I’ve been working on a story set in the 30s, which means immersing myself in books set and/or written during that period. Imagine my delight when I stumbled across D.E. Stevenson’s Miss Buncle’s Book (1934), the story of a woman in such desperate financial straits that she decides her only hope for income is to write a novel. (Ha ha!) Miss Buncle can only write what she knows, however, and this means showcasing the extravagant foibles of her own neighbors. Lo and behold, the book is a runaway bestseller, and the residents of Silverstream are aghast. How long can Miss Buncle maintain her anonymity once the villagers turn vengeful?
If you prefer an actual book in your hands, the 2012 paperback edition from Sourcebooks is absolutely gorgeous.
For tea I decided on good old fashioned scones with jam and butter. (Tis a pity no one sells clotted cream in this town.) You’ll find the scone recipe here. Instead of cutting the butter in, I used an old trick I learned from Iveta — I melted the butter and then poured it into cold milk, which forms little butter flakes that mix well with the flour. Unfortunately, I didn’t let the butter cool long enough, and perhaps that’s why the scones didn’t rise enough. Or maybe my baking powder is old? In any case, the scones were flat-ish but still very tasty.
For tea, I chose Twining’s Everyday blend, which you can purchase online from the Twining’s USA shop — “A refreshing cup of tea for any time of the day.”
If all goes as planned, next month’s “Tea and a book” will come to you from England!