Library Haul and Scones

I had another bash at baking scones today. They’re something that I just can’t get right, usually they could be used as ice hockey pucks. This afternoon’s date scones are edible but they aren’t the lovely light consistency that I’m looking for and they didn’t rise much as usual, I think Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would say that they’ve been ‘overworked’ – don’t know what else it can be.

Anyway to cheer myself up I went to the library. The main library is going to be closed for a year I think, whilst it’s refurbished so I haven’t been to a library for about six weeks. One of the many empty shops in the high street has been turned into a small library for the duration, it’s better than nothing! Actually I think it’s a good idea as the original library building isn’t exactly central and there are loads of people in the town who have never darkened its door. They just may get some new readers in Kirkcaldy!

I came out with:

The Odd Women by George Gissing. I think it was Anbolyn of gudrun’s tights who read this one recently and it was recommended in the introduction to Patrick Hamilton’s Slaves of Solitude. By the way, in case you don’t know yet, Anbolyn has done another ‘flit’ actually and virtually and her new place is looking spiffing!

Star Gazing by Linda Gillard – I’ve enjoyed her previous books.

Beatrice Goes to Brighton by M.C. Beaton – which I hope is going to be a hoot. I think this is one which Jo at The Book Jotter enjoyed.

Midsummer Night in the Workhouse by Diana Athill. I know nothing about this book and I chose it simply because it’s a Persephone, so it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like.

Now why did I borrow four books when I have loads of books of my own which I should be reading?! Oh yes, it was to cheer myself up after yet another scone failure. Does anybody have a foolproof scone recipe?

17 thoughts on “Library Haul and Scones

  1. I haven’t made scones for years! When I was in Yorkshire Mary my boss in one of the shops I worked in used to make the most wondrous scones! I got her recipe but the ones I made didn’t turn out anything like hers! Enjoy your library books!

  2. The best,best,best scones are HERE . I have made these several times and they melt in your mouth. It really is NOT handling them too much that makes them tender. I love scones!!

    M.C. Beaton is one of my favorite authors! I have never seen this series though. I don’t think it is available here in the states. I’ve read all the Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series and just got a few of the victorian ones she writes under Marion Chesney.

    Starting Green Shutters tomorrow! Let me know how these scones work out for you!

    • Peggy,
      Thanks, I’ve bookmarked that recipe. They look lovely but the shape is more like a bun than a scone to me. It’ll be interesting to see what they taste like.

      I haven’t read anything by M.C. Beaton yet. I borrowed on Agatha Raisin one from the library before but didn’t have time to read it. She certainly churns them out! I’ve just finished Green Shutters, I wonder what you’ll think of it. I’ll wait until you’re finished before posting about it.

  3. Hi Katrina, You definitely need a light touch with scones, or they will end up like causies.
    I now use a recipe with natural yoghurt in it from BBC good food ,they are scrummy, but no guid for the corporation!. The mystery island is Inchkeith, I visited this a few times when out sailing with my Dysart Sailing Club cronies in the late 60’s.
    Re-reading Clara, by Janice Galloway , Its a wonderful novel.

    • John,
      I’ll get on to the BBC site and give it a go. I know, I shouldn’t be eating anything like that, it just means I’ll have to try to walk more. Inchkeith, lucky you! I’d love to get on to it, we really enjoyed our trip to Inchcolm. I believe you can walk out to one of the islands from Cramond (that always makes me think of Jean Brodie) if you’re careful about the tides.
      I haven’t read anything by Janice Galloway yet but meant to after watching Newsnight review a while ago. I’ll give her a go too.

  4. I, too, am in the ‘don’t handle too much’ school of thought, although far be it for me, an American, to tell a UKer how to make scones. I just barely mix the flour, etc., into the wet ingredients when making scones or muffins. I can still see bits of powdery flour when I’m done mixing. I think the longer you mix, the denser they get, and I think that’s why it’s hard to get a good commercially made muffin or scone, at least here in the U.S.

    • Joan,
      I’ve obviously been overmixing them then. It’s really difficult to get good scones here too. The commercially made ones often leave a horrible coating on your teeth, hence the reason I’m trying to bake them again! I’ll keep you updated on the results.

  5. I always use shop bought scones. My mum makes fantastic cheese scones but her fruit ones are just awful, like rocks that when thrown out for the birds even they don’t like them.

    I hope you like Beatrice goes to Brighton, it is a quick read and a bit of jolly fun.

    • Jo,
      That’s strange about the scones, I’m obviously in good company with your mum as birds have turned up their beaks at my scones before.
      I’m starting Beatrice tonight.

  6. What a wonderful haul of books. I have my own copy of The Odd Women lined up, and I am a little envious of a Persephone I don’t have. I keep pouncing on grey covers in hope in my library, but they are always the same books that I have already read.

    • FleurFisher,
      Yes I was surprised to get anything good at all because the temporary library is really small. One good thing about the grey Persephone covers is that they stand out in charity bookshop shelves. I’ve been lucky to get a few that way.

  7. Thanks for the mention, Katrina!
    I recently made Southern-style biscuits, which I’ve heard are similar to scones, and they were only so-so. I do think I mixed them too much, though the recipe I consulted said it shouldn’t matter. It did! They weren’t rock hard, but they didn’t rise the way they should.
    I’ll be interested to see what you think of The Odd Women. I thought it was okay – not a favorite or something I would read again.

    • Anbolyn,
      We are both obviously too thorough at mixing things – must be more slap dash in future!
      I remembered that you weren’t mad keen on The Odd Women – maybe it was a wee bit too odd! I think I’ll leave that one to read last.

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