Tag Archives: The Famous Five

Scones and Little Old Men

Today I made scones. That’s right, HOMEMADE SCONES. This is funny because I burn pasta and when I tried to boil water once, I forgot to put water in the saucepan and then burned a hole through the saucepan and thus rendered said saucepan completely useless for any future water boiling activities.

I remember Mum was mad. It was once a good quality saucepan.

Anyway, so I thought I would make scones, which I’m pretty sure is heavily influenced by all my The Famous Five reading, but because I’m in a new house and everything I don’t have a mixing bowl. So I went to visit the little old man next door and asked to borrow a mixing bowl which involved me climbing up on chairs to get it because he is very, very old and can’t do that himself anymore. And he asked what I was making and I said scones and then I said when I brought the mixing bowl back I would also bring some scones for him if they turned out okay which was by no means a guarantee.

So I have my mixing bowl and I make scones and I have to use a tiny, tiny expresso mug to cut out the shapes of the scones from the pastry because if I don’t have a mixing bowl I certainly don’t have a cookie cutter but for some reason there are tiny, tiny expresso mugs in my house. Which were somewhat effective but the handle kept snagging the pastry when I twisted it into the pastry to get my scone shape.

I make my scones. They turn out, I think, pretty amazingly well.

Now being the good girl scout I am, I wash the mixing bowl, and put a little bit of paper towel in it, put in three of what I think are the best scones, and then I realise that the little old man probably doesn’t have jam and cream just lying around in case someone brings him scones so I put in a little dish of cream and a little dish of jam in the bowl too.

So feeling all virtuous I go next door and I knock and I present the little old man with his washed bowl with scones and dishes of jam and cream thinking WOW, this is effort, this is what people do in movies when someone moves in, they give them things to welcome them except I’m doing the welcoming which is a bit weird but whatever, cos he’s very old and I’m doing a good deed.

The little old man looks at my scones. He picks one up. He says, ‘Well, that one looks a bit funny doesn’t it?’ and promptly drops it back in the bowl. Then he says, ‘I can see at least one of them looks like what a scone is supposed to, thanks for bringing the bowl back.’

Then he shuts the door.

I don’t think I will ever see my little jam and cream dishes again.

Despite the little old man, the scones (no matter what they looked like) were very, very nice and if anyone wants to make scones it is super easy. So easy, I remember the recipe off by heart and I’m going to write it here:

INGREDIENTS

3 cups of plain flour

1/2 cup of sugar

5 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3/4 cups of butter

1 egg

1 cup of milk

METHOD

Preheat and oven to 200C or 400F (I can’t do the little degrees symbol on this thing).

Grease a baking tray.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix that up. Then put the butter in. It’s easier to cut up the butter in tiny pieces because that way not only does it fit in a measuring cup, but it’s easier to mix in.

Mix all that up for awhile. It won’t look like it’s mixing, especially the butter, but don’t panic.

Put the egg and milk in another little bowl and whisk that up a bit. Then gradually add bits of the egg and milk mixture into the mixing bowl where all the flour and stuff is. DO THIS GRADUALLY. Knead it with your hands as you go. YOU ALWAYS NEED LESS EGG AND MILK MIXTURE THEN YOU THINK YOU DO.

Sprinkle some flour on a chopping board, and then put what should now be a somewhat pastry on it. Knead it up. If it’s too moist, add more flour on the chopping board, and if it’s too dry, sprinkle some of the egg and milk mixture and knead it up some more.

This is about when all the butter gets mixed in.

When you think it’s ready, as in, it looks like a pastry from a cooking show, roll it out until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. If you don’t have a rolling pin, which I didn’t, I find a bottle of sweet chilli sauce (unopened) does the job pretty nicely.

So it’s all rolled out and now you can go crazy with your cookie cutter (tiny, tiny expresso mugs, etc) and then space your little rounds on the baking tray.

Cook that up for about 15 minutes or until ‘lightly golden brown’.

Serve with cream and jam and etc.

TOTES EASY.

Recipe from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Scones/Detail.aspx

Picture from: www.theage.com.au/…/ 09/11/1157826845949.html

The Famous Five

So I have moved from Collingwood to St Kilda East which is not really a real suburb is just calls itself that because for some reason it doesn’t want to be associated with the suburb of Ripponlea which is where it is really.

Ripponlea is a suburb in between Balaclava and Elsternwick and has it’s own station and everything but for reasons I don’t know, doesn’t seem to exist in the Melways. The Melways, for those of you who don’t know because CLEARLY I have such a wide international fan base, is the Melbourne street directory.

