“Hot scones,” said George, lifting the lid off a dish. “I never thought I’d like hot scones on a summer’s day, but these look heavenly. Running with butter! Just how I like them!”
“The four looked at the home-made buns and biscuits and the great fruit cake. They stared at the dishes of home-made jam, and the big plate of ripe plums. Then they looked at Mrs. Philpot, sitting behind a very big teapot, pouring out cups of tea.” – Enid Blyton
When I was younger, my dream was to read every single Enid Blyton book. It was a complicated dream because if I accomplished this, there would be no more Enid Blyton books to read and what would I do then? Very Catch 22. This kind of stuff played on my mind a lot when I was a kid.My solution was to spend a lot of time praying for her longevity so I would always have new things to read. My morbid fascination for crime, crime fiction and police procedurals might also have its genesis in my early exposure to the Famous Five, Secret Seven and Five Findouters. Maybe, my current obsession with food writing has the same roots?You can’t talk about Enid Blyton without talking about the elaborate picnics and celebratory dinners populating her books. A testament to her ability to reach and move a reader, even if only towards the kitchen, shows in her ability to make a finicky, little girl growing up in rural Andhra Pradesh salivate over descriptions of food she had never even seen. I still can’t understand how I was tempted by descriptions of food so completely unfamiliar. And what on earth is blancmange?

Sometimes the meals were very elaborate:

” ‘Cold ham and tongue, cold baked beans, beetroot, crisp lettuce straight from the garden, heaps of tomatoes, cucumber, hard boiled eggs!’ recited Anne in glee.

‘Just the kind of meal I like,’ said Dick, sitting down. ‘What’s for pudding?’

‘There it is on the sideboard,’ said Anne. ‘Wobbly blancmange, fresh fruit salad and jelly.’ I’m glad I’m hungry”

Now I’m hungry.

And there were a lot of picnics. Another love that transferred over. Eloquent picnic basket descriptions where  really simple foods, salad leaves, bread, butter and eggs, sound so so good:

“Soon they were all sitting on the rocky ledge, which was still warm, watching the sun go down into the lake. It was the most beautiful evening, with the lake as blue as a cornflower and the sky flecked with rosy clouds. They held their hard-boiled eggs in one hand and a piece of bread and butter in the other, munching happily. There was a dish of salt for everyone to dip their eggs into.
‘I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors,’ said George.”

But my favourite were the crazy confections she dreamed up in the Faraway Tree and her other more magic oriented stories:

Silky was pleased. She sat there brushing her beautiful, golden hair and ate sandwiches with them. She brought out a tin of Pop Cakes, which were lovely. As soon as you bit into them they went pop! and you suddenly found your mouth filled with new honey from the middle of the little cakes. Frannie took seven, one after the other, for she was rather greedy.

While looking up these quotes I saw there are tons of articles out there on Enid Blyton and the importance of food in her stories and everyone from child psychologists to stay at home moms have an opinion they want to share. If you’re a fan though, I recommend you skip reading those, find your battered copy of your favourite Enid Blyton book and enjoy it with these gorgeous golden raisin scones. Running with butter or with pots of jam, of course.

Makes about 12
Adapted from Martha Stewart
What you’ll need:
4 tbsp butter (cold) + a little more for buttering the baking tray
2 large eggs
¼ cup milk
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup golden raisings
¼ tsp salt 

How to:


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Lightly butter a baking sheet and set aside.


2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Set aside a little bit for an egg wash.


3. In another bowl throw in the flour and cold butter (cut into cubes). Using your fingers lightly work the butter into the flour till you have a course mixture. Add in the sugar, salt and raisins.


4. Gradually stir in the eggs till a sticky dough forms.


Foodnote: Add a little more flour if you find the dough too sticky to work with.


5. Roll out the dough a ¾ inch slab and cut into the shapes you want – transfer to baking sheet.


Foodnote: Mine are slightly more *ahem* rustic looking because I couldn’t be bothered to do all the rolling and cutting so I just shaped them into rough squares and plunked them on to the baking sheet.


6. Brush with the egg wash you have on the side and put it into the oven.


7. Bake till golden – should be about 15 minutes.


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