Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Celebration

Yesterday [December 18] the Traveling Teapot and I went to the Assisted Living Center, to celebrate the birthday of my dear friend, Mrs. Virginia Dean.  Mrs. Dean has just obtained the age of 97!!

We have been friends now for 22 years, sharing common interests in music, travel [especially to England, she is an anglophile] and, of course, Tea.  When I am traveling abroad, she receives a daily postcard, and when I return, she is the one most eager to hear all the adventures, look at all the photos, and asks questions for more details.

Our Tea/Birthday Party was a delightful surprise.  We enjoyed cucumber sandwiches and salmon sandwiches, scones [made from the recipe of "Two Fat Ladies"] with clotted cream and kumquat butter [made from the microwave lemon curd recipe of The Teawife, Kathy], and ended with trifle.  I had made the trifle especially because I knew that she had a sweet tooth and loved it.  Once, after hosting a tea, I had brought her a HUGE bowl of trifle along with other goodies; I figured it would last her at least 3 days. ... She called me that evening to say that she had devoured the whole thing, that she could not have stopped even if the devil had stood in front of her!  For tea, we drank English Breakfas Tea I had brought home from a Tea at Claridge's in London.

And so we had a delicious Tea and enjoyed swapping tales from visits in London over the years.  And Mrs. Dean sends greetings and thanks to you all. 

Speaking of "Two Fat Ladies" [Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson], how I miss their cooking program!  Rarely did they prepare something which I thought I would do, but I always enjoyed their banter, and especially enjoyed the glimpses of the countryside, visits to the markets, etc.  And while I said that I rarely was interested in their recipes, one of their books had a super easy scone recipe:

Two Fat Ladies Scones:

1 2/3 cups self-rise flour
small pinch of salt
4 tablesppoons butter
2/3 cup milk, fresh or sour, or buttermilk

Mix the flour & salt in a large bowl.  Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it all resembles crumbs.  Mix in the ilk.  Form into a soft dough with a metal spatula.  Knead lightly on a floured board, then pa out into a round 3/4 inch thick.  Cut into 2-inch rounds with a cutter or little cup.

Place on a greased & floured baking sheet and brush with milk.  Bake in a preheaded oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, until well risen and brown.  Col on a rack, but eat when still warm, with lots of butter, clotted cream, and jam.

sweet scones:  add 1/4 c sugar to the dry ingredients.
fruit scones: add 1/3 c dried fruit and 2 tbl sugar
savory scones: add 3/4 c grated hard cheese and 1 tsp dry mustard, or 1/3 c inched olives, anchoives, or whatever you fancy.


Marilyn said...

This sounds like it was a very special tea party. I love taking tea to my 92 year old aunt, but usually keep it very simple. I love that you even took her trifle. Thanks also for the recipe.

La Tea Dah said...

I'm so happy that you were able to take the traveling teapot to tea with Mrs. Dean. I recall you speaking of her and of your mutual love of tea. And thank you for the scones recipe. It looks easy and delicious! I enjoyed "Two Fat Ladies" and their show as well. Sometimes I am fortunate enough to be able to watch it on rerun.

Nancy Carr said...

You are so sweet. What wonderful memories you both have. Thank you for sharing.

Karen's Place said...

How charming of you to Celebrate with Mrs. Virginia Dean and the well traveled plum teapot. What a perfect match. Thanks for the scone recipe, very similar to one I use. Can't wait for next post.

marthae said...

Please give our greetings to Mrs. Dean as well. How sweet of her to send greetings to us.
How special that the little plum pot helped celebrate her special birthday. Your party sounded delightful.