Downton Abbey Scones on This Fantastic Friday

Downton Abbey Scones on This Fantastic Friday

Downton Abbey fans can whip up a batch of vintage scones and make the DA magic last a little longer.This Fantastic Friday post is an homage to last Sunday’s Downton Abbey finale. The recipe’s posting today so fans can whip up a batch of scones, make a pot of tea, put on their best English accents, and be jolly good sports all weekend long.

Downton Abbey Dairy-Free Scones

Between yesterday’s top ten list and today’s recipe, it feels like Downton Abbey Week along our gravel road. Today’s recipe comes compliments of Downton Abbey Cooks, the brainchild of food historian Pamela Foster. You can find Foster’s original recipe, along with many other Edwardian England dishes, in her post about guilt-free scones.

I spotted the recipe while sitting under the dryer and reading the paper at the hair dresser’s. It sounded so good, I came home and created my own dairy-free version. The scones were an immediate winner, receiving the coveted Hiram seal of approval. They were light, crispy, and flavorful. They will be a staple at our house, even though we don’t have a kitchen maid to sift the flour 3 times!

1 cup unnbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons frozen lard
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)

Heat oven to 450°. Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Sift three times. (Or have Daisy the kitchen maid do that part.) Add sugar and mix in well. Grate frozen lard (another job for Daisy) and add to dry ingredients. Lightly cut in by hand until mixture has the consistency of sand. Stir in dried fruit. Add almond milk, a tablespoon at a time, mixing dough with a fork after each addition. Stop when dough holds together, but before it gets sticky.

Kneed dough gently a few times. Do not overwork! Form dough into a circle and place on a cookie sheet or heated baking stone. Press dough until it’s a circle 1/3 inch thick. With a knife, cut into 8 wedges.* Separate them slightly. Bake for 5–7 minutes.

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Three Thoughts for Thursday

The Downton Abbey finale, a guitar player in the making, and bunny ears on babies in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. The Downton Abbey finale was perfect. After Nurse Jackie ended with a drug overdose and the mysterious Don Draper as mysterious as ever in the last episode of Mad Men, Downton Abbey’s finale where love and compassion make it possible to face changing times with hope and strength made it a story worth watching.
  2. After the Man of Steel repaired a little guitar for a six-year-old boy, the first grader’s music teacher* sent a thank you with the following message: “My student’s first goal is to pick out the tune to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. After that, he wants to learn the Smoke on the Water riff.” The Man of Steel’s been smiling since the email arrived.
  3. Our grandkids will all be together this weekend. I bought Easter props in hopes of getting some fun pictures of the 3 of them. The 3 1/2-year-old will cooperate, but does anyone have suggestions about how to keep bunny ears on a 14-month-old and 11-month-old long enough to take a picture?

*The music teacher is giving this little guy lessons on her own time. For free.

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Downton Abbey, love according to Dorothy, and the loss of a wonderful man in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. Unless Julian Fellows has something up his sleeves, there’s no way Isobel Crawley can pull ahead of Lady Violet in their zinger contest before the series ends.
  2. At the end of my last visit with Mom–after I’d taken her to the doctor, squired her to lunch, and restocked her supply of library books–she said, “You’re so good to me, Jolene. Don’t change, okay?” That’s as close as she gets to “I love you” without coaching.
  3. Melvin Aspengren, the most outstanding elementary school janitor I ever worked with, died earlier this week. He took pride in his work, cared about kids, and was a role model to children and adults alike. Oh, Mel, you will be fondly remembered and dearly missed.

Who are you missing today? Leave a comment.

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Three Thoughts for Thursday

David McCullough and The Wright Brothers, a Downton Abbey movie, and glitter in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. Note to self: Do not allow glittery Christmas cards anywhere near your work area unless you like holiday sparkle on all surfaces, including your laptop keyboard and your favorite pens for days and weeks to come.
  2. David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers is a fascinating book and the audio version is read by the author. I highly recommend it.
  3. Rumor has it a Downtown Abbey movie is in the works. I’m in.

What rumored movie sequel has you turning cartwheels? Leave a comment.

Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions I Wish I’d Made

Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions I Wish I’d Made

After a very productive week, I'm wishing I'd made these 10 New Year resolutions to check off my to do list.For some reason, the first week of January 2016 was a highly productive one for a certain inhabitant of our gravel road. Had I known on January 1 what I know now, the following New Year’s Resolutions would have been listed and checked off in 7 short days, rendering the remaining 359 guilt and fancy-free.

10. Come to grips with getting older after learning of several former co-workers and present dear friends, who are our age contemporaries, are dealing with age-related health conditions.

9.  Cut back the geraniums wintering over in the upstairs bedrooms and water them less so the woody stems stop rotting.

8.  Send out Christmas cards as a staunch proponent of the better-late-than-never school of thought.

7.  Find a group to hand quilt Mom’s remaining quilting projects, sewn together by my daughter a year ago, and which have been lurking in the corner of the guest bedroom ever since.

6.  Launch a redesigned website full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes that make half the archived posts disappear for a few days.

5.  Garner a 100 new likes on my Facebook author page thanks to EA/TEF parents who read the first EA/TEF Awareness Month post at

4.  Eat a few Kirkland non-dairy chocolate covered almonds every day.

3.  Watch as many seasons of Downton Abbey as possible in preparation for watching Season 6.

2.  Call a dear friend in Harding County, South Dakota and make plans to visit next August during the 100th Anniversary county fair.

1.  Record personal information in your copy of The Caregiver’s Notebook so you can tell people attending caregiver organization workshops to do the same without feeling like a hypocrite.

What New Year’s resolutions would you make in hindsight? Leave a comment.