I happened upon a blog the other day, Manger, about a stunning lady with 7 kids and approximately 100 dogs who has moved to a large tumble down villa in the French countryside. On the blog are beautiful photos of their life and food, so pleasing to the eye that they’ve secured the blog writer a publishing deal in the form of her own cook book.
The rather gorgeous Mimi in her enchanting home
Then I go on Pinterest and pin away at pictures of blissful off grey rooms, perfectly cooked roasted vegetables with quinoa and stylishly dressed women. I try, oh how I try to emulate this kind of lifestyle. I know I shouldn’t, I know it’s shallow but it’s all so dreamy. Thou shalt not covet lives of successful bloggers and people with homes in interiors magazines.
On a whim last Saturday I tried my hand at making some Mary Berry scones. I mean, we live in the country now. I need to be able to at least make scones don’t I? Like Mimi, I thought I could share my culinary expertise. Of course, smallest child wanted to join in. Before she did she wiped crumbs off the bottom of her feet, then put her hands straight into the dough. That must have added a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. When it came to cutting the scones out, after getting the mixture stuck to the rolling pin and peeling it off several times, scattering flour everywhere, smallest child had to use a Tesco value wine glass to cut them out as we didn’t have any scone cutters. Bet Mimi doesn’t have to resort to such measures. Needless to say, I don’t think publishers will be calling any time soon with that cookbook offer. But if you want it, here is the scone recipe, feel free to Pin it 😉 . They are very easy to make and ready in 15 minutes. We ate ours fresh from the oven, the butter melted into them and then we smothered them with lashings of strawberry jam.
(I used half this mixture and made about 6, ate 3, froze 3 as they don’t keep. They can be cooked from frozen in the oven for ten minutes and are just as delicious)
250g/9oz self-raising flour
1 rounded tsp baking powder
40g/1½oz softened butter
25g/1oz caster sugar
1 large free-range egg
about 100ml/3½fl oz milk
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7 (200C Fan).
- Put the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (At this point, mine added a few crumbs of her own). Stir in the sugar. Beat the egg in a measuring jug. Make up to 100ml/3½fl oz with the milk, then set aside a tablespoon for glazing the scones later.
- Gradually add the egg and milk to the dry ingredients, stirring it in until you have a soft slightly sticky dough
- Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and pat and poke (if you are 8, with possible bogey fingers) until it is about 2cm/¾in thick. Use a 4cm/1½in fluted cutter to stamp out the scones (or a Tesco value wine glass for a more rustic look). Make sure you don’t twist the cutter or the scones will not rise evenly. (This was impossible step to achieve with an 8 year old, as you will see from the pictures).
- Gently gather the trimmings together and pat out again to cut more scones
- Arrange the scones on the greased baking trays and brush the tops with the remaining milk.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until well risen and golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Ps. I am insanely jealous of Mimi, her child bearing abilities, her massive French house, her cooking and the fact she has 100* dogs.
(*this may not be an inaccurate number, I think it’s nearer 14).