Way Out West

August beauties to come

Not Montana, rather western New York State where my older daughter lives. Big open space makes it possible for her significant other to cultivate an enormous garden that provides tons of veggies at harvest time. I got into the action hoeing a l-o-n-g row of fledgling tomato plants and have the healed blister to prove it.

My last visit to the Corning Museum of Glass was way before the place got so big. Now it has a visitor center, huge parking lot and lots of exhibit spaces (also lots of visitors.) We loved New Glass Now with some exiting work by contemporary glass artists. We also went to several demos of glass blowing techniques, marveling at the skill of experts. Mid-way, we drove into the little town of Corning for lunch at Nine Elephants, a nice Thai place. The exhibit on glass history was led by an excellent docent although it was late in the day and my attention span was waning. Back to Corning to the (truly) Old World Café for an ice cream break.

Old World Cafe, Corning NY

Alfred University is especially well known for programs in ceramic art, ceramic engineering and glass engineering and has a strong astronomy program with the well-respected, 7- telescope Skull Observatory. Alfred University is especially well known for programs in ceramic art, ceramic engineering and glass engineering and has a strong astronomy program with the well-respected, 7- telescope Skull Observatory. The Ceramic Art Museum has an interesting show, Kilns of Alfred, with large photos documenting the personal kilns used by Alfred ceramic art luminaries. (I never knew there were so many kinds.)  Scattered around the gallery show are many ceramic works, some wonderful, other not so much. Afterwards, still at Alfred, we snuck into a rehearsal for the annual MostArts Festival which attracts world class musicians. There is a major young pianist competition drawing talent from all over. With a $10,000 prize, it attracts the best of the best 13-18 year olds.

One type of kiln

We also went to a lavender festival that was short on lavender and longer on baked goods and women with purple streaks in their hair. And no trip to the area would be complete without a stop- off Aldi’s, owned by Trader Joe’s, where the values are incredible.  

Purple tresses on display

One morning my host baked delicious scones for breakfast. This isn’t his recipe but a very standard version.

Easy Scones

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar (not sure but you can probably decrease this a little)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cold

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream cold

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. (Probably OK to just grease pan.)

Put flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in food processor and pulse to combine..Cut the butter into pieces and add to the food processor.

Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.With the food processor running on low speed, stream in the cream. When the dough gathers into a ball, turn off the food processor and divide dough into two equal portions.

Flatten each portion of dough into a disc  about 1 1/2-inches thick. Score each disc into 6 triangles with a knife and pull the triangles slightly away from one another (allowing about 1/2-inch in between).

Bake scones for 14 to 18 minutes, or until set in the centers and slightly golden on the bottoms.

Delicious and very British even if not served with clotted cream. Great at breakfast and also for a snack anytime.

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3 Responses to Way Out West

  1. Elayne Glotzer says:

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend!

  2. Brigitte Döring says:

    Reminds me of my own visit to the Corning Glass Museum – more than 40 years ago but very impressive even then!

    • marigold says:

      Yes indeed. Was first there quite a few years ago but now it’s much bigger. In all honesty, I liked the smaller version a bit better but suspect this is a more economic business model.