Food

English Scones

The taste of memories

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I was young and newly married when I first visited the county of Cornwall on the southwest peninsula of England.

Traveling along its dramatic coastline, I fell in love with the tumbling and tumultuous surf of pristine beaches, ancient castle ruins and fishing villages filled with houses bleached by the sun and old, wooden boats, their paint chipped and peeling.

Many roads were twisted, single lanes lined with clumps of rosemary. Pink and purple hollyhocks and foxgloves were lanky and so bent by the wind it seemed they would reach inside an open car window. The beaches were covered with fine sand; often the winds were so strong that granules would collect in my eyebrows and ears. We found smooth bits of blue and green sea glass and searched for tiny, mottled stones covered in veins. The stones I found resembled miniature-sized globes of the earth.

I still remember the fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, served with malt vinegar, and my first Cornish pasty, a hand-crimped pastry stuffed with seasoned beef and chopped rutabagas and onions.

Twenty-five years ago I had only one stamp in my passport. I was innocent, impressionable and eager to taste the pleasures of the world. Cornwall was the perfect place to start.

My English sister-in-law introduced me to a Cornish cream tea when we stayed in a hamlet called Ruan Lanahorn near Truro.

Proper cream teas contain scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream. Scones are crumbly and look similar to biscuits, but are sweeter and denser. Clotted cream is essential to the cream tea. Silken in texture and more spreadable than American cream cheese, it is made by leaving heated milk in a pan for several hours. The cream rises to the top of the pan and “clots.” (Since it is about a million calories per teaspoon, I also think it refers to the transformation that takes place in your arteries after one too many cream teas.)

I remember this particular cream tea because, during my first trip to Cornwall, I experienced an inexplicable slowing of time. Sitting in a little cottage near the sea with my new family, my hands wrapped around a cup of warm, milky tea, I could hear the ticking of the clock. I saw the brightness of the jam and watched crumbs from the scone drop onto my lap.

Cream teas are the perfect way to end a day spent on the beach, smelling of the sun, covered in sand with the roaring of wind and waves in your ears.  There is no finer way to while away an afternoon in the Cornish countryside.

Scones are one of the great dining pleasures of traveling through England and Cornwall. The recipe here comes from the New York Times and is easy to make at home.

[RECIPE]

English Scones

From the New York Times Dining Section

Ingredients

3 cups self-rising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter at cool room temperature, more for pan, optional
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
1 cup dried currants, optional
1 egg yolk

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the sugar. (Or give all the dry ingredients a quick whirl in a food processor.) Cut butter into bits and work it into the dry ingredients with fingertips or a pastry blender, or by pulsing the processor, until mixture is finely crumbly. If using a food processor, transfer mixture to a bowl.

Gradually add one cup milk and the currants, if using, and mix with a fork. Knead lightly by hand to make a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with butter or line it with parchment paper. Roll dough to a 3/4-inch thickness. Use a fluted 2- or 3-inch cutter to punch out scones. Scraps can be kneaded lightly for additional scones. Beat the egg yolk with remaining milk and brush on the scones. Place on baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes until risen and golden brown. Makes 16 medium scones or 10 to 12 large scones.

ICU Roof #2
More Food...
SeaFeast
Get an edible education

If you’re under the impression the second annual Bellingham SeaFeast is all about the food, you’re only only partially correct.

While it’s true the two-day event offers myriad ways for people to sate their appetites via the ingestion of locally and regionally sourced seafood, the…

more »
Market Walk
Dine your way through downtown

I’ve always felt incredibly lucky to live within walking and biking distance of downtown Bellingham. It’s where I head when I go to work, bank, shake my booty, listen to array of music, check out original art, see live theater, shop for groceries, dine out and meet friends for cocktails or…

more »
Zucchini 101
Dealing with the squash of summer

If you don’t typically lock your door, now would be a good time to start. Behind the usual pleasantries, your neighbors are probing you for weakness, trying to decide who among you would be most likely to break and accept a bag-load of zucchinis, or leaving the prolific produce on porches…

more »
Events
Today
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Lynden Farmers Market

12:00pm|Front Street

Together for Peace

6:00pm|Majestic

Stream Tour

6:00pm|Whatcom Creek

Day of Peace observes those displaced by war

6:00pm

Trash Talk

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Travel Talk

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Balkan Folk Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Chuckanut Radio Hour with Nancy Pearl

7:00pm|Village Books

Authentic Illusionist Jay Ownehouse

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The Addams Family Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

MBT Janis Joplin
Tomorrow
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

The Addams Family Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Whatcom Falls Park

Ferndale Farmers Market

3:00pm|Centennial Riverwalk Park

Foof Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Farm Tunes

6:00pm|BelleWood Acres

Oktoberfest Cruises

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

The Last Outrageous Women

7:00pm|Village Books

7-Day Dance Festival Finale

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Forever Plaid

7:30pm|Conway Muse

The Mousetrap

7:30pm| Bellingham Theatre Guild

Friday Night Flicks

7:30pm|Van Zandt Community Hall

Figmentally, Circus for All

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

Welcome Back Students Shows

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

2020 Solutions Sept 2017 BOB_2017
Saturday
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

The Addams Family Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Oktoberfest Cruises

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Forever Plaid

7:30pm|Conway Muse

The Mousetrap

7:30pm| Bellingham Theatre Guild

Welcome Back Students Shows

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Figmentally, Circus for All

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

South Whatcom Birding Walks

8:00am|South Whatcom Library

Harvest Happens

8:00am|Bellewood Acres

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Southside Rummage Sale

8:30am| Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Make It and Take it

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|North Fork Library, Nugents Corner

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Little Mountain Trail 10K

10:00am|Carpenter Creek Winery

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Salmon Sighting

10:00am|Thompson Creek Bridge

Pesto Perfecto

11:00am|Ferndale Library

Council of the Animals

11:00am|Boulevard Park

Trial Vineyard Open House

12:00pm|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Sedro-Woolley Brewfest

2:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

The Art of Living

3:00pm|Deming Library

River Walk

3:00pm| Horseshoe Bend Trailhead.

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Kulshan CLT Community Party

5:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Democrats Dinner

5:30pm| Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa

BowEdison Anniversary Party

5:30pm|BowEdison

Fall Demo Derby

6:30pm|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Moment

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Salsa Night

9:30pm|Cafe Rumba

see our complete calendar »

Trove BOB_2017 2020 Solutions Sept 2017 Village Books MBT Janis Joplin Bellingham Farmer’s Market Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1