Despite going to sleep quickly last night, falling into bed with drooping eyelids and blurring eyesight, I awoke too late this morning. Bundled up in my cosiest pyjamas, fleece Christmas pants, and curled up into a cocoon of blankets, topped with an array of colourful pillows, I was able to sleep restfully, and without the disturbance of kids' yelling outside my door at 7 am. I even had to nap earlier that evening because exhaustion clouded my judgement and caused simple inquiries posed by either mum or dad to seem irrational or critical. I was so exhausted after camp for two and a half days, and resting for a couple of hours, even though I thought I'd only lay down for just a moment, was clearly what I needed.
I'm clearly camped out.
And I'm sure the only reason I woke up at all this morning was because of my parents' stomping around in the kitchen, which regrettably, is directly above my bedroom. The dog's paws scratched and skittered across the wooden floorboards, and I noticed the change in her excitement (bacon was cooking) as I drifted out of heavy sleep and her feet made many more scraping sounds. The noises suddenly came much quicker, as if she was trying to keep in time to a fast paced dance routine.
My tap dancin' dog.
The Charleston maybe.
Mum and dad's breakfast was cooking when I walked in the door, still groggy, and they had already finished some of the day's chores as well, displayed by the wiped down counters and a disorganised array of bottles and cardboard boxes across the floor as dad finished up taking out the recycling - a job we often wait for him to complete anyway. I knew, from my apparent sleepiness, that I needed something delicious to start my Sunday, and possibly a caffeine boost other than coffee, which I drank too much of during the two days at camp.
At first, I tried to restrain myself, it's not good for adolescents is it? However, since each meal was eaten outside, with the September chill of the wind blowing across us from the ocean, the only way to warm up was to caress a steaming mug in our hands, with the added boost of diminishing our exhaustion for at least an hour or so.
For the two and a half days we spent at camp, I don't think I got more than eleven hours of sleep in total. From the time we got our cabin groups to bed until around two that night, we patrolled outside and watched for kids peering out their doors, expectantly waiting for our backs to be turned.
The second night was mayhem, with nearly half of the kids in each cabin trying to escape the clutches of sleep, and meet up "by the low ropes course" with friends. By the time I finally went to bed that night, leaving the other leaders to keep their own cabins in order, there were only a few kids still running around, although most had fallen into sleep without the disturbance of their cell phones, and the distraction of music playing from their ear buds.
The boys' cabins, which were located across the field from most of the girls', housed boisterous kids still expectantly crouched by the door in their sneakers ready to leap up and out the door at the turn of the leaders outside, but also ready to bounce back into bed and dive under their blankets if anyone came in to check for opportunists. And upon being caught in bed with shoes on, they would reply,
"Oh! I didn't know I still had them on."
Causing suspicion of course, but nonetheless saving them from being caught in the act.
Those that were caught racing across the field to the forest encircling the camp where some kids waited, huddled in groups to keep warm and to defend themselves from the stories told to scare each other, were chased down by their leaders armed with water guns. I expect this was quickly shut down by the teachers however, who must have been roused from the shouts and yelps from kids soaked by the sprays.
I was so relieved to be presented with gluten-free foods at the camp, the kitchen staff were extremely knowledgeable about which foods were wheat free, and were also very accommodating for those of us that didn't eat wheat by preparing 'special' foods such as rice flour pizza and potato flour pancakes. However, it was a little disappointing that so many cookies and muffins were served to everyone else, for snacks throughout the day, and even before bed.
So, when I came home, I had extra motivation to bake something delicious.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour's Harvest Pumpkin Scones
Makes 12 scones.
325 g gluten free flour mix (I used 50 g sorghum flour, 150 g white rice flour, 75 g arrowroot flour, and 50 g cornstarch)
1/3 c coconut sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice powder
1/2 c cold butter (or alternative)
1 1/2 c raisins (You can also use chopped candied ginger, nuts of any type or gluten-free chocolate
1 c canned pumpkin
1/3 c rice milk (Or another milk alternative)
Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl.
Add the butter, and rub it in to form a breadcrumb texture. Stir in the raisins.
In another, smaller bowl, beat the eggs and add the canned pumpkin. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingedients and mix well.
Slowly add the rice milk until the batter becomes sticky and cohesive.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Drop the batter in spoonfuls onto the baking sheet, and let it sit for 15 minutes before baking.
Brush the scones with more rice milk and sprinkle with coconut sugar if desired before cooking for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving with a steaming cup of tea.
Labels: baked, fall, ginger, harvest, pumpkin, scone, spice