Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Fun Afternoon

While sorting through the debris in my basement a year or so ago, I found a sweet plate with two other plate shelves on it.  I didn’t actually realize what it’s purpose was until I had high tea at The Twin’s house.  Since then, I had been looking forward to an opportunity to use it.  Well, Michelle was bringing her and Samos’s friend Dianne over to meet me, and it was the ideal occasion.  I had originally been going to serve tea and scones, but decided, “Why just that?”  I branched out a little with biscotti, cucumber sandwiches, and a nice fruit salad.  Purists will shudder, and possibly even shriek when they notice the crusts on my cucumber sandwiches, but there is an explanation – lame but valid.  The evening before, I was going to go to the store to get the proper bread, but I just couldn’t roust myself to leave the house. It’s easier to just make the bread, I thought.  I started it that evening, and planned to get up at the crack of dawn to work on it.  I did get up at the crack of dawn, but there were the newspaper, the crossword, and even my knitting - all beckoning me.  I started it way too late.  It came out of the oven about 15 minutes before my guests arrived.  It was then too warm, too soft, and just not the right shape for easy crust removal.  So we pretended that the crusts were not there, and enjoyed the sandwiches anyway.  The scones I made were my best ever.  I think it must have been the currants, which were fluffy and not the usual dried up specks. 

It was fun to meet Dianne.  I had heard so much about her, and she had sent me both Christmas cookies and jam.  That is pretty wonderful, given that we had never even met.  And it further proves that she is a pretty wonderful woman. 

Am I invited?

Best Ever Scones

2 ½ cups self-rising flour
5 oz butter
¼ cup diced candied ginger
½ cups fresh fluffy dried currants
About ¾ cup milk

Heat the oven to 425°

Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Dump the mixture on a smooth surface, and smear blobs of the mixture across the surface – a technique known as frissage. You can see a demonstration here. Gather the dough up, put it back in the bowl, and add about ½ cup milk,  very gently folding the milk in until all of the flour/butter mixture is damp but not wet, and can be gathered into a ball. If needed, sprinkle more milk on any dry spots, and gather them in.  Form the dough into balls, flatten them a bit, so they look like a gouda, and cut each ball into six wedges.  Bake for about 12 minutes.  Yum!  I wish I had one right now.


I. F. said...

Hmm... What do you think about duplicating those scones next week? Delicious.

Dan and Julie in San Diego said...

Currants that look like dried up specks can be fluffed up. Put the amount of currants you plan to use in a cup, pour on a few splashes of rum and a few splashes of boiling water. Stir. Then put a lid on it, or rest a saucer on top. Let it steam for 20 minutes, and they will be all fluffed up. Works for any dried fruit, raisins, cranberries, bits of apricot, etc. Sure to make the scones better. Only boiling water may be used if you are opposed to rum, but the rum tastes special. I have used other spirits when out of rum.
Julie in San Diego

joannamauselina said...

Thanks, Julie. I will try that!

Tootsie said...

You set such a pretty table, you REALLY are like
Downton Abbey!!

Marta said...

I agree with Tootsie. The difference being, you do the work, without servants.

Laura said...

Your sweet table and food setting pictures are some of my favorites!

Pru said...

Mmm, as usual everything looks delicious and sends me salivating. I took one year of Cookery in English high school (so at about age 12 or 13) and we were taught that the secret to light and fluffy scones is to let the milk sour before mixing. Yours don't look as though they need it though.

P. Joan Gavigan said...

Yum-what a cozy inviting table and such nice company:)!