I remember being in one of my undergrad courses, second or third year, carrying around with me The Happiness Project. I distinctively remember being early for one of my politics course as I did my minor in Political Science, holding on to every line of this bright blue and yellow book. I must have been 21 at the time, and extremely enthusiastic about finding a cure to the analytical happiness epidemic. I wasn’t unhappy, not necessarily. I was always a curious student or reader (in this case) regarding all self-improvement, self-evolvement, and self-involvement. Though I never bought (literal sense) the self-help guru talks and advice. I remember being distinctively intrigued with opinions that contradicted the ‘happy-go-lucky’ mentality, as this challenged my insight and made me see things in a different grace.
I never got through to finishing that book. I think I might have stopped at page 20 or something. And I am not even sure where that book is right now.
I am currently writing my thesis for my graduate program with a different book in hand. I recently began reading The Happiness Trap. What a difference. Just the same, I have only read over 20 pages. I find the raw and honest perspective incredibly appealing. It challenges the myths that we live by; the ones that we constantly encounter, or the ones we have created for ourselves. Instead of the happiness ‘project’, I found the first pages of this book to debunk societal advocates of the ‘think positive’ campaign for the same crucial concern of individuals constantly thinking of happiness as a ‘project’, or a ‘pursue’ towards achieving total bliss. Whereas civilization (tracing back to human evolution) fundamentally taught us lessons on survival and adaptation, where conflict and chaos were natural parts of human development.
I particularly enjoy reading posts online published by the School of Life, founded by the more contemporary philosopher, Alain De Button. My fiancé believes that Button might have training in psychoanalysis, as some of his ideas and theories are interconnected with the psyche school of thought. Aside from his easy-to-read published opinion pieces, the school of life posts these short six-minute videos on philosophy and humanity (everything from love and marriage, to abuse, neglect, money, fame, power, and the etc.) that are incredibly well made, and from a trusted source. Going back to my point, the School of Life published a short video on YouTube about the philosopher Augustine, and his theory on success and failure. Augustine is a philosopher I studied in 101 undergrad philosophy class, though after my encounter with this video I felt a grounding urge to revisit my philosophy books.
Augustine’s ideology regarding human suffering and happiness (success vs. failure) paved the way (in my opinion) to these great theories that have emerged ever since (regarding our true purpose on earth), and how incapable human beings are in (just) living. We tend to want to make sense of everything, where Augustine believed that human beings were not placed on earth to mend the broken road of being perfect. We are to not be perfected. We are meant to live and survive through anguish, and triumph. However, most importantly, the School of Life published this video along with a great article, discussing the importance of not just studying history, but relating history to the relevance of society today. I guess that is my purpose in blogging, to rumble on about many little different ideas about happiness, for absolutely no purpose at all J
As I masterfully do, the direction of this post is about to go in yet another direction. Back to the beginning, I guess, to the initial purpose of my blogging today. I made these English tea scones that my sister-in-law, and her mother, and my friend who is visiting from London all enjoyed so much.
They were delicious, though I had my reservation about the look of the scones contrary to mass opinion. I thought they could have looked better, despite how delicious they tasted with butter and jam.
Total Time: 35 min
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 ½ cups (435gr) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (65gr) sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (75gr) unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line the baking sheet with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
- In a medium jug, beat the eggs, buttercream and milk. Reserve about 2 tablespoon of mixture.
- In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and mix until nice and smooth. (Thoroughly coating the flour with butter minimizes the formation of gluten creating tender and light scones.)
- Add egg mixture and mix until just combined. Transfer the dough onto well-floured surface.
- With floured hand, knead the dough to smooth out the surface and flatten it into 1-inch thick disk. Using 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many scones as you can.
- Gather the remaining dough and repeat the step #5, until all the dough is used. Arrange the scones on the prepared baking sheet, brush on the reserved egg mixture on each scone and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the scones on wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with sweet whipped butter.
Lessons Learned: I used Becel Butter, and about 3 tablespoons of it only. I think that might have played with the consistency of the dough. Also, the blog suggested that you reserve a bit of the egg and milk mixture so you can brush a little on the dough before placing them in the oven—I think that made them burn easily, and I got a very inconsistent golden or ‘burnt’ look.
Ps. If someone can kindly give me suggestions to how I can ‘golden’ my dough in the oven without the top burning and the middle remaining raw, I would greatly appreciate it. (If anyone is still reading by now). 😛