Tatjana is coming home this week, and I have decided to take a summer break. I will be running some oldie but goodies to keep you all entertained for a few weeks. A lovely tea party is always so enjoyable this time of time of year, so I’ll start with this post originally published almost exactly six years ago on June 10th, 2009.

Tatjana, Dumbo, and I enjoying a "cuppa"

Tatjana, Dumbo, and I enjoying a “cuppa”

I’m off to London next week, and so excited to see Tatjana and all my old friends. Of course I’m also already thinking about food. Day dreaming about visiting my favorite old haunts, wondering what the new “in” places are like, and drooling over the thought of real clotted cream on freshly baked scones with strawberry jam.
Yours truly , Rebecca de Ruvo, Jeanette Calliva, Stacy Young, Michelle Collins, & Friends

Yours truly , Rebecca de Ruvo, Jeanette Calliva, Stacy Young, Michelle Collins, & Friends

A beautiful English sunny day, tea cup poised in my hand, pinky extended, but what is wrong with this picture? For starters, I’m dressed as if I were still clubbing from the night before…probably not a stretch of the imagination judging by the beers in the picture too (I’m completely tea total now). But where are the cucumber sandwiches, scones, and little cakes? Like the ones at the Ritz…
With Tatjana at the Ritz Hotel circa 1988

With Tatjana at the Ritz Hotel circa 1988

Whether it is make believe, a casual affair in your back garden, or high tea at the Ritz…tea time is always a lovely way to gather. Here is a menu I did for a client’s 50th birthday recently.

CREAM TEA MENU

Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches
Herbed Goats Cheese & Cucumber Sandwiches
Coronation Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Fresh Baked Savory Cheddar Cheese Scones
with
Whipped Chive Butter

Fresh Baked Traditional Sultana Scones
with
Clotted Cream
and
Strawberry Jam

Mini Lemon Lavender Angel Food Cupcakes
Mini Mocha Devils Food Cupcakes
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Cheddar-Cheese-Scone-with-Chive-butter
Savory Cheddar Cheese Scones & Whipped Chive Butter

Serves: 12
Ingredients:

For the scones:
8 ounces self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 ounce sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 large egg, beaten
a little buttermilk

For the chive butter:
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

2). Rub butter in with fingertips; then add sugar, baking powder, and cheese.

3). Stir in egg with a knife.

4). Use just enough buttermilk to make mixture into a soft dough, but handle lightly and don’t over kneed the dough.

5). Sprinkle onto a flat surface to roll out the dough to 1/2″ thickness. Cut with a muffin cutter, and place on a greased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. (I use a Silpat). Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and no longer gooey in the middle. Serve hot with chive butter.

6). While scones are baking, mix softened butter with an electric mixer until whipped (color will change to a slightly paler shade of yellow), about 5 minutes. Add chives and salt, and mix until evenly incorporated. Spoon into a small serving bowl with spreader to serve with warm scones. Refrigerate if making ahead, and allow to come to room temperature again before serving.

PS. Have you ever been to London? What is your favorite English tradition?
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