Sunday, 2 May 2010
Tea And Empathy
It's been an Airstreamy few days. Andrew was on his way to a work thing in Dorset so made a detour to our bolthole here in Somerset. We have a lovely rural view here, which is probably one of the reasons we have stayed for a while, but an Airstream in the mix was OK too.
When we met up in the Hebrides last summer we managed a perfect afternoon tea one day. We persuaded a young lass to reopen her shop to sell us some scones. Then we found our way into a supermarket whose entrance was cunningly disguised as a bus shelter (probably to keep the wild wind out), and there, against our expectations we found clotted cream. We already had the best strawberry jam money can buy, Tiptree Little Scarlet. I don't know why it is so good exactly. It must be the Little Scarlet strawberries themselves. Or maybe it is also the rarity with which we find it on our travels.
Well these individual, intrepidly sought ingredients married succulently into a tea orchestrated with involuntary groans of appreciation.
Here in Somerset we are much closer to the more traditionally conceived source of the cream tea. I recently read that the Cornish put cream first on their scones, then the jam, Devonians the other way round. Now we know. I go Cornish, Pete favours the Devonian way. Anyway, the scones couldn't have been fresher. For the first time since my inadequate school cookery lessons I made scones. And pretty darned good they were too. Warm, light, big. What more can I say?
You know when you try to recreate an experience and it doesn't rise to your expectations? That didn't happen.
Simon, Emma and Tilly popped round to say Hello on their way to visit family. They recently had to let their Airstream go but are still honorary Airstreamers. We have high hopes for them rejoining the clan. So there has been a lot of Airstreamy chat; new versus vintage, standard European versus wide-bodied, layout etc, etc.
And of course there's the approaching rally. So it was like a warm-up.