01 February 2006

Tuesday Teatime

Yesterday got off to an inauspicious start. We had a gas leak in the main line coming into the house. Mr. Heating-Cooling Repairman came and sprayed soap on the main valve, where it (the soap) bubbled up like a giant spit bubble, indicating a leak. He set about replacing it, which took 2.5 hours. We didn't vacate the house since the leak was so small and intermittant; as a matter of fact, it was only noticeable if you climbed on a chair and removed the basement ceiling tile near the valve while the furnace was running (as to why we happened to be on chairs with our heads in the ceiling and discovered this fact, well, that's another story). I did spend a good deal of the morning explaining to VKid2 that we weren't going to freeze to death just because the gas was turned off for a couple of hours, and also explaining how a hot water heater works.

Anyway, after Mr. Repairman left with our $75 (the deductible on our home warranty) and the cat came down from the basement ceiling (which is where he hides whenever Scary Contractors come into the house; too bad this particular Scary Contractor was messing with the basement ceiling) we zipped to Hobby Lobby to purchase some items for future projects.

Arriving home, I set out to make cinnamon scones for Tuesday Teatime. I had tried making scones once many, many years ago. It was not a successful venture; I think Mom quietly dumped the entire batch out in the woods behind our house where small woodland creatures used them to build a miniature Stonehenge (and, yes, Mom cracked some joke about the Stone of Scone). Anyway, I was sure this time would be different because I read on the Internet that farmer's wives would whip up a batch of scones as a quick, hearty meal after a hard day's work. Hah! I gathered the ingredients (not easy, since I couldn't find the baking powder; fortunately, VKid1 remembered using it at Christmas and was quite sure we hadn't used it all up, so I perservered with clearing out the cupboard and eventually found it). I began mixing. Then I realized the instructions contained the dreaded phrase "cut in butter". Oh no! I have no butter-cutting-in tools in my kitchen! What would intrepid British farm wives do? I used a couple of dinner knives. The results were ... lumpy. I shaped it into an 8 inch (lumpy) round loaf, as per instructions, and divided into 8 (lumpy) wedges.

Then I set about making faux clotted cream. Let's just say this didn't work, and leave it at that. The kids will have to travel to England someday to have a proper tea with fresh scones, clotted cream, and strawberries.

The scones did taste pretty good, and the texture was lumpy, yet light. We had Twinings English Breakfast decaf served with sugar and milk -- no lemons this week! I couldn't find the creamer, so had to make do with a measuring cup.

We once again read A Visit to William Blake's Inn by Nancy Willard. This time we made it through the entire book, although the cat jumped up on the table right after I read The King of Cats Orders an Early Breakfast -- very appropriate, but very startling. We managed to shoo him off before he knocked over the candle.

In the evening VDad asked VKid2 what she had done that day. She told him we had an English tea with p-scons. It sounded like a cross between "pecan" and "scone" (which I pronounce to rhyme with John). P-scons. I like that.

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