About a week and a half ago I had the lovely honor of taking this extremely adorable girl out on a date. Now I know what you’re thinking “Didn’t she say in a post or 2 ago that she just got married to a guy name Kyle?”….Yes, yes I am; however I am of the mindset that you are capable of loving a large number of people and you can essentially go out on dates with individuals you aren’t in a committed relationship with in order to develop something separate and unique. Or ya know you can ask a friend out for a girl’s afternoon out and ham it up a bit. Though there is nothing wrong with being polyamorous.. A large majority of my friends are polyamorous. The girl I went on a date is polyamorous and I love her to utter bits. I am not anti poly. I am pro poly…ALL THE POLY!
I have been taking the necessary actions to be able to spend more quality time with my friends away from group settings to help strengthen my own relationships with them. This is just because life has a habit of screwing up stuff and making time pass before you realize that you’ve not hung out or seen someone for months. I’ve asked each of the lovely ladies in my house out on dates and so far I’ve been able to successfully schedule two. The first being with Krystal who made the suggestion we go get an afternoon tea. The only place I was familiar with and was within relatively close proximity to where we both lived is The London Tea Room which is nestled in the lovely Morganford business area in South City, St Louis. I had been wanting to go for a while now but due to life and the little roadblocks she tosses at you, I had not been able to get my foot in the door to enjoy a cuppa so I was eager to say yes and make plans to ensconce myself within the canisters of earl grey and darjeeling.
I was immediately in love as I was wrapped up in the aroma of tea, soup, scones, pasties (not nipple covers folks..not those pasties). The atmosphere was warm and inviting and while rather small for space (at least in the front room) you didn’t feel cramped or crowded. We mulled over our decisions and I aptly ordered an earl grey with milk and a few tasty treats. Krystal ordered some sort of sweet matcha latte which I found pleasant and refreshing. We hid ourselves in the back room, the front of the tea house was crowded which given the fact it was a Friday afternoon at around noon made me wonder how many of the patrons had played hookie that day or were in fact trying to hide their licentious activities behind a blueberry scone with Devon double cream. What was only to have been an hour tea turned into a two-hour talk with us exchanging war stories about the trials and tribulations of matrimony. It was a lovely time and will be a reoccurring date place for the two of us in the near future.
As the grey and dreary Friday melted away in the cold I found myself bored and wanting to be creative on Saturday. Kyle works till 3 in the afternoon so I find myself with a lot of down time if I don’t go to my day job for overtime. I had spent six hours of my day already stuck behind a desk and was in desperate need of some decompression time. The thought of the previous afternoon’s date still fresh in my memory and the taste of scones with clotted cream very vivid and alive in my old noodle. I crossed my fingers on my ride home to hope that I had the necessary ingredients to make scone and even possibly try my hand at making homemade clotted cream. I quickly scrapped the clotted cream idea due to the fact that when it comes to food I am very much driven by my culinary ID and I didn’t have 12 hours to wait before I sunk my teeth into a warm scone (not a biscuit dammit!). So I opted instead to pair it with some butter and jam. Only problem was I only had enough butter for the recipe. How in the hell can that happen when you’re as avid of a chef as I am? And then I remembered the popcorn binge from earlier in the week. Double damn! But luckily, redemption was hidden behind the milk and the kimchi in the form of a quart of heavy cream (insert hallelujah angelic chords of happiness here!). I shall have my afternoon tea after all and to quote the Mad Hatter “It’s always tea time!”.
I quickly gathered my ingredients to make my scones. I opted for lemon rosemary given the fact that I had been able to salvage a few twigs from the rosemary plant outside before the frost set it and I had a lemon that was needing to be used for something other than the garbage disposal. I had everything else I could possibly need. It’s not an incredibly difficult recipe and if you’ve had any experience with making biscuits than making scones will be a snap. The only thing different is you are going to be adding an egg. The addition of the egg is what makes it a scone. Other then that the technique is going to be the same. You’re still going to be sifting your dry ingredients and then gently cut the fat into the mixture to form a fine crumb and will mix in enough liquid to bring the dough together. You can even cut them out like you would biscuits. For all intensive purposes, scones are just egg biscuits..No they really aren’t but it’s nice to live in that sort of world where it’s easy to just make something into something else isn’t it.
Prior to starting you will want to ensure that your butter is very cold. I will cut it into small pieces and then place it in the freezer while I’m gathering the rest of my supplies. I also have a tendency to keep a stick of butter already cut into tablespoon pieces in a ziplock bag in the freezer as a just in case. Having well chilled butter will ensure that when its cut into the flour that you wont end up with a gloopy mess. Cutting the butter simply means taking knife, fork, pastry blender, food processor and incorporating the butter into your flour to make a fine crumb which will help for a flakier, tender end product. If you have to big of pieces of fat, as they heat and melt they will leave large gaping holes in your pastry. The only holes I like are in my cheese and um….well other places but that’s another blog and we don’t discuss such lascivious activities here.
