Friday, 15 October 2010

Favourite Things Friday

Is tea ---

but not just any tea for me. It has to be Earl Grey. I know it isn't to everyones taste and the aroma puts some people off but it works for me. I like to serve it with just a dash of milk but can drink it black as well.

However if I'm being really indulgent I serve it like this.

As part of a good old Cream Tea. Traditionally served in Devon and Cornwall I've had it in Sussex, The Cotswolds, wherever I find it. Usually though outside Devon or Cornwall the clotted cream which is as thick and calorie laden as anything comes in little plastic containers saying they are from either of those two West Country counties.

Creams Teas are a treat on days out or holidays. You can't have one quickly so they make you slow down and watch the world go by. Some tea shops are in the most unexpected places. One I came across in Cornwall was a house on a coastal walk where the owner served in her garden. She looked about ninety and made all the cakes and scones herself!

But there are two contentious issues in the cream tea world! Firstly the scones. How do you pronounce it?
I go for the Sc-on option but some go for Sc-own which is more elongated.

And the second issue is jam or cream first! Personally I like to put the jam on first because a good scone is going to be very crumbly and if you put too much pressure on they will start to disintegrate. With a layer of jam it is easier to perch the cream on top. It does look prettier in the picture the other way around though.

But then the picture is all about pretty and not about the practicalities, trying to pick up the scone loaded like that could be disastrous, once you take a bite it could crumble and you would have a creamy jammie mess all over yourself. Its a lot safer to cut it into smaller pieces on the plate.

Sometimes the scones have currents in sometimes they don't. It doesn't  really matter to me either way.

So if you come across a cream tea, go for it. Because the calories don't count if you are on holiday or having a siteseeing day out. Think of all that walking you are doing to burn them off!


Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Oh yummy! That picture is making my mouth water!
I pronounce it the same as you - and I usually put jam on first and a tiny dash of cream on top.My MIL fell in love with clotted cream when she was on holiday with us - we don't get it here.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

Oh yes Earl Grey is also my favourite and Sc-owns when I am being pretentious or scons when I'm not!!....Delicious! I put the jam on first as well as I hate the scones falling apart :-)

seabreezequilts said...

Love Scones and jam, I make lemonade scones and they are super yummy. I like my scones with lemon butter also. We are big tea drinkers here too, I particularly like lady grey and I have it with milk too.

Coffeebean's Dailies said...

Hi! As an American living in the Middle East, I know the British call it Sc-on as I have been very um sternly corrected. But as a Yank, we say sc-own! I'm actually Colombian so we did not get to eat these growing up! I am D.Y.I.N.G. to try them! The photo is gorgeous and my mouth was indeed watering! Any good recipes for Scones? what have you done to me???????

Mrs A said...

Im with you- scons, and jam first, with tea, a wonderful english tradition that is yummy anywhere, yum yum, also one of my favs !

Marg said...

I'm pronounce it sc-ons too. Definitely jam first then cream on top, now you've made me hungry. I'll have to go with Mrs A to find somewhere to have a nice Cream Tea.
The only problem with your favourites, I do not like Earl Grey at all, sorry. I'll just stick to good old English Breakfast tea.
I love the photo of the scones and the beautiful backdrop, very pretty.

Larri said...

Are you related to my Mom? She loves Earl Grey too! And when she invites me to tea, she prepares a beautiful table as you've pictured above. It's a most enjoyable time, so I can see why it would be your Favourite. I love the tea box! Thanks so much for sharing. Happy FTF! :o)

Unknown said... canadian too! But I do think the Americans pronounce it
Yummy yummy photos. We drink Earl Grey too, but I've never had a "formal" tea service.
I'm going to look for a tea shop!

Shay said...

We call these devonshire teas here and they are sooooooooo good. Making a good scone is practically an art form. Love your picture. The trick I think is not to be mingy with the jam or the cream.

My sister is a whizz at scone making and wont give me her recipe...I hope she doesnt die without writing it down somewhere.

Great FTF ...and very English.

Kate said...

Earl Gray is one of my favorites. My guy makes the sc-owns in this house. We've never had true English scones, but have been told that my guy's version is close.

Michelle said...

I love Earl Gray. It is my very most favorite tea. Interesting about the Cream Teas. It looks soooo tasty, no matter which goes on first--the jam or the cream. :-)

Helsie said...

Yooo hooo ! a girl after my own heart!!
We discovered clotted cream while holidaying in Cornwall and then the rest of England and it has spoiled me forever for scones, jam and cream.
In Australia we don't have clotted cream. Don't ask me why not . Here we have whipped cream and it is not nearly as good.
As for tea - I take mine black and Earl Gray is fine with me. The one I like most is Twinings Lemon but really any tea will do.
PS It is scon to me too.

XUE said...

I love Earl Grey & sometimes put a cinnamon stick into the teapot. Love scones too - yummy!

Shevvy said...

Thanks guys for all your comments. I haven't tried to make any scones myself since I was a teenager when an Auntie taught me. If I had to find a recipe I would head straight for St Delia (Delia Smith for those who aren't in the know). I have a really nice Wedgwood tea service myself, but I have never used the teapot! How silly is that?