Spring and summer to me smell like salmon, fresh wind off the waves, and smoke wafting in from the smokehouse fire. With the recent increase in daylight and gloriously warming sun filtering in through the windows I can almost smell what is to come…
Monday, March 20th was the spring equinox, also called the March or vernal equinox. This occurrence marks when the sun crosses the celestial equator moving from south to north, indicating the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
Here in Bristol Bay and across Alaska we will not begin to see the true marks of spring and break up until likely into April and in some places even May, as the snow begins to melt, the rivers thaw, pussy willows bud, and ice begins to give way. That being said the last three weeks have been full on sun and bluebird skies with temperatures rising above freezing in the daytime but still dipping below zero overnight.
It’s been hard to spend time indoors with the sun beckoning through the windows and seed catalogs arriving in the mail. I want to plan my garden, install the bear fence to so can we repopulate our chicken flock, and begin hanging nets for fishing. I’m eeking out spring ski’s with friends in between life’s other demands, and hoping a sun kissed spring glow will grace my cheeks soon enough.
Spring is also a time for feeding flocks of people. Before I know it my yard will be bustling with our commercial fishing crew and I’ll be baking treats to take friends in the boat yard, for now I’m working on clearing out my freezer and perfecting new recipes.
These Smoked Salmon, Sharp Cheddar & Chive Whole Wheat Scones are the perfect late breakfast base. They come together incredibly quickly so be sure to have your oven completely preheated before you even begin mixing them up. I find they are delicious split open to hold a fried egg, some leafy greens, a smear of mustard, & an additional slice of cheese or two. I prefer to use the tangiest and sharpest cheese I have on hand for these, my go to is a rugged mature cheddar I always pick up when on the road system.
Smoked Salmon, Sharp Cheddar & Chive Whole Wheat Scones (makes 6 large scones, recipe easily doubles)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons cold butter
- 1/2 heaping cup shredded sharp cheddar + a little for sprinkling on top
- 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped chives
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 6-8 oz smoked salmon lightly flaked
Fully preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and generously dust a cookie sheet with flour.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt until fully blended and a bit aerated. Grate cold butter into the flour mixture, then using a pastry cutter or your fingertips gently breakdown the butter shreds into what resembles coarse sand or oatmeal flakes. Stir in chopped chives and shredded cheese until the cheese is fully coated in flour, after create a small well in the middle of the flour mixture.
In a liquid measuring cup, measure 1/2 cup sour cream then fill to the 1 cup line with warm water. Whisk until sour cream is fully dissolved in the water and pour into the flour well. Gently and briskly mix the liquid into the flour mixture until just barely blended together and evenly moistened.
Turn out onto the floured cookie sheet, while patting into a 8 inch diameter circle, insert large flakes of smoked salmon into the scones. Large chunks retain their moisture when baking and add delightful pockets of smokey flavor, small flakes tend to get a little lost in the scone. Once circular in shape, cut into 6 pieces as if cutting a pizza, evenly space scones across cookie sheet, sprinkle with a little more cheese if desired, and pop into the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes until puffed and golden. Serve hot straight from the oven.