Well, this is it. The end of an era.
Sure, you’re a bit younger than me, but what’s a few years in this day and age? With your dashing good looks and royal pedigree, and my California cool and exhaustive knowledge of British history (just test me — I can name all the English monarchs in order since the Wars of the Roses! How many women know their in-laws that well?) a part of me always entertained a secret hope that some day, some how, I could be your princess. I’m really excellent at ribbon cutting, and I do have a flair for hats.
Sure, there were a few obstacles in our way. We’ve never met, sure, and we have no acquaintances in common. (Except Margaret Thatcher. My father escorted her to some academic dinner a few years ago). There’s also the tiny little fact that I’ve been happily married for some eight years now, and I have no intention of ditching my lovely husband, even for a prince. (I never could really make that one come right). And then there’s the fact that neither of us is as young as we used to be, and my waistline and your hairline have both gone a bit dodgy.
Still, Kate seems like a nice girl. Her hair is very shiny. She wears birds taped to her head with aplomb. She’s very patient with your somewhat weird family. I’m sure she’ll make a very nice princess. But can she cook, William? This is a very important question. And I don’t just mean throw together a salad. Real food. English food. Like these scones. Which, while not strictly authentic (I hear you have no buttermilk over there) are like the scones you get in England — not too sweet, with a crisp crust, and fluffy interior. Not the leaden things that pass for a scone at a certain multinational coffee chain. I’m just not sure that Kate will feed you the way that you need, nay, deserve to be fed.
I’ll tell you what, Prince William — if things don’t work out with Kate Middleton (and frankly, your genetic track record is not a good one), and things don’t work out with Ken (which I’d much prefer they do, actually. He has a lovely head of hair), look me up. I’ll make you a spot of tea and some lovely scones. And after that, who knows?
In the meantime, I’ll get up tomorrow morning, make these scones (they’re actually ridiculously easy), turn on the telly, and watch the prince of my childhood dreams marry his princess. (After all, I’m not the only member of my household who has a decided interest in princesses. The Nuni and her three year old set are quite keen on the concept). And I’ll eat my scone, and drink my PG Tips, and think of England.
The other Kate
P.S. — You don’t happen to have a phone number for Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, do you?
- 1¾ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup, or 1 stick) butter
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ⅓ c. currants (optional)
- cream and sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or your (clean) hands, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Stir until the mixture is shaggy. (If there's still a lot of loose flour, you might want to add a bit more buttermilk. The mixture should hold together, but not be homogeneous.) Knead in the currants (these are optional. You can also add dried cranberries, chopped crystallized ginger, fresh blueberries, or, as I am wont to do, nothing at all.)
- Pat the dough into a large disc about 1 inch thick. Informally, cut the dough into wedges using a knife. More formally, you can cut the scones out with a round cookie cutter. If you're serving them plain, I like to brush the tops with a little cream and sprinkle some sugar over them. If you're serving them with cream and jam, this is less necessary.
- Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Serve warm, or at least the same day.