Over the years, the humble scone has made many appearances in my life.
Quick and easy to whip up, I’m absolutely sure, without even the slightest of exaggeration, I can state, in my ‘Seventy Something’ years, (LOL, can’t believe that number), I have literally fed untold numbers with hundreds of batches of the humble scone.
Hands deep in a bowl of flour, rubbing in the butter, again, this past weekend to feed family renovating their house, my memory took me back to my kid days, living in the Berhampore flats and watching my mother doing the same processes.
My little sister and I, would enjoy the arrival of unexpected visitors as it was often the trigger that prodded my mother into getting out her big basin and whipping up a batch of scones to have with cuppas.
Often-times, she had to dispatch me, to run ‘flat out’, to our local dairy to buy any needed missing ingredients. Putting things on ‘tick’, booking up and paying on paydays, was common back then.
Later on, as a young teen bride starting out, trying to get a wood-fire stove heated to the right temperature to cook scones for farm ‘smokos’ was a big challenge at first. The husband knew someone whose scones could be sliced into three, because they rose so high, a goal I never attained.
On Holidays and Traveling times around the New Zealand countryside, we would stop to sample, ‘Devonshire Teas’, the posh name for the humble scone, with jam and cream, at various cafes. Served cold or reheated they would never taste as good as the hot, home-made ones straight from the oven.
Further on in my journey through life, the mantle for scone making got passed to the new husband, (a keeper), who took great delight in being able to produce batches of light, fluffy, piping hot scones using a never to be divulged, secret ingredient.
His skill was often utilized as a tummy filler for ‘smokos’ for his shearing gang workers, or when obliging the family he loved, after much begging, haha, for supper on nights in front of the telly.
There’s just something very uplifting and heart warming about sitting around a table with others, sharing a cuppa and eating a batch of steaming hot, fresh from the oven, humble scones.
Covered with lashings of Raspberry Jam, what they call in America, Jelly, and whipped cream piled on top, or real butter melting and running everywhere, the humble scone is still a quick, easy, treat in our family.
Sieve together, four cups of flour, eight nearly level teaspoons of baking powder, three tablespoons of sugar, and one teaspoon of creme of tartar, the ‘secret’ ingredient, discovered in the ‘keeper’ husband’s recipe, hidden in the pantry, after his early, untimely death.
Using a grater, rub in seventy five grams of butter, and mix with as much milk as needed into a stiff dough.
Roll out on a floured board, cut into shapes, giving each one a final spin and pat of flour between the hands, just as my mother did, to make sure each side was flour coated before going in a very hot oven.
After they come out, rub over the tops with baking paper covered in butter. Must be eaten piping hot, that’s the best!
Enjoy and God Bless.