Only a little on the craft front - a very unconvincing abutilon, which is made less terrible as it wasn’t supposed to be one.
[Also in finding that wiki link I realised, with not a small amount of horror, I have been incorrectly calling it an ‘abuluton’ for many many years.]
As my husband is a marvellous man and more than just a genius with dowel, he took me out to have devonshire tea today in the Dandenongs. I have a great weakness for a really nice jam/cream/scone combo and if the tea is decent, you just can’t beat it. Raspberry jam with a good kick in its tail, and thick cream that promises to stay with you in your arteries until your third bypass is such an important element - but the most important is that the scone is not too sweet, and just baked. There is a famous tearoom in Olinda [who maybe named after a sleuthing old woman] that has great condiments - but the scones are too cakey. They are sweet and it seems like they are baked in a pan and sliced into squarish shapes.
At the place we go to the scones are almost perfect.
Almost except that in a fit of some perversion, they layer the top of the scones with icing sugar! Although I have known people to have a dust of flour on top, putting icing sugar on top of scones invariably results in yorur author looking like she has gone toe to toe with Tony Montana about distribution rights through Miami.
Wandering around quaintsy, twee, touristy places with streaks of [what looks to the world like] Bolivian Marching Powder through my hair, down my pants and ALL OVER MY SHIRT makes me look like I got the wrong directions to a bail bondsman. The other impediment to me eating dev tea every day is that it is a 1.5 hour drive to get there [admittedly through some lovely winding roads].
I throw down a challenge to all who know Melbourne - tell me where to find good dev tea, within 20 minutes drive of the CBD, and under 15 bucks a head. There will be some sort of prize for the person who can point me in the direction of somewhere worthwhile. Here are some places to NOT suggest:
* Werribee Mansion - while the scones/cream/tea are good there was a choice of marmalade and fig jam. While concievably, fig jam is perhaps some kind of maverick approach from an afternoon tea heretic within the kitchen, marmalade is just an amusing word for an inedible substance. WHEN YOU EAT ORANGES YOU THROW THE PEEL AWAY!
* Park Hyatt - has the daintest little high tea arrangements I have ever seen. For enough money to buy the daintiest Faberge egg I have ever seen.
* Hopetoun tearooms - before I was old enough to use the kettle to make my mum coffee - I used to use the hot water tap. This is what their tea tastes like.
* Botanic Gardens tearooms - jam comes in a squeezable plastic packet … nuff said.
Ok - challenge is there - get to it!