One step closer…

I am now officially in possession of a Chilean visa.

It’s in there. Right on the first visa page of my passport book. There’s this piece of paper with my face and a bunch of information, stamps, and signatures on it that basically tell the Chilean government that I pose no foreseeable danger to their country.

Getting all the paperwork together took more time than it took me to get to Chicago, sign a few copies, give some fingerprints, and get back home. That’s all it was. The consulate is in a small office within a very non-descript building with just a few friendly staff. Traffic was nearly nonexistent so I arrived nearly forty-five minutes early for my appointment, and I got out of there about twenty minutes later. Nothing to it.

You know what this means, though, right?

This is actually happening. I’m going to be living, studying, and running around a foreign country for half the year. Very, very soon.

Commence panic. But that’s for another post. Right now, I have scones!

Pretty things.

I made dark chocolate orange buttermilk scones, from the one and only Joy the Baker. Obviously, not all of the ingredients are included in the picture above. I have the dark chocolate and the orange because they are the highlight of this recipe. And the flour and sugar canisters because they’re flour and sugar canisters! My friend’s kitchen had the prettiest, most useful stuff and the BEST lighting. She’s recently gotten into baking, and I’m begging her to photograph it all since her kitchen table could host the most beautiful pictures.

Joy’s directions are pretty straightforward. Sift the dry ingredients together. Add cold butter. It must be cold or it won’t form a “coarse meal” like it should. What does “coarse meal” look like?

Like this!

I highly recommend that you follow Joy’s lead and mix the butter and dry ingredients together with your fingers. Butter kept getting caught in the pastry cutter, and I wasn’t getting results. This came together pretty quickly, and I love using my hands.

Second photo of zesty dough this week.

Apparently zest is my thing lately. See the little pieces in there? This dough comes together very quickly and easily. It’s okay if it’s a little wet. It will dry up in just a minute.

Dump, knead, and roll.

Well that caption failed. Anyways, kneading the dough very briefly on a well-floured board will dry that dough right up. Don’t freak out if it sticks to the board. Just add more flour.

Roll it out, slice it up, and stick in the oven. And we’re done!

Dense goodness.

Nope, I’m not using parchment paper. Funny, because Joy posted about using parchment paper recently. I’m still not biting.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate how scone-looking they baked up. Good.

I love it when I nail the texture of a baked good. And my friend and I totally did it here.

Dump extra stuff on top of these. Sometimes I find chocolate and orange a little overwhelming together, so it helps me to add other flavors. Like butter and fresh strawberry jam, for instance!

Feeling full just looking at this again.

Pretty pretty, right? This went off without a hitch. I don’t know what I’d do differently. I would definitely like to make more scones if they’re all as easy as this recipe. Also: I need to make biscuits. They smelled like biscuits when they came out of the oven. And that smell drives me absolutely insane in the best way.

Dear future husband: if you smell like biscuits, you win.

Um, what?

Aaaaand moving on to random thoughts!

Little kid laughter and smiles are the best.

Think positively, people. Bring good energy into a room. YOU be the light.

I managed to fold two fitted sheets into a shape very closely resembling a square. I’m proud of myself.

It’s the little things.

Normal is relative.

You will find signs and moments that tell you that yes, you are where you should be, and dang girl, you’ve got it good.

Here’s my plan for the next few posts:

Father’s Day baking. A trip to the farmers’ market. A story about sports bar trivia that reveals a lot about the kind of person I am. Reflections on homesickness.

Sound good?

Be good to the father figures in your life, be they your actual fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, godfathers- anybody who’s a dad to you. I hope you have all been blessed with a dad and others as amazing as those in my own life.

With love,



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2 responses to “One step closer…

  1. emroznowski


  2. Pingback: I need a salad. | Charlando

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