Tag Archives: cheese scone

The Scone Chronicles XXVI

When I started this series I honestly thought we could do one a week. Even with duplicates it’s been about half that. Still, not everything goes to plan. Next year I will do better.

This morning we went to McDonald’s, did some errands then, as I said, went to the garden centre. The centre in question is Brookfields, our local centre. When we first started going it was a modest gravel car park and some large greenhouses. Now it’s a monster of a place with car parks and overspill car parks and fish and pets and a massive gift section. There are still plants and there’s a small seed and tool section, but it’s mostly a gargantuan gift emporium with lots of glitz and very little soul.

The vastly expanded cafe section is now known as Arthur’s Eatery, because stupid twee names seem to be the in thing, though it’s still recognisably the same old shoddy cafe, just with more seats.

Cheese scone Brookfields Garden Centre

Cheese scone Brookfields Garden Centre

I went to find a table while Julia went for tea and cake. I found one, cleared it myself, as the staff weren’t keeping up, sat down and looked at a dirty, creased and faded label on the table, wondering why any reputable food establishment with pretentions of cleanliness would allow such a thing on the table. Turns out it was a sticker saying the table was reserved for dogs owners, so I moved. I suppose that when you think of the number of germs spread by the average dog, a species known for its indiscriminate licking habits, the dirt on the sticker is insignificant.

The next table needed clearing too, and was covered in crumbs, brown lumps and cup rings. I decided to move to a cleaner table. Cleaner, but not clean. It was sticky, which always makes me think they are being wiped down badly. This, in turn, always makes me wonder what else is being done badly.

 

When Julia found me she had a cheese scone for herself and a plate of mini scones for me. The three mini scones were cheese, which was nice, mince pie flavour, which tasted of Christmas spice, and Chocolate and Orange, which explained the brown sticky lumps on the previous table.

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Three mini-scones Brookfields Garden Centre

It was pleasant enough and at £8 was more reasonably priced than it used to be – price being one of the reasons we stopped using it. However, there was nothing there to justify a return visit any time soon.

I thought the cup of tea provided was a bit small, and didn’t really need the free biscuit.

Cheese scones were full of flavour, the others were less successful, particularly the orange and chocolate one. I don’t honestly see the need for novelty scones.

 

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Three mini-scones Brookfields Garden Centre

Staff and cleanliness could both be improved.

 

The Scone Chronicles – Number 7 – Done as a Haibun

As usual, there is a queue at the cafe in Sainsbury’s at Arnold. The woman behind the counter is working hard but the system is against her. So is the customer she is serving, who can’t make his mind up.

I have two scones – one cheese, one fruit. Julia sticks with a single cheese scone. We select them, then we wait in line. They are small, neat and hexagonal.

Eventually I go to find a table because my knee is playing up.

The first two tables are too dirty to clean by wiping with a paper napkin. The third is passable, but dirty underneath. They have at least four staff and I’m not impressed. I think of writing a stiffly worded letter of complaint but it won’t do any good and the insincere reply will annoy me even more.

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A dirty floor – Sainsbury’s, Arnold

The cheese scone feels hard as I slide the knife in. It is not a light and fluffy scone, though I had expected this from the small and regular shape.

There are specks of visible cheese, and it tastes good.

The fruit scone is moist inside, in a doughy way, rather than a good way. It still tastes good but looks strange in the camera viewfinder.

A slightly doughy fruit scone

A slightly doughy fruit scone

At one time we would have ordered the cream tea but we are getting too old for all the sugar and fat.

evening draws on

the rotund blogger

photographs his food

 

 

The Scone Chronicles – Number 3

On the way to Peterborough we stopped off at the Barn Garden Centre.

I’ve been there with my sister before, and they are famous for the quality of their scones. They aren’t so famous for the quality of their garden centre, but we’ll ignore that for now.

After a cream tea, and a scone with jam, in previous reviews it was a toss up between a cherry scone or a cheese scone this time, and we decided on cheese. It turned out to be an excellent choice.

Good tea, pots that pour properly and nice light scones with good cheese flavour – a bit of a bite but not overpowering. The only thing that could have made it better was for a robin to hop along the floor picking up crumbs…

Robin in the Garden Centre cafe

Robin in the Garden Centre cafe

Cheese scones and butterflies

I won’t deny it, when I look at the title I can’t help thinking that butterflies in  a light tempura batter would make an interesting dish. It would also be likely to result in an outcry, and possibly a prosecution. All in all, I think I will give it a miss. They probably don’t taste that good anyway. I remember Number Two son describing chilli-coated scorpions (he doesn’t mess about when it comes to street food) when he came back from China – no meat, no taste – just chilli and crunch. I suspect butterflies, in the absence of a chitin shell to crunch, will just taste of batter. Here is some research on the edibility of butterflies.

We have had a lot of small tortoiseshells in the last few weeks – up to eighteen on the red buddleia, which seems to be the new bush of choice. Despite dead-heading the blue one is fading. That’s good to see after not seeing one small tortoiseshell for months in the middle of summer.

As I dried a cloth out on the decking a Speckled Wood dropped by for a drink. I had no camera, of course.

I ended the week with a splurge of 200 salt dough shapes – all farm animals for Flintham Show next week, but lost a considerable amount of time when the Farmer’s Sister turned up to set up the cafe.  Not sure why feeding people bacon cobs takes precedence over educating the nation (though colouring salt dough shapes isn’t going to develop many Nobel Laureates, I confess) but that’s how it is. She won, the nation lost. Blood, they say, is thicker than water, and if this happens again we may get a chance to test that observation.

We also carried on with the cheese scone experiment, and finally seem to have nailed the flavouring in the Stilton and date variety, which is good news as there is a limit to the number of scones you can test. In my case it’s a higher limit than you may think, but there’s still a limit.

On Pies and Prejudice (also known as “the other blog” I’m already running into a problem with pie reviews – I just don’t want to eat another pie. Or Scotch Egg. It isn’t a problem at the moment because I have a couple of reviews already written, but in a week or two I’d better have recovered my appetite or I’m going to start wishing I had used another title.