Don’t get excited. I said it has scones. I didn’t say they were good scones. I’ll get that bit over with quickly, they weren’t good scones.
Julia went to order the Sausage Pie and, due to a mix up in communication, came back with scones. It’s too boring to explain fully, but after thirty years she hasn’t mastered the art of listening and I have developed a habit of nodding and going “Yes dear.”
She merged two conversations we had had in the car, one about scones and one about lunch. As she walked away from the table she said something I didn’t catch and I nodded and said “Yes”.
And that was how we ended up with Sausage Pie and Scones for lunch. You only needed to look at the scones to see that the odds were heavily stacked in favour of dyspepsia. To be fair, they were the best looking things in the sweet section. The lemon meringue pie positively radiated bright yellow malevolence and I have already forgotten the other choices – they were neither good enough, or bad enough, to remember.
The scones were large, slightly lopsided, dotted with burnt currants and dusted with sugar. When I was able to inspect them more closely I discovered they were crusty, dry and in possession of a lot of stiff, industrial cream.
I don’t mind large, lopsided and even the burnt currants. They are all faults I’m familiar with. On the other hand, dusting scones with icing sugar should be punished severely. It’s not necessary and it’s not adding to the taste or the experience. I don’t like crusty scones or dry scone and I think less is more in terms of cream. If I want blocked arteries I’ll ask for them, but all I really want is a garnish of cream, enough to add flavour and texture, not an inch thick dollop of chemically treated grease.
Am I being unfair? Probably, but a baker of bad scones deserves criticism. They weren’t necessarily bad just because the were home made – faulty and home made go together to a certain extent, and we all make mistakes. I have made many faulty scones in my time. It was the choices that annoyed me – the decision to sprinkle with sugar, to bake too fiercely and to use masses of badly maltreated cream.
I would have shown more faults but I couldn’t take all the photos I would have liked because I was being stared at by a woman on a neighbouring table. I’m still a bit self-concious about photographing my food, and didn’t like to carry on whilst being glared at from a distance of four feet. She was a touch on the small, round side, and it was like being singled out by an evilly-intentioned teddy bear .