So I live in St Kilda East that is really Ripponlea that doesn’t exist. Good times.

Anyway, so I’m unpacking all my boxes and I unearth my complete collection of The Famous Five, by Enid Blyton.

Some things you need to know about The Famous Five if you have never read them. The Famous Five consist of Julian, Dick, Anne, George who is really Georgina and who wants to be a boy, and Timmy the dog. The Famous Five have an exciting adventure every single holiday. There are 21 books or something, there is a different summer holiday in each one, but somehow they all stay the same age and George never hits puberty and can go on convincing anyone she meets she’s really a boy.

If you would like to be part of The Famous Five, it’s very easy. Just follow these simple rules:

1. Always carry a torch in your pocket. Even if you’re going swimming.

2. Try and use the words ‘Smashing’, ‘Wizard’, or ‘Super’ to describe anything good, especially in regards to a picnic lunch you are particularly impressed with.

3. Start eating the following foods: tinned tongue, ginger cake, sticky buns, macaroons, tomato sandwiches, potted meat, and make sure you drink ‘lashings’ of ginger beer. Talk a lot about how eating things outside makes everything taste nicer. If you have no ginger beer, don’t worry. There is usually a convenient spring nearby.

4. Insist that Timmy, but any dog will do, can understand ‘every word you say’.

5. Carry around notepaper and a pen. You will need these when you are being kept prisoner in some underground caves and need to write a note to attach to Timmy’s collar. Don’t worry. He will be able to find an extra large rabbit hole to squeeze through and carry the note to someone who can help.

6. Have no parents. Or, if you do, make sure they understand the importance of going on hiking, camping, boating or biking expeditions completely unsupervised even when you are under 13.

7. It is imperative that you find a secret passage every single school holiday and be surprised that such a thing could exist no matter how many times you find one. If you don’t find a secret passage in a house, a quarry, a lonely tower, a farm or beach caves, then you’re not really ready to be part of The Famous Five.

8. Don’t try and be ‘all of sudden, quite grown up.’ That’s Julian’s job.

9. Julian is the boss. Do not defer to Dick, George or Anne. In special circumstances, Timmy the dog may be the boss instead of Julian.

10. When George does something particularly outdoorsey, make sure you exclaim loudly she’s ‘as good as boy!’

11. If you are a girl, you must help Anne wash the dishes. It is probable she has found a rocky ledge/hollowed out piece of rock, in whatever cave or secret passage the Five happen to be camping out in. Do not help her arrange the tins of biscuits on the rocky ledge/hollowed out piece of rock. That is Anne’s job alone. However, you can help her collect heather to make beds.

12. If you are a boy, you must collect firewood and go to the stream to fetch water at Anne’s request. You are allowed to spill some water because it is ‘just like a boy’ to do this. Remember Julian is still the boss. Feel free to wink to each other in a patronising fashion in regards to Anne ‘keeping house’.

13. When seeing Timmy for the first time when holidays begin, make sure you say that his tongue is ‘as wet as ever’.

14. Gypsies are decidedly ‘un-British’ and usually up to no good, but circus folk are good to make friends with. Make sure you are very condescending. However, be prepared that both gypsies and circus folk can neither read or write, have proper manners, or smell very nice. Circus folk however, ‘have good hearts.’

15. You can change the name of your Cook from Joanna to Joan as you see fit.

16. Make sure you have an Uncle or Father who is very hot tempered, famous and learned in science. Be prepared that whatever adventure you fall into probably has something to do with the secret scientific plans your Uncle/Father is working on. Make sure you know that the baddies who are stealing the scientific plans/kidnapping your Uncle/Father, are always foreign.

17. Remember, there is always a farm a short walk away where you can buy all you want while camping. The farmer’s wife is most probably fat and a marvellous cook. If you are a boy, make sure you say ‘super’ a lot, and joke about wanting to marry said farmer’s wife when she presents you with the food. This is okay. She will laugh and probably give you a simply enormous chocolate cake as a present. In which case you should respond with ‘you’re a brick!’

18. Anyone with a big nose is probably going to be a baddie.

19. Have very strict ideas about ‘snooping’ and ‘prying’. However, if you have to stalk someone in the middle of the night or break into a cottage to solve a mystery, then this is okay.

20. If you are a girl, you have to stay and look after Anne while the boys solve the adventure. This is even if you think you’re as good as a boy. You’re not.

Image from: http://www.paulmagrs.com/blog/2009/11/we-are-famous-five.html