who's in the kitchen

Scones that are fit for a Queen


Unlike many of my contemporaries, I wasn’t a crazy concertgoer in my younger days. Sure, I liked music, and had a few favorite bands, but I was never a rabid fan of anyone specific. I saw Queen at MSG in 1977 and Jethro Tulle in 1978. I saw Billy Joel, Pat Benatar, and Paul Simon. In later years, I saw The Stones with my kids, Bruce Springsteen with my daughter. Although I enjoyed them, I didn’t think it worth the price of admission.

Then along came Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie about Queen, and that was it. I became a rabid fan.

I came home that night and Googled Freddie Mercury and Queen until about 4 am. I was addicted. It was ridiculous. I wanted to know everything Queen. Then I watched all the interviews with Rami Malek, who basically morphs into Freddie Mercury for the film. I was thrilled when he was nominated for Best Actor, and the film for best picture, at the Golden Globe awards. I didn’t think he was going to win, because word was that awards were going to go to A Star is Born, including Bradley Cooper as Best Actor.

When Rami’s name was announced as Best Actor, I was thrilled. Then came Bohemian Rhapsody as Best Picture. All you movies critics who panned the movie, what do you have to say now?

All my friends think I’m crazy. We were able to see the movie on TV on New Year’s Eve, at a friend’s house, and I made all 12 adults watch it again, although they had seen it already. Then, to my delight, there were showings in certain movie theaters that allowed audiences to sing along when the songs were played. Of course we went.

What can I say? I guess I’m making up for the lost concerts of my youth, or I’m having a midlife crisis. Either way, I feel young at heart.

Our recent cruise offered a show based on Queen music. Just my luck! Of course I made sure to get there early and get seats front and center. I’m embarrassed to say I behaved like one of those rabid fans. Jerry, who also became a Queen fan late in life, joined in during the rendition of We Will Rock You.

Much as I loved the fact that Jerry was in love with Queen as much as I was, the foot stomping and clapping that accompanies the song was a bit of a problem. Jerry has no sense of rhythm whatsoever. I’d had a feeling that they were going to play that song and that everybody would be stomping and clapping, so I tried to teach it to him before the show. “It’s simple,” I said, “two stomps with foot followed by a clap. Just follow the music and the audience.” He tried, but just couldn’t get it. Good thing it was dark and he was drowned out by everyone else. 

Talking about the British rock band Queen, here is a favorite food of British people and one of Queen Elizabeth’s.

Authentic British Scones


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. sugar

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter , cold

2/3 cups milk

1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbsp. milk (for glaze)

Strawberry jam (to serve)

Clotted cream at room temperature (to serve) 

Preheat your oven to 425 F. In a medium bowl, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter. Rub the mixture together with your fingers to break up the butter, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the milk slowly, mixing as you add, using enough of the milk to get your dough to come together with no lumps remaining. (Your dough should be quite sticky.) Spoon the dough out until a well-floured surface. Generously dust the top of the dough and knead the dough 2 to 3 times to coat it with flour and smooth the surface. Press the dough into a round that is roughly 1 inch thick. 

Using a well-floured cookie-cutter, cut the dough into 2 inch circles. (Be sure to press the cookie cutter straight down and up. Twisting the cookie cutter will impact the amount of rise you get on your scones.) Place the rounds onto a greased and floured baking sheet. Brush them gently with the egg yolk and milk mixture. 

Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden and firm. Remove the baked scones from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes (if you can resist). If you like softer scones, cover them with a clean tea towel as they cool.

This scone batter freezes well. We like to freeze pre-cut rounds of dough for easy baking (just thaw and bake as directed). Alternately, freeze the baked scones and reheat in a low oven for 5 to 10 minutes after thawing on the counter.

Recipe via curiouscuisiniere.com. Check the website for a recipe for clotted cream.