The Week of the Scone

Ever since the tea at AubreyRose, I’ve been hooked on scones.  I just made my third batch! Scones originated in Scotland.  It is said that the name came from the Stone of Destiny, or Scone.  The Stone of Destiny, Scone, is an large oblong block of red sandstone which has been used for centuries as the place where Scottish kings were crowned.  This stone has significant importance to Scotland! When Scotland fell under the rule of England around 1200, the stone was taken as a spoils of war and moved to Westminster Abby.  There was a treaty in the 1300 signed by both sides in which the stone was to have been returned to Scotland.  Guess what? England didn’t return the stone.  On Christmas Day 1950, four Scottish students broke into Westminster Abby and stole the stone, accidentally breaking it in two during the process.  In 1951, the stone was in possession of the Church of Scotland, when English authorities found out they demanded its return.  Finally in 1996 during a large ceremony on the border between Scotland and England, the stone was handed back to Scotland.  It is on display in Edinburgh Castle.  Provisions were made that the stone would be borrowed by England for the coronation of royalty.  In 2008, The Stone of Destiny a full length movie was released with the advertising subtitle: A Heist 600 years In The Making. It is quite a brilliant movie, the hubs and I really enjoyed it.  We didn’t know any of this history.  Of course, while we watched the iPad was continually in use looking up facts. 😎 Both of us have lines from Scotland in our heritage; mine is Malcolm and hubs is Ewing.  I’m saying that’s the reason why we’re hooked on scones right now! 😎

The scones we eat are a quick bread.  The original scones were triangular-shaped made with oats and baked on a griddle.  Today there are many more varieties.  Most are made with flour and butter and shaped as triangles, rounds, diamonds, and squares.  And then, there are mine.  I’m too lazy to roll out the dough and cut so I roll a ball and squish.  So, I guess squished can also quality as a shape. Some scone recipes are cake-like and some are like rocks, I like the scones that are more biscuit textured. Enjoy!

A guest to my site writes the blog Lorna’s Tearoom Delights she says her site is about “Enjoying tea and tearooms around Scotland”. She has her first guidebook to “splendid” Scottish tearooms.  That is on my list for a visit to Scotland.  I really do have to see the ruins of the Malcolm castle which is said to be haunted!

Susan’s Cranberry-Walnut Scones

Ingredients:

1 egg
1/2 cup of sugar
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 cup cranberries*
1/2 cup walnuts**
1/2 cup milk – might need a tad more

In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together.  Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like small peas, or smaller.  Add the cranberries and walnuts, mix ingredients together very well.  In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg well.  Add the milk to the egg and whisk until foamy looking. Add the milk and egg mixture to the dry ingredients.  Stir the mixture until the dry ingredients are moist, don’t over mix.  If too dry, add a bit more milk be careful not to add too much.  I use a parchment-lined cookie sheet to bake the scones on.  I like to flour my hands take about 1/8 cup of dough, roll into a ball and squish on the cookie sheet.  Cook at 425 F for 10 – 15 minutes until tops light brown.  I try to cut down on sugar, but for special occasions I add Turbinado sugar to the top. If you like prettier scones, roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter.

This is really a basic recipe for scones.  You can add any type of fruit, nuts, etc that you like. *I substitute blueberries, cherries, or any dried or fresh fruit I have on hand.  **I substitute pecans, slivered almonds, or macadamia nuts.

Serve warm with the lemon curd for a heavenly taste treat!

Susan’s Lemon Curd

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 T lemon zest – I zest the lemon before I squeeze
3.4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed and strained
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter – cold and cut into small pieces

Instructions:

Briskly whisk the 3 eggs together. Put into a saucepan.  Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar.  Whisk together well.  Stirring constantly, cook on medium heat until mixture starts to boil, usually around 5 – 6 minutes.  Curd should be thick at this stage.  Turn off heat and briskly beat in the butter.  I think it’s best when served at room temperature.  If you don’t like the little chunks of lemon zest, then strain the mixture after cooking.

Excuse me now, I hear a scone and lemon curds calling my name.  Time to put the kettle on! 😎

A Taste Explosion in My Mouth

Q – Whenever there is the slightest hint of black on the bananas, my husband, Alan, swears it’s time for me to make banana bread!  I know he buys the bananas and doesn’t eat them on purpose.  He says, “I bought them for you.”  Yea, right!  For me to make banana bread.  I do have the best recipe in the world.  I’ve used it since I was a child living at home with my parents, so I don’t have a clue which of my mom’s recipe books I got it from.  Pillsbury?  Betty Crocker?  Two rotten bananas are staring me in the face and it’s cold outside, plus I have fresh blueberries.

Banana Bread

1/2 cup Butter (one stick)
1 cup  Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup (2 medium) Mashed, Ripe Bananas
1/4 cup Milk (if I have buttermilk I use it)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Optional:
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped – usually just scoop out two handfuls and chop
1/2 cup Blueberries – usually just eyeball the amount I want to use

Cream using an electric mixer:
Butter and sugar

Add:
Eggs – Cream until batter looks “fluffy”

Add:
Bananas – cream until batter looks “fluffy”

Add:
Milk and vanilla – Cream until batter looks “fluffy”

The next needs to be added and gently hand-stirred (more like folding) so the batter does not become “tough”.  The flour should just get “wet”.
Flour, baking soda, and salt

When the flour is all “wet” add the nuts and blueberries, gently hand-stirring to add.

Put into greased bread pan, cook at 350 degrees for 55 – 60 minutes.  Use toothpick to see if bread is done.

I have messed around with this recipe a lot!  I’ve added different fruits, cinnamon, different nuts, etc.  It always turns out great!  Today I ran out of walnuts so I used pecans too.  I make it without added fruit, such as blueberries, but I ALWAYS add nuts!  It’s out of the oven now and cooling, time for a piece with cup of tea!!  YUMMY! A taste explosion in my mouth!

I’m dyeing inside today.  I’ll share the adventure with you tomorrow.

Chicks and Hens Gone Wild

~Today Q came over to my house, since I had the three youngest grandchildren over. We played trains, Hot Wheels, and the tire swing. After they all left, Q and I walked around my property and talked about new ideas. The strangest thing is this Chicks and Hens succulent. It started out as a normal Chicks and Hens succulent but kept growing more bizarre as time went on. Yes it is flat and wavy. Q and I had never seen anything like it before.

This is my berry patch. I have grapes, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and a whole lot more. They are just starting to get their leaves. My strawberries are in a planter up by the house. We can’t wait until there are berries for dyeing. Just think of all the cool colors we will have. Just like the colors of the Cake Cover that Q made me (from her own pattern.) I love it. It is much prettier in person. We, also, talked about the different types of tree to use for dyeing. We will experiment with the bark from them; black walnut, English walnut, pecan, pepper, and oak.

 

This is one of my lilac tree up in the front of my house. I gets cold enough for them to bloom. The fragrance can be smelled from quite a distance. The other one hasn’t bloomed yet, so I will have more lilacs soon.

The patio is were I do a lot of my flower planting and splitting of plants. There is always flowers and plants in pots that are almost ready to be planted. The flower box always has something new in it each year. This year I put my sweat peas in it. It seems I have got the succulent bug. They remind me of my grandma. She loved growing them and had a green thumb.

So, after a long day of grandchildren and think up new ideas and projects, Q was ready to go. But before she could leave she needed to pick some Navel oranges, Pink Grapefruits, and Minneolas to take home. As we walked around the orchard picking the fruit, the smell was wonderful and very calming. The trees were in bloom and the smell always reminds me of Sunday drives with my parents.  I also picked some lemons.

TaTa for now. Curls