Have you been enjoying the Diamond Jubilee festivities as much as I have over the past few days? I hope so! We celebrated with some gingerbread scones.
1.75 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries (optional)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2.5 Tbsp. unsulphered molasses
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. milk or cream
extra oats for sprinkling
1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1.5 Tbsp. real maple syrup
1-2 tsp cream or milk (I probably used close to 3)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position your rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or if you are using a mini scone pan, grease lightly with butter or oil spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the dough with a pastry cutter (or use your food processor on pulse) until the mixture looks like course crumbs. Stir in the lemon zest and cranberries, if using.
In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, molasses, and vanilla extract. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, just until a dough comes together. Don’t overmix.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times. Pat the dough into a circle, which you cut into 6 triangles, or roll into a square the size of your mini scone pan and then cut into 16 pieces, placing each piece individually in the pan.
Beat together the egg and cream to make the egg wash, and then brush the mixture over the scones. Sprinkle the scones with some rolled oats.
Place the baking sheet in another baking sheet (didn’t even bother with this) and bake for about 20 minutes or until done.
Once they are cooled, make the glaze by combining the confectioners sugar, maple syrup and milk/cream. Add cream until you get an icing consistency which can be drizzled over the scones.
Congratulations, Ma’am: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
We also played a little royal trivia after dinner. How many children does the Queen have? (4)
How many presidents has she met? (12)
Sunday’s highlight was all the boats parading up and down the Thames. Such a beautiful sight, and so neat to imagine such a spectacle going on even back in the days of Henry VIII.
The weather was wet and cold, and unfortunately, the Queen’s husband Prince Philip (turning 91 on Sunday) landed in the hospital with a bladder infection the next day. Sad that he had to miss the rest of the festivities, since by all accounts he has always been there for the Queen in the many years of her service to the country. He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy who I’m sure is none too happy to be in a hospital rather than in the middle of the action. Get well soon!
Monday’s highlight was the Diamond Jubilee concert (is it just me, or can Elton John not sing anymore? “I’m Still Standing” was just … sad), and afterwards Prince Charles’ moving speech to his “mummy.”
The Queen was regal as always, confidently lighting the national beacon. Then, fireworks erupted behind Buckingham Palace, which was lit up in red, white, and blue. Stunning!
Tuesday’s wrap-up saved the best for last: a National Service of Thanksgiving, with all the wonderful pageantry and music that the Brits do so well. I haven’t got to see this yet (hoping it will be televised tonight). But looking over the order of service, I’m just envious of these classy folks: organ music by Handel (of course), Bach, and Mendelssohn, trumpet fanfares, the beautiful language, the soaring cathedral, the clothing … sigh.
The Queen does look a little lonely walking out without Prince Philip — I wish she and Prince Harry could have paired up.
Looking for a Diamond Jubilee souvenir? There’s no shortage, including even the quirky. How about a Queen Elizabeth temporary tattoo or jelly mould?