We’re enjoying special moments around food…tea in bed suddenly has no limits (the kids bring us biscuits, rusks and even chocolate has become permissible – pyjamas essential). Our sitting room coffee table has become the preferred gathering place for meals – just add a table cloth and you too can have a Bedouin dining experience (now that our dining room table is the office it makes sense!) and just about anywhere can turn into a romantic carpet picnic…so get creative!
Gilly and Irene’s Scones
Makes 16 scones
This is a collaborative recipe combining Gilly’s ingredient list and Irene’s clever ‘no rolling out’ method. Irene was the much loved housekeeper of the family beach cottage in Umzumbe, where Irene worked for forty years. Gilly taught Irene her scone recipe and Irene came up with her own clever method of making them. Working in a similarly small kitchen to our own, Irene would rustle up these wonderfully tempting scones, with no machinery. She served them straight from the oven, with their doughy centres steaming and their strong buttery smell calling us to run to the table. Irene would laugh loudly as the kids smothered them with butter, jam and cream and came back for seconds and thirds.
Turn your oven to 200 degrees / hot oven
4 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
6 x Teaspoons Baking Powder
160g Soft Butter (not melted)
Rub these together with your fingertips in a large bowl until the mixure resembles fine breadcrumbs (doesn’t take long…just sing Happy Birthday twice…!)
1.5 Cups of Buttermilk or Maas (you could also use plain yoghurt)
Mix these together to create a wet mix in a small bowl. With a knife slowly add the wet mix bit by bit to the dry mix in the large bowl. You might find that you have wet mix left over. Use the knife to cut and create a dough. Combine until all the flour has been mixed in. Don’t let the dough get soggy. It should resemble a bread dough. Cover with a towel and leave on top of the oven for 10 minutes where it is warm.
Now sprinkle a fine dusting of flour onto a baking sheet. Tip the dough onto it. Coax it gently into a rectangular shape without disturbing it too much. You can dust your hands to prevent it from sticking. Take a sharp knife and cut the dough length ways to make four strips, then cut each strip into four squares (try to keep them as squares). As you cut them distribute the scones into spaces around the baking tray so they are spaced out. Mix one egg in a teacup and brush a small amount onto the tops of each scone (this makes them turn golden brown on top).
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Smother with butter, jam and cream and smile!