My beloved country Singapore turned 50 years old this weekend.
It still feel strange to think that my southeast asian nation is now officially half a century old. Five decades does indeed seem a long time, but it’s also amusing how my parents, at 62 years of age, are actually older than our country.
This year is a special year for Singapore – marked largely by its 50th anniversary (referred to fondly by its citizens as “SG50”), which has been the hot topic between most Singaporeans everywhere in the world.
For the first time in five years since I moved to Buenos Aires, I was able to celebrate National Day with fellow Singaporean friends.
Last night, the four of us gathered in Koh Lanta’s Palermo branch, feasting over Asian food – chicken satay with a spicy peanut sauce, Pad Thai and curries with rice – each of us so incredibly happy to be able to share the special day with the only other people who could possibly understand our emotions and thoughts.
As we sat in our little corner, the heavy rain pattering outside against the restaurant’s glass window, we let conversation flow easily between mouthfuls of food and long sips of red Malbec wine. In the three hours we spent at Koh Lanta, we talked about our jobs, our dreams, our experiences in Buenos Aires, and of course, our pride in being Singaporean and about the things our country could improve on.
Juan often reminds me that being far away from home makes it easier to appreciate one’s own country, and I can vouch that it’s undeniably true.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and viewing Singapore from where I currently live in the Argentine capital, I am increasingly aware of the many things that I am thankful for and appreciate.
I am thankful that in the past fifty years since its independence, Singaporea has evolved from a small town to a first-world nation whose global presence is infinitely much greater than its small physical size.
I am in awe of the fact that despite our lack of natural resources and strong dependence of other countries for fundamental elements such as drinking water, Singapore has still managed to prosper and be seen as a thought leader among our Asian neighbors.
I am humbled by the fact that the people in the South Indian state of Tamil Naidu feel so strongly about Singapore and are so grateful that Singapore’s policy to welcome foreign workers has allowed so many of them to play a part in building Singapore and to earn a decent income – one which they would never be able to achieve in their homeland.
Being together with other Singaporeans who feel the same way is deeply comforting, especially when all of us are oceans and continents away from home.
Today’s recipe is in honor of Singapore turning the grand 5-0.
These are gluten-free scones that are made with a quinoa dough and are studded with the season’s freshest strawberries. Bright, red strawberries that pay tribute to Singapore’s red and white national colors.
The dough is simple to bring together and even easier to handle (I find that these sort of recipes are the kind that I get along very well with).
When you’ve combined all the ingredients for the dough, form a round disc and roll it out to your desired thickness, and then cut out round circles of dough and place them on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top of them. Bake until golden brown and cooked in the middle, and then, all that’s left to do is to eat!
- 10 tablespoons of butter, frozen
- ½ cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces
- 1⅓ of cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- 1⅓ of cup quinoa flour
- ⅔ of cup sugar + more for topping
- 2 of tablespoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 400 deg. Fahrenheit (approx. 200 deg. Cel)
- In a small cup, mix milk and lemon juice together and let it chill in the fridge
- Whisk gluten-free flour blend, quinoa flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and baking powder together in a large bowl
- Grate the frozen butter on the large holes of a box grater into the dry ingredients, and use two knives to cut the butter into small pieces until butter is integrated with dry ingredients
- Whisk in one large egg into the chilled lemon-milk mixture and fold it into the flour mixture with a wooden spatula, just until dough comes together
- Gently fold in the cut strawberries into the dough until evenly distributed
- Transfer dough onto a clean, dry surface (or line your table with baking paper) and knead dough a few times until its comes together
- Form a round disc and roll it to ¾ inch thickness (or thickness of your choice)
- Use a gluten-free floured round cookie cutter (or the top of a champagn glass) to cut out scones and place them on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat until no more dough is left.
- Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl, and brush the top of scones with the egg wash, then sprinkle sugar on top of the scones
- Bake scones until golden brown, around 18 minutes. Let scones fcool for around 15 minutes, before removing and fully cooling on a wire rack.
- Store at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or freeze for up to a month