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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. Since 2009 Aunt Nettie has known people were struggling to stretch their dollars during the recession. So she focused her tasty recipes on low-cost ingredients that would still offer delicious, healthy, stick-to-the-ribs foods, yet were affordable.

With the economy improving and more people back at work, Aunt Nettie felt the time was right to ease up a bit on strict bargain-bin shopping and gussy up the menu with a few small splurges.

Aunt Nettie is still happy to answer questions that come her way, but what she loves most is offering seasonal fixin's that inspire her while shopping at the farm stand.

Howdy there darlin's,

Well, this month has come on with plenty rain, more'n a share o' windy days, an' jes enuff sunshine ta make me believe spring is a-comin'. There's plenty good celebratin' this month, first with St. Patrick's Day, then there's Passover, an' right after that, there's Easter Sunday. My, my, my! What celebratin' we got comin' up!

So I done baked up some mighty tasty scones fer enjoyin' on St. Paddy's Day an' on Easter. This recipe ain't proper on Passover, 'cause Passover is the time fer eatin' Matzo fer 8 days, but when it's passed, why ever'one kin enjoy a scone or two.

Most times scones is sweet and folks like ta eat 'em fer breakfast or brunch times, but these Savory Onion Poppy Seed Scones is mighty different. They's not sweet. They's just as deeeelicious as sweet ones, but in a diff'rent way. These scones is a tad savory and folks what enjoy the goodness o' onions will go head-over-heels over 'em all baked inter these here very light, soft, an' moist scones. They's jes right fer lunch an' dinner, or supper.

Now, if'n y'all cain't find poppy seeds at the grocery, don't worry 'bout it. You kin use toasted or untoasted sesame seeds instead. Poppy seeds used ta be popular, but they ain't so much anymore, 'cause times change.

I knows you'll jes love these scones. They's mighty good lookin' all baked up nice an' browned on top. Now, don't you go an' bake 'em too long, 'cause then they git all dried up. You wanna keep 'em nice an light an' moist.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Happy Passover, an' Happy Easter!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Scones make the perfect accompaniment to a hearty Easter dinner. Because they're savory, ultra-moist, and feature onions, they're almost addictive. You might find yourself reaching for a second one. Just as Aunt Nettie advised, if you are unable to find poppy seeds in your local market, you can use toasted or untoasted sesame seeds in their place.

The key with this recipe is to avoid overbaking. Because the scones are so moist, you might be tempted to bake them longer, but you might lose their compelling moist quality. You can make the scones a day or two ahead, tuck them into a plastic bag, and refrigerate. To warm the scones, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (Gas Mark 4), put the scones on an ungreased baking sheet, and warm for 5 minutes.

Savory Onion Poppy Seed Scones


Yield: 1 dozen

    2/3 cup (160 ml) plus 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole wheat pastry flour
    1/4 cup (60 ml) dried onions
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    2 teaspoons poppy seeds
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/2 cup (120 ml) Earth Balance margarine

    1 medium onion, sliced, slices quartered
    1/2 cup (120 ml) plain or vanilla soymilk

    1/4 cup (60 ml) Follow Your Heart egg replacer powder
    1 cup (240 ml) ice water

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (Gas Mark 7) and have ready 1 large and 1 small rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, dried onions, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt and mix well to incorporate evenly.
  3. Add the margarine and use cutting motion with a pastry blender to combine it with the dry ingredients until well moistened.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the onions and soymilk and set aside. Use a smaller bowl to combine the egg replacer powder with the ice water. Mix with a fork or small whisk until smooth and creamy and no lumps are visible.
  5. Add the egg replacer to the soymilk bowl, mixing well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  6. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, forming 12 scones about 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The scones on the bottom oven rack will take 25 minutes, while those on the top rack take 20 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with megabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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