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.