Question of the Day

Do British scones always contain raisins? Where can I find a "genuine" recipe? Those I've tried don't do justice to "real" scones.

No, British scones do not always contain raisins; they are optional. Here is a recipe for Cream Tea Scones that appeared in the Canadian edition of The 1997 Old Farmer's Almanac: 2 cups all-purpose flour; 2 tablespoons sugar; 1 tablespoon baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 cup butter; 1 egg; 2/3 cup milk or light cream. Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter. Beat the egg lightly, reserving a tablespoon for topping. Add milk to remaining egg, beat, and add to dry ingredients. Stir to make a soft dough, knead, and roll out on a lightly floured board. Cut into 2-1/2 inch rounds. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, and brush with reserved egg. Bake at 425 degrees F for 12 to 14 minutes. We should point out that our "all-purpose" flour is a little harder than the "plain" flour called for in traditional British recipes, which gives a slightly softer scone. A good substitute for plain flour is half all-purpose flour and half cake and pastry flour.

Last 7 Days

    Where have tornadoes caused a great deal of damage?

    A series of eight tornadoes on March 18, 1925 in Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee killed 740 persons, injured 1,890 and caused more than $16 million in damage. Another series killed 268 people and did $5 million in damage in Alabama on March 21, 1932.

    What is the origin of the trap door in long underwear?

    In 1910, the Cooper Underwear Company addressed one of the greatest clothing conundrums of the day -- the union suit, which was the standard for men's underwear. This single undergarment covered the wearer from wrist to ankle, keeping him warm in the days before central heating. Unfortunately, a trip to the bathroom or out-house meant totally disrobing, a somewhat vexing undertaking. To solve this problem, the Cooper Underwear Company introduced a revolutionary garment: the Kenosha Klosed Krotch, a union suit with two pieces of the body fabric lapped over each other like an "X." When the wearer needed to use the opening, this lap could be drawn apart, eliminating the need to totally undress. Incidentally, this company is very much in existence today as Jockey International, Inc.

    How fast does rain fall?

    Rain falls at an average of seven miles per hour.

    How was the month of April named originally?

    April comes from the Latin word Aperio, which means "to open." Plants begin to open in April.

    What was the first assassination attempt on a U.S. president?

    In 1835, a demented house painter fired two pistols at President Andrew Jackson from a distance of only six feet. Fortunately, both guns misfired.

    How long does it take blood to circulate through the body?

    On average, it takes about 45 seconds for blood to circulate from the heart, all around the body, and back to the heart again. An average adult's heart beats more than 100,000 times a day.

    Why do we call bad family members "black sheep"?

    Shepherds and sheepowners of old disliked black sheep because they were less valuable on the market than white ones. A "black sheep" in the family has come to be known as a disgraceful member who shames the rest

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