Sunday, May 08, 2011

Entirely Sufficed, Replete and Stuffed.

Often when people settle in the South west they O.D. on cream teas and when completely glutted renounce then for the duration. I decided to make an exception when we heard that a dear niece was popping in to see us en route from Chamonix, where she lives, to a wedding in Chard. It would be too late for lunch; too early for dinner so afternoon tea seemed apt.

It was fun getting out the good china, one of my mother’s beautiful embroidered cloths and silver packed away to avoid endless cleaning. Wrapped in polythene seems to work and it was still brightly shining. I decided on scones, a berried jam and clotted cream. Scotch pancakes, crumpets, chocolate cake and Victoria sponge are favourites with MTL (although not encouraged) so they were included with cheese and ham rolls on stand-by should she feel like savoury stuff.

My # son was here when we heard she was coming so he sweetly wrote precise instruction, googling the actual roads for signs how to get from the M5 to here. Whilst we were at it we looked at our old cottage in Yorkshire and my mother’s old house in Lancashire - fascinating!

The first thing my niece said when she arrived was how excellent the instructions were. The secret seemed to be to tell her the distance between the various signs. I shall keep them for posterity – or the next person who visits.

I’ve already been asked for photos of the spread but I didn’t think before, and we more or less scoffed the lot. I had forgotten the utter bliss of the combo; jam, cream and scone and ate the last one in the hope it would put me off them in future. At least we didn’t need dinner. I hadn’t seen Chris since my Father’s funeral so we had lots of catching up to do. I was disappointed to miss her wedding some months ago but travelling wasn’t possible. We have had some very sad times in the past so it was great to see her happy.

The photograph is my niece and I AFTER the spread.

The young man is my grand-son taken last week-end and the other photo is when he was a baby at my father’s funeral. He didn’t attend the service but his presence afterwards gave my mother and I some blessed comfort.


Tracy said...

Pat, It sounds like you had a lovely time husband loves scones and I've yet to find a good recipe for him like he 'ate in England' so if you have one pass it along.
Happy Mother's Day!

Tracy said...

Pat, It sounds like you had a lovely time husband loves scones and I've yet to find a good recipe for him like he 'ate in England' so if you have one pass it along.
Happy Mother's Day!

The Cloudcutter said...

I guess it's a good thing you didn't take pix after all... I would have had to cry myself to sleep tonight!
Sounds like you had a lovely time. Btw did you make all that yummy stuff yourself?? It's a LOT.

Pat said...

Tracy: I have to admit I bought them. I stuck then in the cooler oven of the Aga for a while and they were perfect. MTL said afterwards he likes the ones with raisins in best but with jam and cream that seemed too much. I fooled Chris at first that I had made them but then confessed. Much laughter- she is more outdoors than housewife.

Pat said...

CC: Oh dear! Here's where the disillusion sets in. Time was when I would have done it all myself - and been in a right state at the end of it, but these days I tend to take the easy way out and comfort myself that my guests would rather have me relaxed.
I know what a splendid job you would have made of it:)

Z said...

Wow, what a spread! I'm considering afternoon tea for my blog party next year (I'm a glutton, and not just for punishment!) and your description seems to hit the spot pretty well, with the addition of macaroons and flapjacks for a friend who can't eat wheat.

Lovely photos and Tom looks like a grandson to be proud of!

angryparsnip said...

What a beautiful family you have...
The Tea sounds absolutely perfect.
but what are Scotch Pancakes ?

cheers, parsnip

Eryl said...


David said...

so glad you had a nice time, family is more precious to me in each new season.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Aunties who go all out for nieces (and nephews) are The Best! Good aunts really do make the world feel cosy.

What a tea. I once dreamt I'd been to a tea like this, oh, it was a glorious dream.


greetings, pat - just dropping by to wish you a wonderful mother's day - and what a fantastic family time you all had, it seems - and so odd to come here and find your tea menu - because it is exactly what i had considered for my little get together this afternoon - i had a little tea all planned - but then, last minute, several additional teenaged grandchildren were coming so i thought i would save tea time for a time when it would be truly appreciated! i digress! hope your day today was glorious! happy mother's day!

Pat said...

Z: it works well; once you've got everything together you can relax and let everybody help themselves. There was also strawberries and cream which we all forgot about.

Parsnip: "A pancake was a 'cake' cooked on a heated flat-surface; historically a bakestone, hearthstone or girdle, and eventually a pan. Scotch pancakes are also known as 'drop' or 'dropped scones', because soft dollops of mixture are dropped onto the cooking surface."
MTL loves them - they have a soft slightly rubbery feel which doesn't appeal to me. But proper scones are my guilty secret.

Pat said...

Tracy: *

225g/8oz self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

25g/1oz caster sugar

50g/2oz unsalted butter, slightly softened

150ml/¼ pint milk

1 egg, beaten, or plain flour, for brushing or dusting

Preparation method


Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, add the butter and rub quickly into the flour, creating a fine breadcrumb consistency.

Add the milk, a little at a time, working to a smooth dough.

This is now best left to rest for 5-15 minutes before rolling.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until 2cm/¾in thick. Using a 5cm/2in pastry cutter, cut the dough, using one sharp tap and not twisting the dough as you cut. Twisting the scone mix will result in an uneven rising.

Once cut, the scones can be either brushed with the beaten egg for a shiny glaze, or dusted with the flour for a matt finish.

Place the scones on a greased baking tray and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly, and serve while still warm.

Eryl :)

David: yes both visits were great treats for us.

Pat said...

GG: the tea that went down in history was years ago when my friend Margaret, who I hadn't known for very long gave a tea for my parents who were staying with me. There was everything I've mentioned plus dainty sandwiches and even a trifle - and she made it all herself. Mum thought she'd died and gone to Heaven and never forgot it. Believe me my mine was nothing in comparison.

Gypsy Woman: thank you for your wishes - we have our Mothers's Day in March - just after my Birthday but I'm always ready for another:)
I hope your day will be as happy as ours was.

R. Sherman said...

It sounds as though a good time was had by all. It's nice your niece was able to fit in a visit. It speaks well of you.


Pat said...

Randall: I couldn't believe how long it had been, but some people are always with you.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Sounds scrumptious, Pat!! I've copied that recipe. I love scones!! Your grandson is a handsome young man.

Pat said...

Ponita: thank you;) Enjoy!

R. Sherman said...

BTW, when people here move to the south or west, they usually OD on fried chicken or chilies.

Just so you know, in case you're ever tempted to move across the pond.

And we don't have "creamed teas," whatever that is.


The Cloudcutter said...

Well, home-made or store bought, you're a wonderful hostess Pat. I don't see or hear of anyone else doing so much for a guest. And it's better to be relaxed when you're meeting someone after ages, so you can spend more time chatting and catching up.

Pat said...

Randall: chicken and chillies sounds a healthier option. Ours is cholesterol on a plate.
Just so you know it's 'cream teas' not 'creamed teas'. Don't want you to confuse the natives, should you ever visit our shores;)

CC: them's my sentiments exactly:)

sablonneuse said...

What a yummy tea. No wonder you polished off every last crumb between you!
Scones are supposed to be easy to make but I've never managed to get the right texture so will try your recipe. Thanks.

Pat said...

Sandy: actually I am just about to finish the chocolate cake - with the last of the clotted cream.
I'm sure your scones will be scrumptious.

Jihad Punk said...

You can't beat a good Scotch Pancake!!!


Pat said...

4D: it must be a man thing- MTL loves them. I don't like the texture.