A Spring In My Step

After the mother of all apocalyptic storms yesterday, this morning Edinburgh woke up with a little spring in its step. As an extreme heliophile, I decided to take the lovely weather as an excuse to explore my gorgeous city. I bundled up warm and set off on a wander. It was one of those mornings where the chill in the wind still cuts through you, but the sun warms you with the promise of a summer to come (please, oh please).

Edinburgh is one of those cities that does well in the rain, all gloomy and mysterious and brooding, but when the sunlight hits her, she is beyond compare.

Spot the castle peeping through.

Spot the castle peeping through.

IMG_2361IMG_2350My walk was unintentionally lengthened by me locking myself out of my flat, like a genius, but I didn’t mind too much, just kept soaking up the sunlight and caught up on my window shopping. Bruntsfield shop windows are the best.

IMG_2354 IMG_2364I managed to lay my hands on a spare set of keys, just in time for the dark clouds to start rolling in. Besides, there was a cup of tea and a homemade scone in the flat with my name on it. So I nipped home along the canal, waving hello to my favourite barge as I passed.

A barge called Dignity. Brilliant.

A barge called Dignity. Brilliant.

IMG_2358I was feeling so intoxicated by all the spring sprunging around that I even bought myself an enormous, beautiful bunch of flowers.

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I fixed myself a mini afternoon tea for one, gazed at my flowers and pretended I was sitting in a seaside cafe somewhere. Hopefully the sunshine is here to stay!

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Don’t scratch your nose while rolling dough.

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Click the picture for a scone recipe!

Check out my adorable Beatrix Potter tea.

Check out my adorable Beatrix Potter tea.

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Wooden Spoons Are For Scones, Not For Scotland

It’s finally happened: a Scotland six nations game that didn’t make me want to shrivel up and die! Let’s take that wooden spoon and make some victory scones. And then hope to god that someone else ends up with it.

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For victory scones, you will need:

350g self-raising flour
90g butter
3 tbsp sugar
180ml milk
1 egg
Big pinch of salt

  1. Preheat your oven to 220C. Stick a baking tray in the middle shelf to heat up. Put your butter, salt and flour in a large mixing bowl, and rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Don’t squash it, treat it gently, as though you’re touching Johnnie Beattie’s beautiful face.
  2. Warm up your milk in the microwave. Make a little well in the middle of your mixing bowl and pour the milk in. Stir until your mixture is much smoother than Scotland’s road to the prestigious second-from-bottom position.
  3. Dust a surface and your hands with flour and tip out your dough. If you have any lingering resentment about the English battering us at Murrayfield, now is the time to get it out. Smooth the dough between your hands and flatten it out to however thick you want your scones to be.photo
  4. Time to cut out your scones. If you are an actual functioning human being, you might own a round cutter, I just use a small tumbler. Cut out four, then roll your dough back into a ball, flatten it out and cut out another two. Feel free to make amusing shapes/voodoo dolls of Owen Farrell with the leftovers.
  5. Beat your egg. Again, it may be helpful to think of Owen Farrell while you do this. Brush the tops of your scones with egg, place them on your hot baking tray and put them in the oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Make a cup of tea. Chuckle gently at the glory of winning by 1 point with about 2 seconds to go.
  7. After 10 minutes, check on your scones. If they are as golden as Ritchie Gray’s hair, they’re ready.

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I like mine with butter, but if you want to be super-fancy, crack out the jam and clotted cream. Feel free to add a big handful of cheese to your mixture if you aren’t in a relationship with a fromage hating philistine. Or, if you are a philistine yourself, why not add sultanas, raisins or other ruined fruit?

Serve with an enormous cup of tea and the tears of your enemies.

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