Longing for scones

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.

  • 2 cups flour and 2 tsp baking powder and 2 heaped tablespoons of cornflour/cornstarch.
  • a pinch of salt. (and pepper or tsp sugar depending on your other ingredients which you will add now)
  • 3oz cold butter grated into the flour. 

Quickly mix with your fingertips

  • Make a well in your flour and add 1/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup cold water mixed together.

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.

See? I told you they would not take long.  Now I am going to eat mine with a cup of tea, while I do tomorrows planning. 


76 Comments on “Longing for scones

  1. Hey! I bet even I could make these. My baking skills are very limited and scones are one of those items I thought I’d always buy and never bake. Not anymore. And if someone asks where I learned to make scones, I’ll tell ’em Martha showed me — no, not that Martha. Thanks!

    • Yes you can. If you can make that amazing out of this world ice-cream then you can make scones! And yes it is the biblical Martha, I knew you would get the reference..c

    • Oh yes. i forget … strawberry jam and whipped cream on top.. how could I have forgotton! thank you for reminding me.. is it unethical to go back and write a PS?

  2. You’re a genius on baking goodies! I can cook but never bake, so I’ll save the recipe and stuff for a friend to make and share with me 🙂 thank you for sharing this with us! 🙂

  3. These look and sound delicious! Even more delicious, perhaps, is the description of the conviviality (and that includes the vicarious kind of the wallflower Martha contributing from the sidelines and listening in) in your home-by-the-bay. I’m a coastal girl by upbringing myself and the image of that room with the expansive water views is, well, delicious.

  4. I loved your story, it almost felt like I was sitting there with you in the kitchen! You’re a great story teller! Plus… a scone recipe that I am going to have to try this morning! Thanks!

    • Well greg I am very grateful that you tried. Of course it was not until after i wrote that i realised that you all probably say ‘long’ differently from me as well! !! (laugh) c

  5. I say it the same way as you! I love scones but have never had too much luck with them but you make it sound so simple and straightforward. I want to be in your kitchen with you…Í´d let you read your books in peace!

    • hi beast! in fact you can cut down a little on the butter if you like, esp if you have cheese in there! But i love butter so i am always trying to shove more in!!! 🙂

  6. C, you always bring a smile with your memories and your recipes! And, what luck! I need something to make for breakfast in the morning…hmmm, sweet? Or savory?

  7. Thank you for sharing this nice happy mamory with us. Those scones look delicious with an easy recipe too.

  8. I haven’t even finished reading this yet but I HAVE to write this: I wondered from the moment I saw your title if you said, “Scone” rhyming with “Long” I’M SO GLAD!!! My grandparents were from Scotland and that’s how they said it there. Here in the States people look at me weird when I say it that way…the RIGHT way! I’m just so glad I’m not alone! Ok, now to read the rest of your post…and to print off your recipe! (I happen to be quite a coinisoeur – how do you spell that word? – of scones!!!!)

  9. Even though I was born in the US and have lived here my entire life, I pronounce scones such that it rhymes with longs (or rather, “John’s”). You can thank Michael Palin for that, as in
    “I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK
    I sleep all night and I work all day.
    I cut down trees. I eat my lunch.
    I go to the lavatory.
    On Wednesdays I go shoppin’
    And have buttered scones for tea.”
    The word “scones” is sung as a dotted quarter note – longer than the surrounding words for emphasis!

    • You are brilliant.. i love that.. and I want a dotted quarter note! I learnt piano you know with the nuns and I never encountered a dotted quarter note.. so cool! and I do remember I’m a lumberjack etc.. brilliant! thank you ..jomegat! c

  10. Scones, scones, scones! Love them, love them. Lashings of jam and whipped cream, yes please.
    I only finally managed to get them right this year. Before that they were always hit and miss…actually mostly miss.

