Social Graces: Eggnog & Cranberry Scones

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

-Social filters are so lame anyways. Not like scones which are never lame.-

I was raised right and generally like to think I'm with rather decent manners. I never push my way through a crowd, but rather gingerly shoulder my way past to with the appropriate "Pardon me. Excuse me," as is expected. I feign timorousness when the situation is proper and speak out when it is expected or necessary. I hold doors, always smile, and genially try to be cordial to everyone.

Then again, we all have our bad days. I've been that person who gets in the car and takes personal offense when the person behind me thinks I'm going to slow - which I probably am - and decided to go around and get in front of me. I respond with anger, taking this pass as an insult to my ability to drive, and speed up determined to prove to EVERYONE that I am not the slow, inattentive driver I am.

I'm also the type who detests poor phone skills and will deliberately make my revulsion apparent. For example, I may or may not have been taken aside at work and told that it is not appropriate to chastise one of our more annoying vendors for always every. single. time. interrupting me on the phone.

Then there are the days where I don't just completely toss all sense of propriety out to the wind, I club it in the back of the head with a shovel and then throw it in the back seat of my car to be buried in a train yard.

This is what happened yesterday. When I told a baby to go fuck itself.

-Yes, I'm a model human being.-

Now, it wasn't the baby's fault. I admit that he was innocent and not really the problem. His father, who was an ass and whom I did tell to go fuck off, was.

It had already been a bad day. I mean a really bad day. The kind where you a negative energy of pure bitch fury just radiates off of you like heat from fire. Everyone knows to just leave you alone and the obvious scowl is enough to deter questions and well-intended comfort which would only add fuel to the flames.

Yes, it was that kind of day. Thank God, the work day was over and I only had to run to the market for some mussels so I could test a dish for the cookbook. I had called ahead and checked if they had any mussels.

"Two pounds? Yeah. We have plenty."

I asked if they were sure and if they could hold some for me. They explained that no, they couldn't do that for seafood but that it shouldn't be a problem. I told them fine and that I would only be an hour and that they would please just try to keep me and two pounds of mussels in mind.

I arrived, earlier than I had told them and walked up to the fish counter where there were no mussels.

-I heard that this is how one of Korean Wars started. Seriously.-

"Dude, what happened!? I called only an hour ago! You said no problem and that there would be plenty of them!" I cried.

"Sorry, I just bought all ten pounds that they had." I turned to see a guy in his early thirties, WASP-ish, and dressed in a Northface cable-knit sweater. He had a rather comely countenance and it was immediately apparent that this was likely the type of man who knew he was good looking and made use of it. Sitting in his cart was a small baby that looked little like him and was inspecting a nearby pile of burgundy-spiked rambutans.

I looked back at the fishmonger. "Seriously, no more? You knew I was coming!"

"First come, first serve."

I immediately wrote him off as a dick and decided that the universe should punish him for this fact. I then turned to Cable Knit. "Any chance you could spare just a pound? I have guests coming, I called ahead, and I came all this way. Please?"

"Nope. I need them all," he smirked and held up the bag, gave it a toss in the air and caught it. A gesture to demonstrate that this bounty was his and his alone.

"Not at all?" I begged, exasperated. I was tired and just, please dear God, I needed one thing to go right.

"Sorry 'bout it." He smiled. But that wasn't just a smile. His face and tone were - I know for a fact I was not imagining it - communicated one thing only: Ha ha. Sucks to be you.

It was that that flipped the lid off my filter.

"Fuck you."

Simple. Direct.

Given, not my most crowning social moment, but it felt like the right one.

His face contorted into feigned saintly appall. "I have a baby with me!" He gestured towards his child who wasn't paying attention to anything that was going on and was reaching out for a stack of organic bananas.

"Fuck your baby."

And then I put down my shopping basket and left the fish counter.

-That baby was total dick too I bet anyways.-

So yes, I could have handled that better than I did.

The next day I was more behaved. I had calmed down significantly. I felt zero regret for what I had said to that guy. I stayed at home that day did some writing, and as a bit of social karma made scones and invited people over for social weekend snack and rather enjoyably languid conversation.

As a bit of extra cheer for the holidays the scones were something rather unique. Flavored with a heavy pour of eggnog and studded with cranberries these scones were creamy, tart, and possessed a comfortingly dense crumb. Perfect with butter and mugs of chai tea spiked with a hint of brandy.

Admittedly, I will probably make these a few more times during the holiday season. Though it's a time of good cheer, it can be achingly stressful at times. These might help just temper my more temperamental moods just a bit. And all the better for everyone else, man and baby alike.

