43. Village survival, going going…scone!

Baking Bad: a recipe for disaster – how to make 50 scones when you’re really not that into baking and also have a horrendous hangover! 

Last Saturday I was *volunteered* to bake 50 scones for the Cream Tea Afternoon on the Village Green. Most of the inhabitants of Vertonbridge village would be there. We’d play a game of family cricket, listen to a local band play 80’s covers and generally slouch about on the duck poo covered green drinking tea and chowing down on high fat, gluten and dairy based food products all afternoon. Local baker Marjorie Middlethwaite was also batch baking scones for the event which alleviated the refreshments presh a little. Is it scones as in scons’ or scones as in scowns’? I personally favour ‘scons’. Struggling to care? Fair enough.

cropped-high-tea.png

After much deliberation, I decided to make my scones based loosely on a Delia Smith recipe because it was the most simples and didn’t involve me hunting down any soda of baking powder or any other highfalutin baking gubbins.

The night before the saturday morning of the scone baking (keep up) Ted and I enjoyed a meal with friends in the village pub – and so after a few Martini Rossos too many or was it that last Creme de Menthe? – I had woken up feeling like my brain had been replaced by a clusterf*ck of woodpeckers and then to compound my misery I had to bring it with with some seriousass Mary Berry scone skillz…..

woodpecker

Going going…..scone!

It’s a fact universally known that you have to bake scones and then like just bloody eat themit’s a thing. You can’t go making them in advance because they go stale in a matter of minutes/hours. Literally from the moment they come out of the oven it’s a race against time to get them to your cakehole or someone else’s before they turn into rock cakes.

Stuff that went in it

225g self raising flour

40g butter (make sure you forget to take it out of the fridge so it’s a complete bastard to work with).

5oz of milk

1 1/2 tablespoons of castor sugar

A pinch of salt

How I cobbled it together 

  • Put oven on at 220 – you need a nice hot oven or in my case just a nice oven!
  • At this point in proceedings I located the cooking sherry and took several furtive swigs for hair of the dog purposes. This cheeky culinary tipple does not go into the scones. However –  gap in the market alert, we’ve had cherry scones, perhaps now it’s time for sherry scones. You heard it here first – err…my idea – so jog on Heston Blumenthal. I don’t want to see alcohol enfused scones in Waitrose any time soon without some serious royalties!
  • Sieve the flour into a bowl and throw in the butter. Mix it in together by hand and get loads of gunk stuck to your fingers and rings which you’ve forgotten to take off. Feel mildly concerned when you can’t remember if you have washed your hands either.
  • Add sugar and salt.
  • Stir in milk slowly so you make a gloopy dough which looks really sloppy. In a panic throw in more flour and then wonder if it’s now a bit stodgy? Add a dash more milk and then in a panic throw in more flour and then wonder if it’s now a bit stodgy?
  • Attempt to roll out the sticky stodgy dough to 2.5cm thick. Scrape large chunks off the rolling pin with a litany of your favourite expletives. Cobble it all together again so it looks like a large slab of white thigh cellulite.
  • Use a middle sized fluted cutter to press down sharply for a clean but attractively circular and wavey edge. Enjoy wringing sensation in wrist and possible future RSI at the exersion.
  • Hunt about for the greaseproof paper, freak the hell out when you can’t find any. Send husband or other responsible adult out to buy some.
  • Panic that scones need to go into the oven NOW as they start to fester and melt into  the work surface.
  • Seize greaseproof paper from returning husband or responsible adult in overly dramatic Bake Off style panic and place scones on the greaseproof paper. I managed about 10 scones per mix – not 12 like the recipe said – Delia, I’m not angry- just disappointed.
  • Bake on 220 for about 12 mins or until, much like yourself, they are completely browned off.
  • Begin ball ache clean up operation when you notice there is a snow-like dusting of flour everybloodywhere…..
  • Realise that you haven’t got enough tins (for scone transportation). Brave the Tupperware cupboard for further scone receptacles and adopt the brace position for inevitable plastic avalanche.

Testimonials

Deirdre Snellon (head of the Village Horticultural Club who puts a haughty into everything! See what I did there)  “Ahh Hillie, you can take ‘those’ home and err?………freeze them? Everyone seems to have gone for Marjorie’s scones………..”

Ted from devon…..anything tastes nice with cream and jam on….”

Lottie from Devon “I want a chocolate brownie.”

A random judgy local “….did you have one of Hillie’s scones? Marjorie is handing out Gaviscon tablets for anyone affected!…” Hopefully she and Marjorie both stepped in a large pile of Village Green duck poo’ – which then squelched into their Hush Puppy sandals! 

I took a moment to enjoy the warm inner glow and sense of community that comes from living in a small rural village……….

As you were!

If you liked this recipe anecdote you might like this one too?

*Although I would heartily relish a trolley dash around Waitrose accompanied by Heston Blumenthal wearing a fetching pair of Hush Puppies whilst relieving heartburn symptons with Gaviscon – sadly this post was not sponsored by any of these well known and popular brands.

 

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