We have enjoyed a Sunday brunch – a fine brunch. An upstanding brunch. A brunch in which to take pride.

This began when we found this cookbook at the library that was inspired by the English food the kids eat in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

One of the very easiest things to make in the book is scones – but to serve them the traditional manner, one must have clotted cream and jam. One can find clotted cream at specialty stores or online. If one feels like a dairy adventure, there are also recipes online for creating a close approximation of proper clotted cream. We’re lucky to have a British Market nearby that sells it and now it seems like it’s going to become a regular item in our house. Its yumminess is addictive.

But yes, scones. One parent in our household rhymes them with “stones,” the other rhymes them with “cons.” This is not a dilemma for which we can reach a satisfactory resolution. The children have been affected, but then they eat one and the clouds pass from their brows.



  • 2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsweetened butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup milk


  • milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix in the butter with your impeccably clean hands, just until the dough resembles coarse bread crumbs. Make a well and add the milk and again mix with your hands, until the dough is just moistened. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead just until it comes together, about three or four times. Form into a ball. (The kids, by the way, loved mixing, kneading and playing with the dough – enough that they took some extra to play with while the rest was baking.)

Pat the dough ball out into a circle that is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

Cut into 12 wedges or rounds.


With a spatula, place the pieces on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar for the glaze.

Bake until lightly browned, 8-12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Guests split the scones open and enjoyed them with jam, marmalade and clotted cream.

We managed to save one or two to snack on while watching the film The Secret Garden, which had the children hypnotized.

As a variation for a doll’s tea party, cut the dough with a large thimble to make about 80 thimble scones. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Enjoy these with Very Small Friends.