Eggnog and Cranberry Scones

6 oz bread flour
2 oz sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries
6 oz eggnog

1. Whisk together the bread flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Next, whisk in the cranberries.

2. Add the eggnog and use your hands to gently bring together the ingredients. If you need to add a bit more eggnog or flour then do so judiciously. It will be sticky and clumpy. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead twice (push-squish, push-squish, done).

3. Form the dough into a disc and cut into 6-8 pieces. Brush the tops with a bit more eggnog.

4. Bake at 425F for 10-15 minutes or until golden.


  1. I just wanted to say that I thought that story was hilarious. Although obviously not at the time, for you. I don't know what I would have done in that situation, but I think the guy (and his baby) had it coming. Hope the scones helped, they sound delicious!

  2. Well let's just say his baby is destined to be an ass and deserve a FU if raised by such a prick.

  3. Your description of "those"people was perfect. I can't stand them even if I'm having a good day.

  4. Oh my gosh, this cracked me up! 'fuck your baby'
    That is GREAT. Sometimes, people need to hear it. Sometimes they're so busy walking around in their own cloud of awesome, thinking their shit don't stink, then they get what they deserve.
    Well done! :)

  5. Jen: They are delicious. Easy, too.

    Catherine: One can hope, right?

  6. Garrett does Occupy Fishmongers. Go Garrett! Give it to the 0.5%! What does one need 10 lbs of mussels for, really? That baffles me.
    Was he driving a black humongous SUV? I seem to have issues with those as well. Entitled to screw the earth, as they see fit.
    But do try and find a fish seller who respects your business, and you. As a MAJOR cooking force, they owe it to their business to KEEP YOU HAPPY and enmusseled.

  7. burnttoast: Redistribute the mussels amongst society. ;)

  8. Lmao. F your baby. Brilliant. What a horrible day you had. Thanks for sharing your story though :)

  9. Totally agree with what cenfield said. I can't stand people like that. Don' t know if I could be as bold as you though.

  10. I love this. I'm sorry but I do.

  11. Stories like this are the exact reason I read your blog every week, even when the subject includes eggnog, which I can't stand to eat/drink. I won't be cooking the recipe, but I will be chuckling about "Fuck your baby" for the rest of the day. :)

  12. S: The eggnog is mild in this. Plus, if you use good eggnog, the taste isn't as cloyingly sweet.

    kathleenomalley: That's fine. No one will judge. ;)

    Deborah: You just have to try a bit harder to be a total bitch to strangers. =D

  13. I wonder if he washed baby's ears out when he got home?

    Chloe M.

  14. First and foremost, I want to know the name of that store, so I can avoid it. I just pray it's not one that I love.

    Secondly, with "sweater's" lack of seasonal good will, that negativity may likely land in his mussels much the way it did in Like Water for Chocolate.

  15. hahaha I'm really enjoying your blog, I cant even remember how I stumbled upon it.. anyway great.

    I think cableknit had every right to keep all 10lbs of his mussels, but I love that you told him to fuck off anyway. Sometimes you just need to get angry at someone.

  16. You have your baby with you? Set a good example, so that the baby doesn't grow up into a giant dick as well. You were completely justified. Call it a preventative FU.

    I'm going to make those scones right now.

  17. Hahahahaha!! You don't know how many times I have wanted to do just this. My situations have less to do with mussels and more to do with sanctimonious martyr moms at playgroups monologueing about the perfect ways they raise their perfect babies, but I digress. I have wanted to tell many a baby to fuck off. Bless their hearts.

    Those scones sound kickass. I'm totally making those.

  18. I have never consumed egg nog. I do however, love advocaat and as a child my Yule treat was a tall glass of advocaat and lemonade. The stuff tastes of Christmas to me now. Is there any similarity between the two? Could I sub advocaat for egg nog?

    And yeah, fuck that guy and his baby. I love your stories!

  19. Annonymous: I have no idea what Advocaat is so I can't say.

  20. Anonymous:

    Advocaat and Eggnog are very similar. Advocaat is usually cream, eggs, sugar and brandy while Eggnog is usually cream, eggs, sugar and bourbon.

    I would guess that a substitution would work.

  21. I am sure the baby was mocking you, Garrett. And thanks for the great recipe, too.

  22. Madeline: That baby was sneering in his mind.

  23. Oh god I can just imagine this whole scene in all it's enraging hilarity. What kind of weirdo "can't spare" just a tiny share of a ten pound bag of mussels? Crazy. I would have gone all Mookie in 'Do The Right Thing' on him too.

  24. Awesome story! I know exactly how that feels. I usually get that feeling when I'm back in Germany, as most people that are completely stuck up assholes who won't even help a little granny in need.

