Sunday, 4 March 2012


For us our obsession with food is as much about the experience, rituals and memories as it is the actual food.  A lot of our desire for food is about trying to recreate the experience as much as the taste.  When we were in Scotland last year we arrived after a hideous journey at our friends house, where we had been invited for tea in the afternoon.  Tea means different things to different people, for us it means a good cuppa hopefully with a lush piece of cake, for others it may mean cucumber sandwiches and a cream tea, then for some it’s their evening meal A.K.A. dinner or supper.
The tea we had that day was aspirational and I have been trying to recreate it ever since.  A cloth covered table, laid with beautiful plates, tea cups and saucers.  In the centre of the table lay some warm cheese scones, a lemon cake and a pot of tea.  For me this is the perfect tea, simplicity, homely deliciousness.  This is what food should be about yet all too often we try to complicate it.
If your confident in your ingredients and proud of what you have bought, then serve it simply.  A few times recently I have been caught out by unexpected visitors and with an empty cake tin I have raided the bread bin and made oodles of toast.  Bread, the best we can offer, served with a good knob of butter and some homemade preserves washed down with a good pot of tea. Unadulterated bliss, simple.
My favourite cheese scone recipe from Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet,
Makes 6 scones
100g plain flour
100g wholemeal or rye, I used spelt
2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt, I used sea salt
1 tsp brown sugar
i clove of garlic mashed
50g unsalted butter, cubed
200g cheddar, diced
1 large egg
4 tbs plain yoghurt
Place the dry ingredients and garlic in a bowl (I used my kitchen aid), rub in the butter, then toss in the cheese, beat in the egg and yoghurt until formed a soft dough.  Get your husband to mould the dough into scones.  Bake in the oven 210c for 20 -25 minutes.

Our dear friend sent us the Delia recipe, but we think Dan wins.

Cheese Crusted Scones

175g self-raising flour
25g butter
75g finely grated strong Cheddar cheese (I used Parmesan)
2-3 tablespoons of milk
half a teaspoon of salt
half a teaspoon of mustard powder
a couple of good pinches of cayenne pepper
and a little extra milk

Make as you would make scones and then at the end brush the tops with milk and add a little of the grated cheese and a faint sprinkling of cayenne.
Bake at 220 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.


  1. That tea reminds me very much of the Famous Five books I read when I was younger (and still love now;))
    Simply gorgeous!!!
    Best wishes

  2. Hi there,
    Hi there,
    It's really nice that you like this Dan Lepard recipe, but in cases like this, we do ask bloggers just to say where the original recipe was taken from and then talk about any changes they've made, rather than giving the actual recipe. I hope you'll understand that it's very easy for the entire contents of a book to end up online without the author's approval, and we would instead encourage bloggers to "talk around" the recipes and major on their own ideas and photos. I hope you'll understand and agree to this request
    Thanks for your cooperation,
    David Whitehouse, Editor, Short & Sweet