Scones, there are few things that are quite as English as scones….. just think afternoon or cream tea in a flower filled garden on a nice sunny day. Ok, I know, the sunny bit is stretching it a little, but you get the idea. Just perform a search for “cream tea” in your favourite internet browser and you will find that just about all the photographs on display show a plate of scones!
The custom of afternoon tea supposedly originated in the 1840’s at the behest of Anna Maria Russell, the Duchess of Bedford. Before the end of the century it had become common amongst the upper and middle classes. To be honest, I have never really partaken of afternoon tea as such, but it does remind me of the afternoon meal observed at the farm I worked on for a while in my teens.
Archive Photograph – Freisans
The farmer’s wife would serve a fine spread of cakes and pastries at around 5:00 pm, for the whole family, temporary workers and hangers-on (me). The large farmhouse kitchen would be full, at least temporarily, with delicious smells and hungry mouths. It was designed as a large snack, something to tide them over before a larger more formal meal, once milking was finished. On that dairy farm at least, the day began and ended with the milking of around one hundred Friesians.
Scones also take me back to my infancy and watching mothers and neighbours baking. Perhaps I was, unbeknownst to myself, attracted to the idea of baking and cooking in general? More likely I guess it was simply that I wanted to be first in line to sample the still warm fare, or my desire to help them clean up after their baking, by licking out the bowls and spoons!
Archive Photograph – A Cream Tea
But of course licking out the bowls is no longer safe, the killjoys are out in force to destroy yet another humble yet enjoyable pastime……. I have just read an article on the BBC’s news website that particularly dismayed me and in more ways than one…….
To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.
2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge