Soft strawberry scones are paired with a creamy, perfectly sweetened red bean paste. These seasonal bites are a great addition to your brunch menu!
In the past few weeks, I’ve done 2 big things:
1. I finally told a former mentor that I’ve become a food blogger.
2. I made my own sweet red bean paste from scratch.
Both big moments. Both worth talking about.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about personal connections—about how awful I am with staying in touch with friends. I moved around in the last seven years and have met so many fine people along the way. I now have friends and mentors all over the world, literally, but I am awful at keeping up from everyone. Strangely, I always think about them when I’m in a yoga class. During savasana, the final resting pose, my mind wanders. I wonder how E. and O. are doing in Iraq, whether P. is married yet, how my boys are doing in China and when the hell they are coming back to the U.S., and whether my old roommate K. needs another Chinese candy/cookie care package. All these thoughts are firing off in my head when I’m supposed to be resting. But I always find this to be the most peaceful time to ponder about my friends.
Last week, I finally decided to do the thing that a sensible person would have done a long time ago: send a damn message to my friends. Well, one of these people that I contacted was my former law professor and mentor. Boy, was I nervous sending her that message. How exactly do you convey this to your mentor: “You know all those years I invested into law school and the time you spent to help me be a good lawyer? I’m not doing that whole thing anymore. I’m a food blogger.”
A food blogger. Now, I have nothing but respect for the work that my fellow food bloggers put in, but I never know what other people think. With a slight bit of trepidation, I sent the link of this blog to my mentor with the following message: “You’ll have to excuse the conversational tone of my blog!” Bear in mind that the only writing of mine she’s read is my 30-page legal research paper. I felt like I had to prepare her for all the slangs and made-up words I use here. To my pleasant surprise, not only did she love my blog, but she also said, “What is there to excuse? You don’t want to sound like a lawyer on a food blog.” Ain’t that the truth.
Now, onto the other big accomplishment around here lately: this red bean paste. Have you ever tried red bean paste before? It’s quite popular in Asian desserts. You take a whole lotta adzuki beans, boil them down until they get mushy, smash everything together, swirl in some melted sugar, and you’ll be in for a delicious treat. The steps are simple but this paste will take a while to make. There’s no sugar coating it. I even added the extra step of pressing the cooked beans through a fine mesh to screen out some of the skin on the beans. It’s much easier to do push the beans through the screen by hand versus a sppon, so channel your inner Rosie the Riveter or Popeye—whatever works for you. This step is essential for a smoother paste, but you can just mix the beans up in a blender.
Since I’ve made this red bean paste, I’ve been putting it on anything where spreadable foods belong. I slap some on crackers, make a PB and red bean paste sandwich, and used it to add pizzazz to my scones. I was feeling a bit of an East meets West vibe to my cooking lately, hence the scone and red bean paste combo. It’s dangerously good with whipped cream and some fresh fruit.
We don’t talk a lot about life lessons, but here are two things I’ve learned:
1. It’s never too late to reconnect with acquaintances;
2. Homemade red bean paste should have happened in my life a looong time ago.
Hope you enjoy these scones as much as I did!