to work on but I'll probably get it all nailed down by Q maybe M if I'm lucky.