I was having virtual tea with Willie lately, and we enjoyed it so much, I thought you all might like to join me today. Hats are required ladies! Naturally, we shall eat outside in the virtual sunshine, and there will be cucumber and salmon sandwiches, egg and cress sandwiches, scones and butter with clotted cream and strawberry jam, and assorted cakes and pastries. You may choose from a selection of teas, or coffee if you prefer.
Here is my favourite recipe for scones!
8 oz (225g) self-raising flour
1.5 oz (40g) caster sugar
A pinch of salt
3oz (75g) butter at room temperature
2 oz (50g) mixed dried fruit
1 large egg, beaten
3-4 tbspns buttermilk to mix
A little extra flour for dusting tops.
You will also need a lightly greased baking sheet and a 2 in (5 cm) cutter.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425 degrees F, 220 degrees C.
Begin by sifting the flour and salt into a bowl and sprinkling in the sugar, then rub the butter in lightly until the mixture looks crumbly. Now sprinkle in the dried fruit, pour in the beaten egg and add 3 tbspns of the buttermilk. Start to mix the dough with a knife and finish off with your hands - it should be soft but not sticky, so add more milk, a teaspoon at a time, if the dough seems too dry.
Next, form the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured working surface. Now roll it out very lightly to a round at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, then cut the scones out by placing the cutter on the dough and giving it a sharp tap. Don't twist the cutter, just push the dough out, then carry on until you are left only with trimmings - roll these and cut an extra scone. Then place the scones on the lightly greased baking sheet and dust lightly with the extra flour.
Bake the scones in the top half of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until they are well risen and golden brown. After that, remove them to a cooling tray and serve very fresh, split and spread with butter.
NOTE: Scones do not keep well so are best eaten on the day they're made. Any left over, however, will freeze perfectly well. Don't worry if you can't get buttermilk, just use ordinary milk.
We live in the middle of a farming community, although we aren't farmers ourselves. This cartoon was in the local paper recently. I wonder what you make of it? Isn't it funny how you suddenly gain a whole new perspective of things?! I wonder what the old farmer has got planned?!
The snow here continues and we had another load last night. But today the sun has returned and the temperatures are climbing. Apparently it is set to thaw, which is a good thing, but no-one knows where all the melt-water is going to go. Everything is saturated. I thought I'd share a couple of beautiful pictures with you I took early this morning.
This is our driveway. Don't worry, there are a million driveways that look like this in our part of the UK.
Sometimes we need to stand and enjoy the sheer beauty of our landscape. The transformations due to the seasons are remarkable.
Our back yard borders open fields where in summer wheat, barley and oilseed rape are grown. At this time of the year we get lots of different creatures coming almost up to our backdoor looking for food. I so loved the story of Ian and Lillie and the deer. We have deer too, but not on a regular basis, and mostly very small deer.
This is a short post this week because I am off to my grandson's fifth birthday party. I spoke to him on the phone last night and he told me how pleased he was with his Star Wars Starfighter we gave him. He is heavily into Starwars and He-Man. I just love watching his imagination at work. We can learn a lot from the young.
I leave you with another newspaper cartoon. I cut off the caption this time. You might have your own ideas.
They are obviously "cane" mad in this country!