Friday, June 3, 2011

Scanning and scones

I always know when it's time to scan the ewes.

 It is always freezing, often raining.  I get a phone call at about 8.30am requesting smoko, INCLUDING SCONES, to be delivered at 10.30am.  It has become a tradition.  Hard to say no.

Do not presume that I make smoko every day.  It would be very dangerous for the waistline.  I do however make the exception on days that are cold, wet 'n miserable.  Which is how the tradition started in the first place, as the scanning man is an old friend and I felt sorry for them all out in the cold, rain dripping down the back of the drizabone etc etc.  On hot days it's cold beers and, well, more cold beers.

Here's how I make scones.  I usually make them with buttermilk, it does produce the superior scone, but sometimes I don't have it in the fridge.  Luckily I discovered I think, on Smitten Kitchen, that you can make your own if pressed, although I think the bought stuff is better.  Just add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.

2 cups SR flour
1 tblsp castor sugar
1/2 teasp salt
80g cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream gives a great result too)
Optional: sultanas or dates.  (The crew in the sheepyards prefer them without)
You can double this if you wish, they freeze well and can be warmed up in the oven.  I tend to make a small batch as we tend to scoff the lot.

Preheat the oven to 200 c.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Put the flour, sugar and salt into the magimix and whizz till combined.  Add the butter and pulse until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs.  You can do this by hand in a bowl if you wish.  Put it in a bowl.

If you want to add the dried fruit, do so now and mix to coat the fruit.
Add the buttermilk and stir to make a dough.  Turn this out on a floured board, knead gently and shape into a round that is about 5-10cm thick.
A bit rough but I was in a hurry
Using a scone cutter or suitably shaped glass cut out the scones and put them on the baking tray.  Dip the cutter in flour if it gets sticky.  Roll the dough up and keep going until you've used all the dough.  Put the scones close together on the tray and brush the tops with either beaten egg (a more golden top), milk (shinier) or dust lightly with flour (traditional).
Bake in the oven for approx 15-20 minutes until golden.   As soon as you take them out wrap them in a clean tea towel.
Then advance to the woolshed with scones, butter, jam (I think strawberry is best) and thermos.

Then I believe, it is time for the demanding husband and his cohorts to get back to work....

In case you were wondering, scanning is indeed pregnancy testing, which we usually do on our maiden ewes and with similar technology that is used for human pregnancy scanning.  The tarp over the top has alleviated the rain down the neck somewhat.


  1. Hey Jen,
    Blog looks great and I love the photo's of your beautiful property.

  2. Okay, I do believe that this is a great idea. I tried it with my husband and mates when he was scanning and the answer was "Anymore?!"