  11. I just came from another great blog that featured a great recipe for scones as well. And these scones are equally wonderful and delicious. I can’t wait to show this to my mom.. she loves different scone recipes

    • There are a few scone recipes floating about today, is there something in the air. kay?. I shall have to have mini bake off with all the other versions! Fun. ! c

  12. I’ve been wanting a good scone recipe! Thank you for this. BTW, I too, am not a good conversationalist, and seem to do much better writing than speaking! My version is this: start off well, say something interesting, become self-conscious, get too intense, exit. 😀

    • Oh you start off well , so you have the fist step to small talk in order, as i have gotton older I use the question version. Just keep asking questions, this seems to be working for me. just don’t have that much to say i guess. ha ha c

  13. Oh you have an exquisite light touch – with the exception of the lemonade and cream ones (which I think actually originated in NZ), my scones are like hockey pucks! Doesn’t everyone say scones to rhyme with long? 😉

    • I do have a distant memory of lemonade scones from home and had forgotton so i will be cooking your recipe too! That is great! I am sure your scones are not like hockey pucks, those things are mean! c

  14. My husband is British and his mother made scones when she was a girl working in a B&B in England. I still cannot get the hang of it, but will give your recipe a go. Next is the clotted cream!!

    • Oh yes, the cream on top! YUM! I need to make some, you cannot buy it here. Let me know how the scones work out.. c

  15. I believe scones are best made at home where “love” and “care” are additional ingredients not necessarily found commercially. Made my hungry!

  16. I’m so hungry now I can’t even type…made ME hungry! Off to make something freshly baked now…

  17. I really enjoyed your story! hank you for sharing this recipe. I cannot find scones in Italy.I guess it is a British tradition. I don’t remember when was the last time I has a delicious scone!!! Great post!!

    • I had an Italian housekeeper when i lived in Amalfi for a wee while and she had never heard of them either, but she ate them! Then taught me how to really cook. c

  18. Hi Cecilia. I have never had much luck baking scones but I am sitting here now on a hot and stormy afternoon having just baked the best batch of scones EVER in my life. I followed your recipe exactly and they are amazing. Have taken some snaps so will post them soon. You are my scone heroine – thank you!

    • Oh Miss Tanya Chica.. I love that you did that.. Oh you whipped up a batch of scones!! I am chuffed. Am looking forward to your pics! c

  19. Pingback: Copy Cat, Copy Cat – Doggy Treats and Scones for the Big People | Chica Andaluza

    • i always say that nothing home made can be bad for my diet.. well it works for me!! I never eat processed food you see. So i can only blame myself!

  20. How ever you say it (and whatever you call ’em) I’m going to try your recipe as soon as it gets cool enough to turn on my oven (November perhaps…sigh…). Thanks to Tanya for mentioning you to me (well, us…)! Mmmm…

  21. This has been my first yr of really getting into cooking. I couldn’t afford to get the little extras a good cook normally has always in the kitchen. So this Summer, when I finally was able to get almost all the usuals (my last shopping trip for the extras to have around will be this morning) I was finally able to make my first scones! I made cheese ones, and the first batch put far too much pepper I couldn’t finish my second one. The second batch was good enough to share though, and have for breakfast!

  22. What a treat: my favorite of all times: scones. There used too be a shop in Greenwich Village called Balducci’s, which made wonderful, crumbly scones. Most of the others I taste now that the original Balducci’s is out of business have a different texture: more doughy than crumbly. From what I’ve read the secret is to make them with cream rather than milk so they won’t get too dry. But using cream is an insult to my sense of healthy eating. Too much cholesterol and too many calories.

    How would you describe the texture of your scones?

    • Light and fluffy. You are in for a treat, make them fast like pastry and cook them fast on high. American scones are not actually scones. In fact I am not sure what they are! Not cream and my mother often made them with half milk and half water. Half cornflour (cornstarch) and half flour. But the secret is make them fast and cook them high.. good luck let me know how you do!! c

  23. Pingback: Chorizo and Green Olive Scones (made with Goose Fat) | Chica Andaluza

  24. Pingback: Look what I did… | June Wildflower

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