Being in London for a few days with our bosom-buddy Rosy has been - in a single word - heavenly. We've walked up Primrose Hill, into Regents Park, Camden Market, onto Brick Lane for street food and the best people-watching on Earth around Notting Hill for chi chi cookies. . .

The Londoners' irreverent, humorous, and over-the-top fashion sensibility is a breath of fresh, fun air. It's lovely to be somewhere new again, taking in all the different attitudes and ways of being. It's also fantastic to be able to pick up a paper and read it, or, my favorite, eavesdropping on conversations -- it's a delight. While the French seemed to ooze effortless elegance out of their fingertips, with nary a ruffle out of place, the Brits are sporting mile-high beehive hairdos, huge neon sunglasses, patterned tights, hot pants and a few pimples. It's a schmorgesborg of creativity and punchy confidence I quite enjoy. This is all good, as we'll be 'stuck' here in England for longer than we anticipated due to the ash cloud, settling over all of Europe.

Being stranded on the isle with our darling friend, a culinary whiz mind you, with the best weather I've ever experienced in England (like being in Santa Barbara!), a few great art shows, and the biggest bathtub in the universe is hardly bad.

We awoke with cream scones on the brain and D and I whipped them up in record speed -- hoping all the US/metric/imperial conversions would be okay. The cream scones were more than okay, downright delicate and just hardly sweet. We swirled our tea and coffees, munched the blissful objects and learned of British royalty scandals from the days of yesteryear . . . If this is being stuck, I hope we never have to leave.

Recipe for 10 yummy Cream Scones,
adapted from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives or your fingers. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. In a small measuring cup combine the whipping cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Do not over mix.

Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round. Then, using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter or glass, cut the dough into rounds. Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing a few inches apart. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream, finish with a sprinkling of coarse sugar. This helps to brown the tops of the scones during baking.

Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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