In my accent scone rhymes with long. Just so’s you know. This blogging is such a silent affair. Because we are not making a scone that rhymes with bone today we are going to make light fluffy scones for which we long! Am I getting weird?
When I was growing up in the big house on the beach, overlooking Hawke Bay in New Zealand, I was the Martha of the household. I was the little cook. So when someone popped in for a cup of tea and a yarn, the catch cry was “Celi, can you whip us up a batch of scones?” So I would take my writing or the book I was reading into the kitchen and whip them up a batch of scones. Then eat mine hot in the kitchen with my books. My sisters were the Mary’s you see, even my mother was a Mary (her name was even Mary) and I was the Martha. I did not mind. I mean I really did not mind. Small talk is not my forte. Never has been and still is not. I am the one who says something completely out of context just as there is a chatter-pause. And you get that freeze of politely raised eyebrows- did she speak? Oh, I’m sorry, what was that dear? No. I was happier making scones and ferrying cups of tea in and out, while everyone else chatted, sitting on the couches in front of the big windows that overlooked the bright sea. In fact this second story room had a wall of windows and doors overlooking the bay so all the couches faced the sea – you could not turn your back on that view.
So when you hear the cry “Whip us up a batch of scones” from the Mary’s in your house – turn the oven on. Because you need a very hot oven. And it takes longer for an oven to heat up than it does to prepare your scones.
Quickly mix with your fingertips
Mix with spoon until you have a nice doughy ball.
Pat and shape gently. Set on buttered and floured cookie sheet and into your hot hot oven. Great Auntie Mid always said to cook scones for 5 minutes at 500. Which was fine on a big old coal range. In my gas oven I cooked this mornings scones for 10 minutes at 450.
The best bit is the variations. You can put almost anything you like in a scone. Or have them plain with a little sugar in the mix. This mornings were bacon and onion (add these at the flour stage) with cheese on top. My favourite are date scones with a sprinkle of sugar on top. Sultana scones were standard at the house on the beach. Another one I love is cheese and fresh parsley. If you add cheese you can decrease the butter a little.