Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Simple Sweet Scones

Scones - April 25, 2010
Long ago in the days before the internet (the 1980s), I was struggling with a scone recipe from British Heritage magazine (I think the measurements were by weight rather than volume), and my college housemates took pity on me and bought me Biscuits and Scones by Elizabeth Alston.

Twenty years later, the spine of the book has cracked so that it will usually just flop open to the recipe for Simple Sweet Scones.

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut up
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or 1/3 cup for sweeter scones)
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425F. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub it in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine granules. (I prefer the finger method.) Add sugar; toss to mix (with your hands - not tossing it up into the air ;o).

Add milk and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. Form the dough into a ball, and knead gently on a lightly floured board (about 10-12 kneads). Pat or roll the dough out into a circle about 1" thick and cut out scones with a biscuit cutter or round drinking glass dipped in flour.

Place scones on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for about 12 minutes or until medium brown on top. Put a linen or cotton dish towel on a wire rack and lay scones out to cool, covering them loosely with the cloth. Serve with butter & jam (or whipped cream or clotted cream if you're feeling decadent), and a nice cuppa tea.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Paint Fabric While the Sun Shines

We had a sunny 62°F day here, so I ignored the housekeeping and yard work and pulled out the fabric paints for the first time this year.  I used some cotton pieces that I had previously painted but didn't really like plus two 12x12 plastic stencils from Crafters Workshop that I bought at Legacy Scrapbooks in Cedarburg last year. First I experimented with some Tulip fabric spray paint.  It's a pump spray rather than an aerosol so the effect can be splotchy, but it turned out pretty groovy with the "Flower Frenzy" stencil (shown above).

I had originally bought the stencils to use for sunprinting, so I tried that as well. I painted a layer of contrasting color (Pebeo Setacolor) over the previously painted fabric, and then placed the two plastic stencils, using thumbtacks to keep everything in place on this very windy afternoon. In the photo below, the Flower Frenzy and Cosmic Swirl stencils are visible at the top, and a piece I sunprinted earlier with Cosmic Swirl is at the bottom.
Sunprint With Stencils
So here's what I made today - the top two are sunprinted, and the bottom pieces were spray-painted.
Sun Print & Stencil Results
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