Saturday, 27 August 2011

Afternoon delight ...

A tea-time treat; warm floury scones, split and slathered with raspberry jam, dolloped with clotted cream for those indulgence days.  Simple and easy for anyone to make and yet luxurious enough for royalty.  Perhaps that is why I love the scone so much, it is quick, easy and completely delicious.

Mercifully the scone has come a long way from its' humble beginnings.  It is believed that scones were originally made as a Scottish quick bread with oats and baked on a griddle.  Thank heaven that today's version is baked, made with flour and bursting with sugar and fruit (probably in order of importance).

The scone really is a treat fit for Kings, with the snack originating in Scotland in the early 1500s and legend has it that the name comes from the Stone of Destiny, where the Kings of Scotland were crowned.  Its' royal connections do not end there though and Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861), has officially become my favourite royal.  "Why?", I hear you cry!  Did she save orphans?  Did she become fashionista of the moment?  Was she the Kate Middleton of the late 18th Century, loved by all?  Well, truth be told, I don't know!  She may have been, but more importantly, she popularised the scone and can single-handedly take the credit for the very English tradition of Afternoon Tea.  One late afternoon, she ordered the servants to bring tea and some sweet breads, including scones.  The act was so delightful that she indulged every day at precisely 4.00pm, thus founding a Great British Tradition.  What a woman!

Won't you join me?  I've a fresh batch....tea, coffee or a juice?


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