When someone tells me that they’ve gotten me a gift, generally I feel a wave of anxiousness. Have you ever received a gift, only to be internally disappointed by the item itself? Yes, I know it’s the thought that counts. But did I really want the knockoff bath set that is coated in dust, that clearly sat in your spare room for over a year, before you wrapped it in paper and handed it to me? Uh, no. The development of this paranoia to “surprises” and gifts largely is in part to my mother. I love my mother, but the woman never learned the art of gift giving.
From the time my mother could toddle her parents wanted her to be a princess. They sent her to the finest boarding schools, bought her ponies, and made her dress in colors appropriate to the seasons. I never had such a lavish upbringing, but nonetheless, I was raised with manners and tact. As I became my own adult, my mother and I diverged like two paths in the woods. She went on the path of keeping up appearances and I went on the path of extreme minimalism. She dyes her hair every 2 weeks, and I…. well, I’ve experimented shaving my hair off before. 🙂 You get the idea.
One major sticking point that my mother and I have is gift giving. To me, food is an expression of love. I enjoy baking treats for the ones I love. I whip up a batch of warm, buttery scones, select a delicate tin to place them in, and hand them with a smile on my face. My mother prefers to give gifts that she thinks will benefit the future. Or now. I’m not quite sure when they will benefit me exactly.
“I’ve got you the PERFECT gift!” she gushed to me the other day. Dread filled my stomach. “……….Oh?” I squeaked.
After almost 35 years of living I’ve grown a thick skin to my mother’s “gifts”. There was the time that she signed us up for Weight Watchers together. She even bought matching books, WW’s measuring spoons, and a scale to boot. Then there was the time that a neighbor friend lost a ton of weight on a zero-carb diet, and my mother blew up my phone about this book that we just HAD to get together. And then there was the time where she declared that we needed to live like the Blue Zones people so that we make it to 100 years old. The woman is terrified of having cellulite on her body. So to have a chubby daughter, well…..
“I just got the Noom App and I’ve lost 5 lbs. already” she gushed into the phone, “I thought you’d want me to sign you up too”. I took a calming breath. “I’m good, Mom. But thanks” I said politely. There was a moment of pause on the line. “But….summer is coming up, and I know you want to hit the beach” she said wincing. She had seen my “Winter 10” as I lovingly call it, on my hips, butt, and thighs and had made a mental note of my weight gain. “I don’t want you to spend the money” I said, trying to make up a quick excuse. “Oh, it’s no trouble at all!” she gushed again.
It was time to break out the big guns and get blunt.
“Mom” I said calmly and politely, “I appreciate you wanting to help me in my weight loss journey. But if you’d like to get me a present, I would prefer a tin of tea. Or a tea time plate. Or anything dainty and British. Or you can even get me Irish music, which I know you hate, but I absolutely adore. But I really don’t want to go on this Noom Whatever App”.
She quickly changed the subject and moved on with life. Sometimes you just have to grab the conversation by the balls and squeeze. Excuse me while I go sip my tea and have a scone. Stay cute, everyone! 😉
~Miss Cutie Xx
Simple Buttery Scones for Tea Time
Makes: 6 scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoon butter, frozen
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 egg
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a stand mixer, place all of the dry ingredients in. (Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).
- Then Add in the wet ingredients: 1 egg, 1/2 c. sour cream, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and butter.
- Whip the dough together letting the stand mixer pull everything into one cohesive and delicious dough. (Don’t worry, as the butter warms the dough will pull together!). If you’re doing this by hand, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs and then mix in the egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Mix into a dough.
- Roll the dough into a disc shape and cut into triangles.
- Bake for 15 minutes and serve warm with your favorite tea.