Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fit for a Queen!

Today was one of those serendipitous days where I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. These things don't happen to me very often, but fate sure shined on me today!!

I happened to stop by TJ Maxx on my way home from work today, with the hope of perhaps finding a t-shirt for my summer wardrobe. As I always do when I go to TJ Maxx, I stopped by the cooking aisle just to see if there were any books that were on sale. Usually they only have some Williams -Sonoma books and other non-descript titles. But this day was different. When I glanced at the shelf, I couldn't believe my eyes. In fact, as some of the shoppers there will attest, to my great embarrassment, I yelled out "no way"!!!! Right there, in front of my eyes was the Bill Granger cookbook I have been coveting for ages and haven't gotten around to getting yet. Every time I go to the book store, its a constant battle against my cook book collecting sickness and to date I had been successful with the Bill Granger Books. They are on my Christmas/Birthday wishlist this year for family and friends, but now I could take it off.

Gingerly, I took it off the shelf and turned it over to see what the price was. And, to my disbelief, the tag read $4.99! Could this be possible? This was a book that retails for $24.95 and here it was for $4.99. Was there something wrong with it? I checked it thoroughly for defects (not that that would have swayed me from purchasing it, at that price) but it was in perfect condition. No tears, no stains...perfect. This was truly my lucky day!

Then it got even better. As I tucked the book under my arm, ready to take it to the cash register before anyone could steal it from me, I glanced down at one of the lower shelves....and there was another one from Bill Granger!! Unbelievable. This one too, was only $4.99. I could barely believe my luck. I kept waiting for someone to come over and tell me that they were sorry. That the books were put there by mistake. Or that when I got to the cash register, it would really be $19.99 or something like that. But no, they let me escape from the store with my two precious purchases, for just $4.99 each. I love a bargain, but this went beyond even my wildest expectations!!

And yes, I am aware that its a little weird to be so excited by a cookbook...but hey, every girl loves a bargain and all food bloggers love a great cookbook.

So, of course the first thing I did when I got my purchases home was to sit on the couch, cross legged and pour over every glorious recipe. Trying to decide which I could possibly make first. Everything looked great, but the desserts looked especially yummy. When I saw the recipe for scones with jam and cream, I knew I had found my winner. I had all the ingredients and this brought back so many great memories of tea with my family, that I just had to make them.

If you have never been to Miss Marples teahouse in Sassafras, in the Dandenong mountains, just outside of Melbourne, Australia....then, you simply must go if you have the opportunity. This place does the greatest afternoon tea that I have ever experienced...its really out of this world. The scones are enormous and they are served with lashings of whipped cream and fresh strawberry jam. The other offerings there are also fabulous, but you cannot go there and not get the scones. I have very fond memories of going there with my mum and also with both my parents. We love this place and this is not something I have had since I moved to the US 4 years ago.

I also have never made my own scones before, but this recipe was very easy, had few ingredients and once paired with whipped cream and jam, were truly like heaven on a stick.

I had these for dessert tonight, but this truly makes for a high tea fit for a queen! Make these for afternoon tea and your friends will swoon with pure joy at such a simple, yet sensational snack.

This recipe comes from Bill Granger's Bills Food. I should say that these are not the scones that are found in the US, which are more like cakes. These are a traditional English type scone, a scone that imagine Queen Liz would enjoy on a regular basis....and if not, then she should!!

Simple Scones
(Makes 8)

1 tbs icing sugar
2 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup of milk
1oz butter, melted
whipped cream

1. Pre-heat oven to 425F. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the milk and butter and stir to combine with a knife. Knead quickly and lightly until smooth and then press out onto a floured surface.

2. Use a glass to cut out rounds roughly 2" in diameter and 1 1/2" deep and place them close together on a greased baking sheet. Cook for 8-10 minutes until puffed and golden. Serve with jam and whipped cream.


Sukanya Ramkumar said...

First time to ur blog....I found you through the Foodie Blogroll....U have a great blog... Love all ur recipes....

Brooke said...

thanks so much Sakanya!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Good grief Brooke, those look incredible! You certainly out did yourself with that beautiful photography!

I am obsessed with cookbooks so I can completely relate to what you are saying!

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

Hi Brooke!
I just found your site through the Foodie Blogroll. Let's just say, I have been in search of an english scone recipe for the longest time that is not loaded with fat and cream like the ones in the US, ever since I left NZ. Thank you. I will have to try this out!

Gillian said...

Oooh! Look at you go :) I'm English and can't remember the last time I had a decent scone! They look like Devonshire Cream Tea - lovely!

Brooke said...

jenndz - glad I'm not the ony one!

valerie - I too hate the US ones (no offence to anyone from the US) and these were so light. They're yummy straight out of the oven. Hope you like them :)

gillian - that is high praise coming from a native english woman!! You guys sure know how to make a fantastic afternoon tea :)