This year, I spent Thanksgiving with Boyfriend’s family in Virginia. We bought our tickets well in advance, and Boyfriend warned me it might be a smaller plane than I’m used to. I made him look up just how tiny it was, and after a bit of searching, he told me it was a “normal-sized” plane. Him being completely undisturbed, I quickly forgot about it and moved on to other things.

When Thanksgiving rolled around, and it was time to get to the airport, we were in such a rush that I didn’t have a moment to think about the plane until we started boarding and I realized I was walking on the tarmac toward a plane with a small set of steps instead of those elevated, mechanical hallways. The plane seemed fairly small but it wasn’t until I approached the door and saw the flight attendant slouching with her neck pulled forward that I realized it was SO TINY that the woman COULD NOT STAND UP STRAIGHT. Then it occurred to me that boyfriend and I were sitting separately and that’s when the panic set in. I walked to my seat (after a 15 second walk to the back of the plane), sat down and furiously texted everyone my last goodbyes and asked them all to pray for me. My mother texted back “does it have a tray table?” According to her crazy logic, the fact that it did meant it was all ok.

But when the plane took off and we were violently shaking in the air, I lost all composure. I tightened my seatbelt, grabbed on to the armrests for dear life, and tried to practice deep breathing.

Now, I should mention that I’m not a particularly fearful flier. I fly fairly frequently and often enjoy the time to catch up on my favorite magazines or watch a movie in peace. But when you’re in a dinky little plane that was built GOD KNOWS HOW LONG AGO that is bobbing up and down tens of thousands of feet into the sky, it’s inexplicably unsettling.

I put “Shake it off” on repeat and tried to reassure myself that it would be a short flight. I whipped out my Prevention magazine and spent about 15 minutes trying to read one page until finally I gave up and waited for our imminent doom while listening to the dulcet tunes of Taylor Swift.

It was only about an hour flight. An hour of pure terror, that is. After an equally terrifying landing, I ran off the plane, and in my desperate glee, fall flat on my face. “Don’t hurt yourself! There’s no rush.” Boyfriend warned me. Sure, he was doing just dandy. It hadn’t even occurred to him that we were all going to die.

After a lovely Thanksgiving, it was time to go home and I steeled myself for the impending “we’re-all-going-to-die-on-this-plane” return flight. I practically kissed the ground when we made it off safely.

Harrowed by the experience, a “thank-GOD-I’m-still-alive” treat was in order. To celebrate firm ground and no plans for terrifying, turbulent flight in the near future, I made my favorite pumpkin scones from Alice’s Tea Cup with a few indulgent chocolate chips because, hey, I survived.

Pumpkin Milk Chocolate Chip Scones

Adapted from The Alice’s Tea Cup cookbook

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon.
  3. With clean hands, work the butter into the dry mixture until it is thoroughly incorporated and has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract into the center. Still using your hands, combine the ingredients until all the dry mixture is wet, but do not knead! Add in chocolate chips.
  5. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and gather the dough together. Gently pat the dough to make a disk about 1 ½ inches thick. If your dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour at a time until you’ve reached a moist but not sticky texture.
  6. Cut across the disk until you have about 8 wedges. Then cut each of those wedges in half. Lay scones on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  7. Bake the scones for about 12 minutes, until slightly browned. When you take them out, they may seem a little gooey on the inside, but after a few minutes, they’ll set.

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