Chasing Away the Winter Blues

Connie Lounsbury Outside in Minnesota Winter
Connie Lounsbury and Friends Enjoying a Tea Party

Cabin fever can be a malady for many in Minnesota during winter months. This year a rainfall in January, followed by sub-zero temperatures, created icy walkways and streets and we broke the record for snowfall in February even before the end of the month. My friends and I only venture away from our homes when necessary as we hear about more and more people falling on the ice or being involved in auto crashes. It isn’t worth the risk, so soon we are all feeling differing degrees of cabin fever, especially when we live in rural areas without close next-door neighbors.

What to do? I decided to host a tea party for friends who don’t live too far away. If you would like to do the same, here is and a recipe for great scones and the menu I chose for a three-course tea.

Menu:

First course served with oolong tea offered with milk and sugar cubes, if desired.

  • Ham spread on pumpernickel rye bread with a sprig of rosemary
  • English cucumber slices sprinkled with dill weed on rosemary/olive oil bread over a spicy mayo base
  • Radish slices with sea salt over the same spicy base on beer bread.
  • Strawberries dipped in chocolate.

Three different small open-faced finger sandwiches:

Finger Sandwiches

 

 

Second course served with mint green tea offered with milk and sugar cubes if desired.

  • Scones
  • Lemon curd
  • Devonshire cream

 

Scones Spreads and Flowers

 

 

Dessert course served with chai tea latte.

  • Irish shortbread
  • Lace cookies
  • Chocolate kisses

 

 

Table with food and place settingsGet out your prettiest tablecloth and set the table with your best dishes. I like to use fancy china cups and saucers that I’ve collected from antique shops. They don’t have to match. Arrange a low centerpiece of fresh flowers. Nothing makes my heart sing on a wintery day more than fresh flowers. They are worth the cost. This bouquet was red carnations, yellow daisies, and blue delphinium with sprigs of tiny purple fillers and greenery. Our local floral shop, Live, Laugh, Bloom, made the beautiful arrangement of long-lasting, inexpensive flowers that I requested, and my husband picked them up from the shop. The cost was about $20.00.

If you think you don’t like scones because you’ve only had the dry hard scones most coffee shops serve, try making this recipe. It is quick and easy, and I know you have all the ingredients on hand. I prefer the plain scones, but you can add chocolate chips, dried fruit, rosemary, or whatever. Scones are my favorite mid-afternoon tea-time treat so I try to have some in the freezer all the time. A minute in the microwave and I have a sumptuous snack. Homemade lemon curd and Devonshire cream keep a long time in the fridge, and nothing tastes better on a warm scone! My favorite tea with scones is chai tea latte. The loose tea is so much better than the tea bags. I buy my tea leaves from Moon Bakery in Monticello. They have the best chai tea ever.

 

Connie Lounsbury Outside in Minnesota WinterRecipe for Scones

2 cups flour

3 TBSP brown sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup butter

1 cup sour cream

1 beaten egg yolk

1 slightly-beaten egg white

 

 

In a large mixing bowl stir together: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs.

In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolk and sour cream. Pour into the flour mixture and mix with a fork until combined. Turn dough onto slightly floured board and knead dough about 12 times until nearly smooth. Pat into a 7-inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges.

Arrange wedges on an ungreased pan about one inch apart. Brush with slightly beaten egg whites. Bake at 400 degrees 10-12 minutes or until just light brown on top. Cool for about ten minutes. Best served warm. Makes 12 scones. They keep well in the freezer,

Each scone contains 165 calories, 8 grams fat, 26 mg cholesterol., 3 grams pro., 19 grams carbo, 1-gram fiber and 233 mg. sodium.

Add your favorite topping (mine is lemon curd and Devonshire cream) and enjoy!

 


Author, Connie Lounsbury

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