Lockdown week eight. We've nearly completed that. And now flour is a little more accessible, we're continuing to bake up a storm at Ladybird HQ despite the negative effect on our waistlines.
Lockdown has taught us to be more grateful for many things. We're lucky enough to have been protected from the virus so far. We're blessed that my 89 year-old grandfather has been admitted to hospital twice during lockdown and has been returned to us safely both times. Thank you so much to the NHS and the amazing carers Jo, Kim and Emily who look after him.
We have blue tits nesting in the bird box in our very urban back garden. We've seen the lovely roses the previous owners of our house planted burst into life. We've seen foxes and owls and squirrels and goldfinches - all of which would be missed as we dash about hither and thither, only coming home to sleep it off before we do it all again.
We finally eat meals together as a family on a regular basis after nearly eight years of passing like ships in the night as we rush from home to school to work and back again - on to a million clubs in the evening and then disappear in different directions at weekends to visit our respective extended family members. And we are blessed to have a wonderful group of friends keeping us entertained with amusing internet rubbish and chat. If you're reading this, thanks you guys!
Most of all we're lucky to be blessed with a daughter who is super grown up for her age and a whizz in the kitchen. Whilst the husband and I have been slaves to our keyboards, working from home full time for what feels like more hours than ever before (and we are very lucky to be able to do this - don't get me wrong), Abigail has kept us supplied with endless cups of tea and coffee, biscuits and made us lovely meals - all whilst learning to come to terms with the one thing we all took for granted in our childhoods - that lovely relationship with our friends. Whilst she can Skype and Zoom with the best of them, it's just not the same. And so cooking has been one of her saviours.
She takes great pride in the fact she's able to look after us and has kept us well fed with not just her amazing desserts but some fab lunches and dinners too. This recipe is one of my favourite things she makes for lunch and super-simple for any children who fancy donning a pinny to make their family a spot of lunch.
225g plain flour
55g unsalted butter - chilled and cubed
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
150g mature cheddar cheese, grated (mild is a no-no)
4tbsp full fat plain or Greek yogurt
Preheat the oven to 180c fan/gas 6 and line a small baking tray with nonstick baking parchment. Place all the dry ingredients rub together until the butter has all but disappeared into the mix, then gently stir in 125g cheese.
In a jug, beat the egg and yogurt, then stir through the flour mixture until it comes together into a soft dough. On a floured surface at gently into a circle shape about 2cm deep and then use an 8cm plain cutter to create your scones. Gently scrunch any remaining bits back together and cut more circles (treat the dough gently - if you overwork it the scones will become tough).
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Bake for about 25 minutes until golden on top, then leave on the tray to cool slightly before eating with lashings of butter, chutney and a bit more cheese!