Okay, every once in awhile (which means, whenever I can remember to do so), I'm gonna try and write a few of my favorite things.
1. A dear friend of mine in California enjoys tea just as much or even more than I do. I think one of my all-time favorite birthday presents came from Sheila back in 1995 (which I remember only because I still have the card with her present!). It is a book titled "If Teacups Could Talk" by Emilie Barnes. This is an awesome book filled with all kinds of tea recipes, traditions, decorative hints, and recipes for the delicacies that go with a "proper" tea along with themes, and all kinds of fun stuff!
2. Basic Scones: We had a mother/daughter tea several years ago at AWANA. What a blast! The leaders and I were busy with preparations of tea sandwiches, different teas, and this yummy staple to every "proper" tea. I've made these for breakfast (quick to whip up in the morning, 15 minutes from start to putting them in your mouth) a couple times this past month. Big hit!
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (Watkins' is aluminum-free and raises higher than any other I've seen)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup buttermilk (I've used skim with the same results)
lightly beaten egg
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in the center and pour in milk. Mix until dough clings together and is a bit sticky -- DO NOT OVERMIX (this will toughen the scones). Turn dough on lightly floured surface and shape into a 6-to-8 inch round about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut into pie wedges (I do six wedges). Place on ungreased cookie sheet, being sure sides don't touch each other. Brush with egg. Bake 425 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes (I do 10 minutes in a convection oven -- perfection!) or until light brown.
3. Clotted cream: This doesn't sound great, but it is really yummy! Slice your scones and spoon some of this on, topping it with your favorite preserves (like Carter's strawberry freezer jam!). While you cannot find REAL English clotted cream in the States, this is a great substitute! Luke and Tony gobbled this up, Susanna wouldn't try it until we forced her to -- and the moment it hit her tongue, she was umming and ahing and talking about how yummy it was!
1/2 cup heavy cream or 8 ounces cream cheese (I use cream cheese)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
Whip heavy cream until medium-stiff peaks form, adding sugar. Fold in sour cream and blend. OR, just stir cream cheese together with sugar and sour cream.
Our little family can wipe out a full batch of these lickety-split, warm from the oven, so plan accordingly for your family!