A book about National Trust Scones ? Surely the book for me? Well no! But read on...
What is it? A book of "50 Delicious Recipes and Some Curious Crumbs of History" What you get is a page of curio on 50 properties (I've no idea if Clelland picked the properties or they were selected by the Trust) and a scone recipe.
Now I am not a cook, I eat the things! So why did I handy over £9.98 you ask?
I've been a member of the Trust since 1997 I think (which is when I went on holiday on my own for the first time) and like Clelland I did this as it was damn sight cheaper as a member! I would often wander into a tearoom and have a cuppa and a slice of cake. And then it happened I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and cake was off limits.
I suppose that last statement is not strictly true you can eat a slice but.. but.... so what could I do?
I am not exactly sure when I first came across the NT scone blog (I think it was around October 13 as I ate my first scone at Houghton Mill and the sconeblog visited in the September), I know I discovered it via the NTScones twitter feed the tweeter/blogger was working her way around every NT property to find the best scone. Scones I thought? well they are better for me than cake. And NTScones, as I refer to her, was creating a community feel on twitter with her sconepals posting pictures of scones and I joined in via twitter (I don't anymore Mr Quacks has taken over such duties!) it was/is fun.
Oh yeah the book? Well Sarah Clelland is NTScones and so I was honour bound to purchase the book since her own odyssey has made my own visits more enjoyable. Those who have read her blog (you should) will know what to expect in her page on each property. She is an entertaining writer and she is right that the key to a good scone is freshness (the Trust insists all scones are freshly baked but I'm pretty sure I've eaten some baked the day before!).
As I say I'm unsure who chose the properties, I suspect NTScones, but because at least one of the properties included got an awful scone review one of very few (and NTScones is a nice reviewer her 3/5 is like Len Goodman's 7 in Strictly) I'm not totally sure.
I am pleased to report that the book seems to be selling. Ickworth sold out! ok 8 or 9 copies but that is still good. It is nicely produced. I will comment that the person who did the index spelt two NT properties names wrong which made me smile.
BTW I've never met NTScones/Sarah Clelland. We once sat in the same tea room and she thought she recognised me but as I was eating soup she thought she was mistaken (there were scones on the table honest!). I have to warn her though that a certain Duck has his heart set on an autograph for his book and a photo with his heroine. He quacks in hope!
For the cooks amongst you there are some good recipes here. I know that as I've eaten some of them!
For those of us who are NT scone enthusiasts or those in want of more recipes this is recommended. Now will the Trust do an event with all 50 recipes for us to taste?