On Mother’s Day…

For those of us whose moth­ers are no longer here, Mother’s Day is slightly mourn­ful. The old rituals of mak­ing homemade cards, tying bunches of mis­matched wild flowers and car­ry­ing break­fast upstairs on wobbly trays have gone. It becomes a day of absence, rather than joy­ful presence.

But let’s make today a cel­eb­ra­tion any­way. Relive the won­der­ful memor­ies — the moments when you and your mum laughed uncon­trol­lably at some­thing that wasn’t even funny, the day she watched you win at sports day, the day she con­soled you when you came last. Because Mother’s Day is Mother’s Day whether your mum is here or not.

It seems to me that the per­fect thing to eat on Mother’s Day is after­noon tea — the meal that moth­ers never make for themselves.

So this after­noon I’m going to eat homemade scones with clot­ted cream and black­cur­rant jam and raise a cup of tea to my mum and to all moth­ers everywhere.


But­ter­milk Scones

This recipe is based on one in Brit­ish Bak­ing by Peyton and Byrne

Makes 8 scones

240g self rais­ing flour

50g caster sugar

2 tea­spoons bak­ing powder

Pinch of salt

60g cold butter

175ml but­ter­milk

Beaten egg for brushing

Pre­heat the oven to 170 degrees C and line a tin with bak­ing paper.

Sift the flour, sugar, bak­ing powder and salt into a mix­ing bowl. Add the cold but­ter, cut into small cubes. I use an elec­tric stand mixer to rub it in, but you can use your fin­gers if you prefer. Add the but­ter­milk and mix until it just forms a dough. Form into a ball and rest in the fridge for ten minutes or so. Roll out until 2.5 to 3 cm thick and with a 5cm cut­ter make 8 scones. Brush them with a little beaten egg. Cook for 25 minutes and then allow them to cool com­pletely in the tin before you remove them.

And as a little post­script.… my chil­dren have just brought me break­fast in bed, homemade cards and a bunch of mis­matched wild flowers. So it turns out that life really does go on…