Scones, tea and gossip about that wedding

London’s calling. We’re still twittering (in the old-fashioned sense) about the royal wedding, even though it’s done and dusted.  We are republicans in the independent Australian manner, not the obnoxious Donald Trump variety, but a post mortem of the fashion and mad hatters is required over afternoon tea.

I start with my tatty, much-loved and oldest cookbook, The Edmonds Cookery book which has been in print since 1908 and was a culinary bible for every New Zealand woman. It started as a 50-page booklet of economical every-day recipes and hints, and became a fully-fledged cookbook in 1955. This afternoon we are going to have scones, strawberry jam and mascarpone, and Dilmah’s Vanilla and Rose Scented Tea. I’ve only made scones once, they were bricks you could pave your driveway with. So fingers crossed. My mother and my aunts made them effortlessly for decades. I’m not sure why I never had the knack.

They’re not perfect, I’ve sort of failed the Scone IQ Test again. I may have kneaded them too much, but dressed up with the jam and mascarpone, they look fit for a pauper prince. The regal antique cups, saucers and matching plates are Tuscan Fine Bone English China bought at a curio shop in Kilbirnie, Wellington, New Zealand. They cost $8 a set. (PS – I made them again a week later and they were perfect!)

3 cups plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
25g (1oz) butter
About 1 cup of milk
Sift dry ingredients, rub the butter in with your fingertips, and mix to a soft dough. Knead BRIEFLY on a lightly-floured board, roll out, cut into 16 pieces, place on a tray lined with cooking paper and cook for 10-15 mins in a hot oven 230 deg C (450 deg F) or until golden brown.

Now, back to the topic of today. Did you see what Princess Beatrice was wearing on her head? Were they antlers? Did she look like a moose, or an extra for a Tim Burton film. Either way, what the hell was she thinking?

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