Friday, October 14, 2011

Cream and Berries: Better than Fairy Food?

"'Christopher, she blurted out, 'do you ever think about food?' 
'Food?' The heartbreaking control of the voice flickered a little, as if in surprise, and the next question was a real one. 'What do you mean?' 
'J-j-just food,' Kate stammered. 'Things to eat. I mean, they don't feed the mortal women on boiled grain and milk, like you, but with us it's always meat in wine and spices, every single day, richer than Christmas, and I'm so tired of it. I keep thinking all the time what it would be like to have a loaf of bread, a new loaf out of the oven, with a crust on it, and clotted cream and strawberries...'"
(pg. 182-3) The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope

Ah, The Perilous Gard, a book in which our heroine is forced to live with the fairy folk in order to keep her from revealing secrets of those around her. And in doing so, discovers that maybe meat isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Maybe she should ask for some oatmeal instead...

But when she is reunited with a former companion, she in an attempt to distract themselves from their fates, describes the most fabulous of all things- the proper way to eat a scone. Yes, that's right. You've been horribly improper in your scone eating method. Feel ashamed.

Select a scone.

Take the normal steps to insure that it is free of enchantment. If you're out of rowan branches, try mint leaves and a hint of malt powder. That way, you'll have a milkshake if the spell goes awry. And who doesn't crave a milkshake while they stand in the ruins of their house in the dead of winter? 

Fairies. Because they live underground.

Split the scone in half, creating extra surface area.

Have a jar of your favorite type of jam. The higher quality the better.

Scoop out a generous amount of jam and apply directly to the inside of the two scone halves.

If you live in a place where clotted cream is readily available, now is the time to go get some. For everyone else or those who don't want to go to the store, simply add a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

Freshly Whipped Cream (Accept No Substitutes)
1-2 tablespoons Sugar
1 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream

Pre-chill the mixing bowl.
Add both ingredients to a mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip at a high setting or alternatively using a handheld whisk until your wrist snaps off;(work in a pair if you can, trading off when you tire) or until stiff peaks form. This is when the cream will hold its shape when the whisk is lifted up slightly, creating a mountain top or a range, if you persist in testing more than once.

*Note of caution for those who are used to the canned-- fresh whipped cream will only last a few days in the fridge. It's best fresh, so don't make more than a few hours ahead if you can avoid it. Make sure to keep leftovers in an enclosed container or a bowl covered with plastic wrap. The cream will absorb any powerful odors, so don't leave it next to the garlic sauce unless you're pregnant.

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