03 March 2012

MOO scones and jam on a miserable afternoon

It's been a miserable day here today. Wet. Not a nice type of wet, but dank and damp, constant drizzle with the occasional real rain shower. Too wet to get outside and play in the garden, so I've been trapped indoors. Not trapped exactly but stuck inside when I really wanted to get out and get the winter veggies started.

On such a miserable afternoon there's only one thing to do: have an afternoon tea!  I love afternoon tea, with a properly set table and pretty cups and saucers. And what better to have for afternoon tea than warm, fluffy scones with lashings of raspberry jam and whipped cream!

It was decided - we would have scones for afternoon tea. Only problem was we didn't have any raspberry jam. We have fig jam, we have cumquat marmalade, but no raspberry jam.  We did have raspberries in the freezer though so problem solved. I'd make some jam and while it was cooling put a batch of scones into the oven.

Raspberry Jam

Berries, fresh or frozen, are rather expensive, so keep an eye out and stock up when they are on sale. Aldi sell a range of frozen berries for $4.99 a 500g packet which is cheaper than other frozen berries and a lot cheaper than fresh.

500g frozen raspberries
2 cups white sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

Place frozen berries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Stir, over a low heat until berries have thawed and sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium and continue to stir until jam boils.  Continue cooking jam, stirring continuously and at boiling point until setting point is reached - about 15 minutes. Stir continuously to avoid burning and sticking. Once jam is ready, allow to cool a little before placing hot jam in sterilized jars and sealing.

Lemonade Scones

This is an old Tupperware recipe, but it makes scones so easy. No rubbing in butter, just three ingredients. I keep cans of lemonade in the pantry just for scone making (I buy them when they are on sale for under 50c a can).

1 can of lemonade
300ml cream
3 cups of self-raising flour

Preheat oven to very hot 220C. Add lemonade and cream to flour, mix to form soft dough.  If the dough is very wet and sticky, add a little more flour. Turn the dough on floured surface. Gently pat the dough into a round about 2 cm thick.  Cut into scones with a floured cutter. Place close together on a lightly greased and floured scone tray so the scones touch lightly, brush with whisked egg and bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Your scones will rise higher if they are touching while they cook.

Making scones and jam is so easy. I know if you've never tried to before it seems very difficult. That's what you are supposed to believe, or the marketing gurus wouldn't be doing their jobs properly. You are meant to think that you can't do these things and that it is easier and better (that one always makes me smile) for you to trust the supermarket has your best interests at heart and just buy them.

The jam recipes makes two large jars. I use pasta sauce jars, so around 1kg of jam, for approximately $5.50. It's not cheap, but it's not nearly as expensive as buying a good jam.  The cheapest jam I've been able to find (I did  quick online squiz for prices) is generic for $5.00 a kilo. I bet it doesn't have nearly as many lovely berries in it as this recipe, and it could well have thickeners and other additives (it shouldn't, jam should be just fruit, sugar and water or lemon juice). I'd rather pay the extra 50 cents and MOO it.

The scone recipe makes between 12 - 15 scones, depending on the size of your cutter for approximately $2.25, or  15 - 18 cents each.  Fresh scones are 75c each at Coles!  That's 200% more than the cost of MOOing them.

It is tempting, when you are tired and rushed, to just give in and buy the things you want or need. But when you do you not only end up paying a lot more, but you miss out on the satisfaction of creating something truly amazing with your own hands, in your own time.

During MOO month, try to make as much as you can yourself. One thing at a time. Start with something easy: jam or scones or even Cheapskates washing powder, but start. Until you do you'll always be reliant on the supermarkets and the waffle their marketing gurus blurt at you.

I'd show you a photo of our lovely afternoon tea but just as the scones were coming out of the oven Wayne and the boys walked in.  They had been on a working bee at the train clubrooms and were hungry, wet and looking for food. Those scones disappeared before I could blink!

My brother and sister-in-law are calling in for a visit tomorrow so I just might have to make some more. If I do I'll be sure to take the photo before I put them on the table :)

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