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The Quill Blog

Our schedule is subject to change on a whim because we're writers and sometimes lose track of the days. We wouldn't have it any other way.

Tea and Story Time Naturally Go Together

What's better than a cup of tea and a good book? A Scone and Tea!

Because the Quills are starting this month with introductions, it seems appropriate to invite you to take a seat and join us for a cup of tea. While that might not be physically possible across the far-reaching span of the internet, we can imagine that we are somewhere warm and quiet and the fragrance of a nice cup of Earl Grey is tickling our nostrils. (Nostrils is not a very romantic word, is it?) Let’s just say it smells very nice.

While we’re here, perhaps we could pair the tea with currant scones and black currant jam. In honor of our introduction, I thought I’d share with you my secret recipe for delicious moist scones. Since my children were reading Brian Jacques’s Redwall series, I’ve been making this particular recipe for afternoon tea and storytelling. Unlike the dry biscuits that most coffee shop call scones, these are moist and quite tasty. You can make them as healthy as you wish by switching out the cream for milk or using a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour—or not.

A few disclaimers: I am not a food blogger so there will not be twenty-four pictures from different angles of my finished product. Neither should you expect this to be a recipe handed down to me by my great grandmother, Minerva St. Claire, or one Lena and Jessie might have found in Mrs. Parloa’s cookbook. The original recipe came from “Gourmet Magazine”.

Here’s a list of ingredients:

3 cups Self-rising flour (Substitutions are not recommended. But this morning I made mine with whole wheat and added a T of baking powder)

½ cup butter

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup black currants (Cranberries make a nice exchange.)

1 cup COLD whipping cream (Substitute milk for lower fat content.)

Preheat Oven to 400 F

  1. Mix the flour and sugars together.

  2. Add the butter. You can cut the butter into the flour as for a pie crust or another slick trick is to freeze your stick of butter and grate it into the flour.

  3. Add the currants.

  4. Quickly mix in the very cold milk. The faster you work here, the lighter the scone will be.

  5. Roll out to a little more than an inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter. If you want to do it British style, roll dough into two round discs and cut them into wedges before baking. Separate these wedges before slipping them into the oven or they make take longer to cook.

  6. Brush cream (milk) over tops. Sprinkle sugar on cream (milk).

  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Serve these warm with jam and perhaps Devonshire Cream. I’ll share that recipe another time. Now you’re ready to pick up one of our cozy books and enjoy a quiet afternoon tea. By the way, that's Sir James Purrsalot sitting on the writing desk in the background. He makes occasional appearances in my books, along with our shy girl, Havoc. He's known by the name Sticks in the next novel Redeeming Lies.

What's your favorite comfort snack while reading a good book?

"With his soft voice and gentleman's courtesies, he rarely had to overwhelm or strong-arm his way into anyone's secrets, rather, he was invited in for tea and confessions."

- Kat's Law by Samantha St. Claire

Meet the Author

Never faint of heart, Samantha St. Claire's signature protagonists face the hazards of the frontier with courage, wit, and a healthy pinch of humor. Learn More

Book Spotlight

In the fall of 1886, Lena leaves behind a life fraught with disappointments and loss only to arrive in Sawtooth City and find the man she’d pledged to marry has been killed. To return east is unthinkable; to stay is ill-advised, but she resolves to remain.

Comes the Winter by Samantha St. Claire

Genre: Historical Fiction/Western

Type: Novel

Heat Level: 1

Language Level: 1

Violence Level: 1

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