Next month I've invited students to an English Tea Party in my garden.
Roses, tea, cake, scones...maybe cats.
It's something I wanted to do last year, as a "thankyou" to students who'd stood by me while I underwent various personal crises...but what with the knee and the ovaries...and the England sagas...I couldn't garden and I didn't have the energy to invite anyone to anything.
English Jungle Instant Coffee Party doesn't have the same appeal.
So. July 3 it will be.
Pretty rash really. I haven't cooked scones for 30? 40 ? years?
As readers of this blog may have guessed by now - cooking isn't my thing. I'm the daughter of a busy working mum, she was good at 70s style dinner food like vol au vents filled with chicken and I think dinner cooking was mainly done by my work-at-home step-father.
I was never the bake-a-cake type.
Thought I should practice today.
Hmm.. That opened up all sorts of quandries...seeing as I don't have anything for baking and haven't done it since I was just old enough to see on top of a kitchen counter.
Throw in the uncertainties of ingredient hunting in a Japanese supermarket.
Add a pinch of improv - and scary Internet recipes ("scones are said to be the easiest home baking, but actually can be as frustrating to get "right" as meringues"....) and I was all set.
15 minute shelf staring in the supermarket : IS ordinary flour with baking powder the same as self-raising flour?
Is a coffee mug of flour the same as "two cups"?
What IS a "stick of butter", where in the world does butter come in sticks?
Is an empty umeshu bottle ok as a rolling pin?
Will one of Okaasan's Japanese teacups be ok as a dough cutter?
Have I gone mad?
Results: didn't rise much and the left over lump of dough looked better than the teacup-cut circles...but tasted ok...not very cakey and not very sweet....hmmm....ANYONE got any advice??
I'm much better at gardening. Got it all going on strong now.
Yesterday and today I've done a lot out there - planted out some seedlings I've grown on the computer room table, weeded down to bare earth, banked up the potato plants, given the sad little cucumber a second chance by surrounding it in plastic...did I mention weeding?
|Cat-eye view from 2nd floor living room. The HUGE peony bush is center, left are the flowers and right are the vegs. (laundry stand is that ugly green/silver thing).|
|Lot of weeding results.|
|Far row - potato plants; center - remains of spring flowers; Right - plastic sheet coddling the cucumber; Foreground: Tomato plants. Left - stick like thing is the green pepper that survived another winter in the classroom.|
|My Dad's dog carving with a shock of pink.|
|Foreground - seedlings; Background - the tall pink plant I aspire them to grow into!|
Okaasn is fine. She's been downtown to look at the Yosakoi dance Festival. Came home just as we'd finished dinner. But cheerful. She even came OUT into the garden in her nightdress mid-morning today to look at flowers with me. She took in laundry for us when it rained.
She seems to be doing fine....