Springtime is one of my favorite seasons. Flowers are blooming, cool weather, and everything seems fresh; leaves are budding out, new birth; seems like starting over. Springtime is a great time for tea parties…..have a few friends, maybe some you have not seen over the winter.
In my cookbook, I have a section, “Tea or Coffee Party”, which has many tea sandwich suggestions and other recipes for traditional tea party fare. The grocery and markets have a variety of teas and coffees. Choose a few to offer your guests. Some are served cold and some are better hot. Scones are on most tea party menus, normally served with Devonshire Cream (page 235 in my cookbook), Lemon Curd (page 236 in my cookbook) and jams. Try making some Basic Scones (page 233 in my cookbook).
Scones are quite simple to make. However, a packaged scone mix can also give you very good results. You can add all kinds of extras to scones, depending on your taste. Try cut-up apples, currants, ginger, orange, almond flavoring, cinnamon, apricots, fresh blueberries, cranberries, or even chocolate chips.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup buttermilk
- Lightly beaten egg
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in 6 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, use regular milk. Mix until dough clings together and is a bit sticky—do not over mix.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and shape into a 6 to 8 inch round, about 1½ inches thick. Quickly cut into pie wedges or use a large round biscuit cutter to cut circles. The secret of tender scones is a minimum of handling.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet, being sure the sides of scones don’t touch each other. Brush with egg for a shiny, beautiful brown scone. Bake at 425° for 10 to 20 minutes or until light brown.
Set a pretty table with fresh flowers. Use a collection of pretty assorted teacups and saucers. Tea parties are great for young girls’ birthday parties. Girls of all ages love a tea party.
Set the table, make your menu, call the girls, and have a wonderful tea party. Enjoy.
May God Bless You!
Elaine Barrett, along with husband, Rick, owns and operates The Flower Gazebo on Washington St., in downtown Albany and is part of a family of excellent southern cooks. She recently she has written and published a cookbook, “In the Kitchen with Elaine”.