Arrrr! I came across this little wooden pirate on ebay. It’s actually one of a set of three nesting pirates.
Why didn’t the pirate take a shower before being forced to walk the plank?
He knew he’d wash up on shore later.
These nesting dolls are great for developing obsessive-compulsive disorder tendencies. See how the large pirate’s top half is not quite aligned with his bottom half? I won’t be able to rest until I get them perfectly aligned. And wash my hands.
These scruffy little guys reminded me of the pirate-themed party I had for one of my son’s birthdays. It was remarkably like the birthday party Martha Stewart threw for her granddaughter Jude’s first birthday. Martha held the party at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant Perry St in Manhattan. Thousands of dollars worth of Steiff animals decorated the table. The birthday girl wore a “candy coat,” which was handmade out of cashmere hand-dyed in pastel colors. The “cake table” had three cakes decorated with marzipan animals, which according to Martha, “aren’t too hard to make if you have the patience” (red flag alert). The birthday lunch menu was simple: butternut squash soup with Mimolette cheese and pumpkin seeds; asparagus with mesclun, enoki mushrooms, avocado, and black truffle vinaigrette; ricotta ravioli with herbs and tomato sauce; pain de seigle (not even going to bother to look this up); and the three birthday cakes. For party favors there were a “menagerie of animal sugar cookies, sticking to the color scheme.” And here’s the kicker — there was only one kid there other than the birthday girl.
Just like my kid’s party — NOT. Give me a break! That kid’s first birthday party was nicer than my wedding. For my son’s third birthday we threw a pirate party at a playground because we didn’t plan it enough in advance and all the fancy restaurants were booked. Instead of Steiff animals for decorations, we used plastic pirate figurines that I found on ebay, which the kids fought over. On the “cake table” was a single cake — a tres leches sheet cake from the Mexican bakery La Ideal (which, by the way, was awesome). We decorated the cake with more plastic pirates, which isn’t too hard to do, if you have the patience. For party favors we had pirate eye patches (the ones made out of hard plastic that hurt to wear and the elastic breaks the first time you put it on), and treasure chest banks filled with candy and gold coins and little plastic toys. There were about 20 kids, and they were all having a great time, until it rained. Of course. Just like being on the high seas. So we gathered everything up and raced to the cars, someone yelling “grab the cake” (it really was THAT good). My son loved his party, being with his friends, his birthday cake, and, of course, opening his presents.
Like Martha, I kept the menu simple — coffee and cinnamon scones and muffins for the adults, snack mix, fruit tray, and juice boxes for the kids, and birthday cake for all. Inspired by the nesting pirates and the memory of my son’s pirate party, I made a batch of Cinnamon Scones with Homemade Cinnamon Chips. These Cinnamon Scones are worthy of any special celebration, and they disappeared quickly at the birthday party. What makes them special is the homemade cinnamon chips, which “aren’t too hard to make if you have the patience.” (I don’t recommend substituting with the odd-tasting commercial cinnamon chips). They’re even more special if you can serve them warm out of the oven.
|CINNAMON CHIP SCONES WITH HOMEMADE CINNAMON CHIPS|| || |
- For Cinnamon Chips:
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening (i.e., Crisco)
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- For Scones:
- 1-2/3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, chilled and cut into 12 pieces
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoons half and half or whipping cream, divided use
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- For Cinnamon Chips: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until ingredients are thoroughly combined and crumbly. Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until melted and bubbly, approximately 25 minutes. Cool completely, then crush into small pieces. Set aside until ready to use.
- For Scones: Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Add butter pieces and pulse on and off until mixture is the size of small peas. Stop the processor and add ½ cup of half and half or whipping cream. Process just until the dough begins to clump together. Transfer dough to a medium mixing bowl, and gently stir in half of the cinnamon chips (reserve remainder of chips for another use).
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a ¼-inch thick circle and cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Brush tops of scones with remaining tablespoon of half and half or whipping cream. Transfer scones to a greased baking sheet and bake until golden, approximately 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- These are especially good served warm.
Mix the cinnamon chip ingredients until nice and crumbly
Crush the cooled chips into small pieces
Ready to go in the oven
Fresh from the oven
Arrrr! A special breakfast treat