    Advocaat is Dutch - though it is usually much sweeter and heavier on the egg yolks than eggnog. The older Dutch people here drink it regularly. It's known to be an "old ladies drink" for the most part.

    Eggnog, on the other hand, is much cooler ;) and also more of a Christmas thing.

    Yay for these scones - I love cranberries and eggnog, so I'm going to make these (though with fresh cranberries, I really hate dried) as soon as I can.

    I hope the baby didn't just learn its first word from you. That would serve the sweater dude right.

  25. "I told a baby to go fuck itself."

    LMFAO ahahahahah. We all have those days. Your scones look delicious by the way.

  26. Anna A: Thanks for the clarification.

    Kyleen: They are rather delicious. Hope you try them. =)

  27. Going to make these now! They sound great and I have some nog lying around ... just wanted to let you know of an inconsistency in the recipe though- you call for baking powder in the ingredients, but then say to whisk the baking soda with the flour. I'm assuming its powder (typical for scones!) but you may confuse some people!

  28. I think this may be the funniest food blog post I have ever read. I just ran downstairs to read it out loud to my boyfriend. I sometimes fantasize about what I would say to people like Cable Knit in the event of such douchebaggery. But you ... you lived it. So cool.

  29. By the time I got to the F*** your baby comment, I was laughing aloud. This is fantastic. Not fantastic for you, because you didn't get the food you were expecting, but what a story! Your scones look beautiful, and as I have never ventured into scones, they may be just the thing to get me inspired, as I am loving the cranberry theme. Also, I cannot help but wonder, what the hell someone would need with 10 lbs of mussels that could not be sufficiently accomplished with 8? What is this world coming to?

  30. Your story had me laughing so hard it brought me to tears!

  31. "Fuck your baby"

    I. Love. You.

    The end.

  32. This truly made my day! I honestly believe that some people are present in this world and think outside of themselves. Sweater*ss does not fall into this category. If he needed the mussels, he needed the mussels, but the entitlement that was shown was so deserving of the f-u. He tossed the bag! F you sweater*ss!

    Thanks for the laugh - I hope you're having a much better day today! I love your blog, you always make me smile....and hungry.

  33. Ahhh, yes, Jade makes a good point - baking soda, baking powder, so close yet so very far. As my cakey scones will attest. Serves me right for not reading closely! Oh well, will just have to try these again, thanks for the recipe!

  34. Tree and Jade: Yes, baking powder! Sorry, I put soda in the instructions because I'm stupid. So, so sorry! Eek. Still, cakey scones don;t sound too bad. ;)

  35. I laughed so hard I cried, I'm sorry about your terrible day Garrett, but I'm so glad you shared :) And I'm going to make those scones they look easy to make and tasty :)

  36. Best blog ever! Thanks for keeping it honest and real!

  37. I'm just going to step out here and unlike the rest of your readers tell you that telling someone to f*** off just because he purchased something you wanted, (was it for sale just for you? did he know you wanted it and run to get it first? No.) means you're rude and selfish at best. I doubt if the circumstance was turned around, and you had gotten to the mussels first and he was asking you to part with some, that you would have sold them to him. In fact, it's a good bet your response would have been the same. Having a "bad day" doesn't mean you can be a crude, rude jerk to people. Clearly you and your readers aren't the kind of people that make the world a better place. The only thing worse than acting like that is bragging about it in a blog post. Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

  38. Catherine: I already acknowledge that, yes, I did not take that situation well. I even said as much. I didn't say that this is how I normally acted, even to a guy who is being a bit of a jerk. This was an instance of me having poor judgment.

    As for the situation turned around? Yes, yes I would give some up because it happened to me with some rambutans at the farmer's market once. So there you go. Furthermore, as for the lecture, you came to my blog to read my words. If you don't like them that's fine.

    As for making the world a better place, well, I can say that my everyday actions do. I work in social work. I volunteer often. No offense, but you can;t possibly properly assess me from one post about one instance in my life. As for my reader, well, you don't know them either (you seem to be one of them so what does that say?).

    And yes, I do fucking kiss many people with this mouth.


  39. Hi Garrett - You are my hero! Love your blog - found you through Simply Recipes. Anything cranberry rocks in my world besides your story...and you! : )

  40. love the blog! My first attempt didn't quite come together--ended up with more of a batter instead of dough. For the 2nd attempt I was wondering: would fresh cranberries instead of dried also work?

  41. Fresh would NOT work for this recipe. They would be rather bulky I think and you wouldn't get a lot of them into the actual dough.

  42. Love this, I need to borrow you next time I go to the market. Thanks for the chuckle (and the scones)


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