It is spring here in the southern hemisphere, the season of new birth and growth. In the northern hemisphere, it is autumn, with falling leaves and cooler days. Here, we’re getting the barbeques ready, up there, they are getting out the soup recipes.
Anyway, today is Halloween, an autumn festival, marking the start of darker days, quite different to what we are seeing here, with spring in all its glory. When I was a child growing up in Scotland, Halloween consisted of turnip (not pumpkin) lanterns, ‘dooking’ (bobbing) for apples, treacle scones and ‘guising’, where some children (not me) dressed up, usually in old clothes, and in return for a song or a poem, collected money to buy fireworks for Guy Fawkes Night. All very different to the brash commercialism seen today in some places!
So, in the name of nostalgia, I decided to make treacle scones in ‘honour’ of the day. Treacle is, I think, roughly the same as black molasses in the US.
Preheat the oven to 220C. Sift 200g of self-raising flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and rub in 50g butter. Mix in 25g sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons treacle, and enough milk (about 125ml) to make a stiff dough. Knead this on a floured surface until the surface is both moist and elastic. Cut into rounds, place on a greased baking sheet, brush with a little milk and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Best served with some good butter and, naturally, a cup of tea.
I will, however, not be buttering them, hanging them from a piece of string and making the men of the house, their hands behind their backs, attempt to eat them…or maybe I should?