Saturday, July 5, 2008

Vale Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy

Heard the sad news from a customer this week that the kitchens in the Melbourne cookery institution Emily Mac are being ripped out and the building will now instead be home to business/economics degrees rather than cookery. I am not one of the thousands (?) of students who passed through its doors but I think it's worth a minute's silence for the passing of an institution which trained so many home economics teachers as well as giving home cooks the "foundation for plain cookery". The college's Household Cookery book is often requested in the shop by former students, and for such a slim volume it's a really excellent source of foundation recipes and thorough instructions. In case you ever need it there are also detailed instructions on boiling sheep's head, preparing dripping for cakes.
Here is their very simple recipe for scones, one which I use time and again without failures - no lemonade or soda water, just flour, butter and milk:
Plain Scones
1/2lb self-raising flour
1 TBS butter
3/4 cup milk
pinch salt
1 tsp sugar
1. Prepare oven and gather ingredients.
2. Sift flour, salt and sugar.
3. Rub in butter
4. Mix with a knife into a dough with milk.
5. Turn onto a floured board, pat into a smooth shape and roll out half an inch thick.
6. Cut into shapes place on baking tray, glaze with egg and milk and bake in a hot (220C) oven.

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