Once you’ve gathered the necessary items you will want to start by sifting your flour and then add your leavening agent and sugar. If using a food processor which let’s face it that is probably the cleanest and easiest way to do this, pour the dry ingredients in and then add the butter, breaking up any pieces that might be stuck together when it was resting in the cold dark freezer of despair. Give it a few pulses until it takes on the consistency of sand. Transfer the contents back to your sifting bowl and make a well in the center so that we can pour the milk in to start the mixing of the wet ingredients. If you are going to mix in add in’s now would be your chance (lemon zest and rosemary, chocolate chunks, raisins, nothing that bleeds too much). In your milk you’ll want to mix in one beaten egg until thoroughly combined (i.e no globs of albumin *that’s the egg white* left) because you don’t want little globs of clear goo floating around in your milk like so much chicken jism flotsam cast adrift in a bovine secretion ocean *gags*. Pour the milk into the well and taking a fork start to mix the flour in. Once it’s roughly combined and if adding things that will bleed (berries) add them here and finish mixing with your fingers until it comes together. Lightly dust your work surface and quickly but gently bring the dough together. You need to work quickly because you don’t want the butter to melt. Taking a rolling-pin which has also been dusted, gently roll the dough out till it is roughly 3 cm in height. Because of the baking powder added they will rise so don’t fret if you think they are too small. Dip your biscuit cutter into your flour and slowly press into your dough to cut into your scone shape. If you don’t have a biscuit cutter a glass with a thin edge will work perfectly well. If for some reason you don’t have a glass and prefer to drink out of an old rusty can that once housed lima beans and you can’t bring to throw it away because you have too much sentimental attachment that um yeah I guess you can use that, and get a few rounds of “mild” ECT therapy. Or ya know, um yeah. You need help.
Cut out your rounds of dough and placed on a baking sheet that has either been lined with parchment paper or has a silicone mat so they don’t stick or burn. You will more than likely get around 15 scones if using a 2 inch (5 cm) biscuit cutter. You can gently bring the dough back together to cut more, just keep this floating around in the back of your ECT addled brain that the more you mix and roll out the dough the tougher the scones will be. I’d recommend only doing this roughly twice and be satisfied with around 20 scones. You can always make a second batch should it not be enough. Brush the tops with the second beaten egg and place in a preheated oven at 375 for roughly for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are a lovely golden brown.
Now if you’re an avid tea fan like I am and you love scones like I do than you’re probably a purist and prefer to enjoy your tasty baked goodness with some clotted cream and jam. The question that is lingering on my lips is how do you eat it? Are you a Devon or Cornwall scone eater? Are you a clotted cream then jam or a jam then clotted cream type scone eater? My opinion about you won’t really change. I won’t suddenly decide to unfriend you from life and ignore your existence if you prefer to eat it the way those savages in Devon do and that is the spreading of the cream and then the jam. Bloody uneducated, unrefined savages. Cornwall does it best because the cream tastes better on top. TOP IS THE BEST PLACE TO BE!!. It’s how I eat my toast it’s how I eat my scones and I’ll never change…^.^ Really there isn’t any right or wrong way ( Cornwall is right, Devon is wrong) to eat your scone. The only wrong thing is calling it a biscuit or not eating them at all.
Sadly I didn’t have any Devon double cream at home on this scone day but I did have an extra quart of heavy whipping cream lying about so instead of using butter which I didn’t have and only enjoying the scone with jam, I pulled out my handy-dandy Kitchenaid mixer and cranked that puppy on high and walked away for about 10 minutes or so. Probably not the brightest idea I had that day considering when I came back I noticed the fat in the cream had separated from the liquids (which is what makes butter) but at 10 it caused the whey to ejaculate out of the bowl and all over my countertops. Yeah not a pleasant sight I tell you what. Damn bovine secretions being all sexual and orgasming EVERYWHERE…. It did however change me emotionally to the point that I will probably not buy butter at the store unless I absolutely have to because the end product was so delicious and such a lovely pale yellow that I am forever changed and altered.
So if any of you get a chance visit St. Louis I strongly recommend you hit up The London Tea Room for either a proper afternoon tea (they require at minimum 24 hour notice) or a quick-lunch with a friend. It is totally worth it. The atmosphere is lovely, the staff is lovely, it’s just lovely. If you can’t make it here then please take an afternoon and have a few of your friends over and have an afternoon tea of your own. I am having one in April for a group of friends and am excited because it means I get to make scones and butter and little sandwiches and pastry ^.^
- 500g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 2 rounded tsp baking powder
- 2 heaped tbsp of caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 110g chopped cold unsalted butter
- 300ml whole milk
- 2 eggs (beaten in separate bowls)
Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheet with parchment paper or line with a silicone mat. In a bowl sift flour, baking powder, sugar & salt and add to a food processor (you can use your hands for this if you don’t have a food process0r). Add cold butter and mix until it resembles fine pastry flour. Transfer back to a bowl, making a well and add milk & egg mixture and dry add ins *zest, dry herbs* and mix with fork until combined. Place on a floured surface, rolling out gently to 3 cm in height and cut out scones, bringing the dough back together if you absolutely have to for more scones. Brush with beaten egg and bake until golden brown 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
- 1 quart heavy whipping cream
Place into a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment and mix on high for 10 minutes. Once finished place in a sieve to drain out any whey and transfer contents needed to small serving dishes. If storing for later, wrap in plastic and then freezer paper and freeze for up to 3 months.