There is nothing magical about what is happening in the world right now. Nothing. These are scary times, many people in the world were already living in terror, I think now we are starting to catch up, as the things some of us might have taken for granted are slowly being taken away. We keep talking about a time ‘in the future’ when this is all over but I am not sure we quite know when that will be and what it will look like. In the past 48 hours Donald Trump has declared America open, which somehow send a chill through my soul and the UK government confirmed the widely held assumption that lockdown would continue for at least another 3 weeks. It is surreal.
It’s Saturday morning and I have not stepped out of the house since Tuesday evening when I went to do my mother’s weekly shop. To be fair and transparent – my legs have not quite recovered from the Joe Wicks workout that I did with some colleagues, via Zoom, on Easter Monday, I cannot completely blame the lockdown on that…!
I’m working from home these days which, I am getting more used to. No longer sitting in pyjamas, I’m up, showered, dressed and ready for work by eight thirty or so. I have my lunch between one and two and try and wind up all my work by six o’clock or earlier. It’s strange, even though I am working in my own home, some habits are hard to break so sometimes I am at my laptop, eating a bowl of the night before’s pasta dish, while going through my e-mails. If Nacho makes lunch then I’ll eat with him at the dining table which is a much more normal and healthy thing to do. Every Tuesday and Thursday we have a team telephone meeting, which helps us keep in contact and iron out any challenges, of which there are a few (!) that come up. In the afternoon, much of my time is spent dictating the letters and completing some actions from the morning clinic and correcting the letters from the previous days clinic. Then when five o’clock rolls around I end up joining the daily government briefing, watching multiple graphs and numbers slide past me and hearing every ministerial answer containing the words stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.
It’s a new normal now. I have not seen my colleagues for a whole month now. At this moment in time, I do not know when I will see them again in real life. That is a statement I never thought would be in my narrative. It does not even feel real when I say it out aloud. When this is all over, things won’t be the same, they can’t be. Things were not great before. I am hoping that we will use to time to reflect on what we made better because of this disaster, what we learnt about ourselves and society. I guess another post for another day, perhaps…
Some things have not changed and probably won’t drastically. I’m still baking, it has always been my refuge. I’m fortunate that I can still do this and I won’t take it for granted. I managed to get some flour (my precious…) and decided that I wanted to make some scones. Why? Well, scones are childhood personified. A place of peace, innocence and tranquility, at least for me. I was lucky. I remember scones being one of the first things I learnt to bake at primary school in our afternoon cooking classes. In the more traditional form of the recipe you start by rubbing the butter and flour mixture together to make ‘breadcrumbs’ which was then, one of my favourite baking moves. Scones remind me of picnics, parties, summer and all things good. So in the middle of this current nightmare, I decided to go back to that place by baking a batch of scones.
As you known, I have been having fun with the Three Ingredient Baking and in it, I found a recipe for scones requiring only flour, lemonade and double cream. Yes. Yes, back to adding fizzy drinks to flour again. I clearly was not put off by my ginger muffins experience, because with cooking, one just boldly goes of into the next adventure.
It is a very easy recipe to execute, mix, knead, flatten and cut.
They took only 20 minutes to cook and voilà, beautiful smells in the kitchen. They smell wonderful, they taste just perfect, a hint of sweetness, soft on the inside and just enough crunch on the outside to make each bite heavenly. I used half the recommended ingredients but made the same number of scones (10).
I don’t have any clotted cream lying around in the flat and did not think I should add more double cream but I did have a pot of plum reserve hiding unopened in the back of the fridge. It turned out to be a very tasty accompaniment to my scone. I am very pleased, very happy.
So now there is a tin full of scones to dip into whenever I’m feeling a little peckish and want to experience a little bit of magic or write a blog post…
600g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
300ml double cream
1 x 330ml can of lemonade
(7 cm fluted round cutter)
Preheat the oven to 220oC/200oC fan.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Slowly add the cream, followed by the can of lemonade. Stir the mixture together using a metal spoon.
Using your hands to bring the dough together, and shape it into a ball in the bowl, adding a few more tablespoons of flour if it’s too sticky. Working quickly (so it keeps its shape). turn it out on to a heavily floured surface and knead it lightly.
Pat the dough to a thickness of around 4 cm and cut into circles using the cutter, or if you don’t have one, the rim of a clean glass or small mug.
Put the scones on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, around 3cm apart, neatening then up using a wet knife if necessary.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Give them another few minutes if the tops haven’t turned golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Reference: Three Ingredient Baking, Sarah Rainey, page 114.