This is how we scone at the cove – cream scones with extras and a pot of tea. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

There are so many ways that we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in America. Here at the cove, we don’t generally drink green beer or even have a corned beef and cabbage dinner. I’ve been known to imbibe in a half-pint of Guinness, and I’m not against a tipple of Bailey’s Irish Cream, but mostly, I celebrate my Irish heritage with tea and scones.

Ah, the Irish and their tea. It’s serious business and you want to make it just so. Boil fresh water, then use a little to warm the teapot and the cups. After a minute or two, dump that water into the sink and set your tea bags – Lyon’s, Barry’s or Bewley’s brand, of course; or if your ancestry is Northern Ireland, then Thompson’s, it is – into the teapot.

Use one or two tea bags per two servings. Add freshly boiled water into the pot straight away and wait at least 5 minutes. Remove the teabags, then give the tea a stir before pouring. Serve with milk and sugar.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at or 504-0545.

And we must have scones. Simple cream scones hot from the oven are a favorite because you can spread all manner of things on them. Butter, check. Jam, check. Sweetened cream whipped until spreadable, check. A slather of these three enhancements, one of top of the other, is key. Now is not the time to back off, but if you just can’t manage that because you’re terrified of the caloric content, go for the butter and just a little jam.

Here are a few recipe tips: the butter, egg and cream should be very cold. If you have no heavy cream in the house, add a couple teaspoons of extra butter and use whole milk or substitute full-fat Greek yogurt for the cream. (Just keep that a secret between you and me, though.)

The orange poppy seed scones are for times when you’re feeling fancy, have a spare orange on hand, or just don’t want to share your jam and cream. These do nicely on their own or with a generous smudge of butter. You can also make a glaze to drizzle on top with a bit of orange juice and sifted powdered sugar.


Both these scones are the very best when they are fresh and hot, but you can revive leftovers if you split and grill them with a bit of butter.

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh!

Cream scones

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt


1/3 cup butter, chilled

1/2 cup heavy cream, plus a teaspoon or 2 for glazing tops

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into half-inch cubes and add to flour mixture. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup cream, egg and vanilla. Add cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.


With lightly floured hands, roll the dough to 1-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Using a floured 2 1/2-inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut out rounds from the dough and place on lined baking sheets. Brush tops of scones with cream. Bake 13-15 minutes until lightly browned.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer scones to a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen

Orange poppy seed scones

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup poppy seeds


1 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, chilled

1/4 cup orange juice

1 egg


1/4 teaspoon orange zest

1-2 teaspoons cream, for glazing tops

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 10-inch diameter circle in the center of a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, poppy seeds, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Cut butter into half-inch cubes and add to flour mixture. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, stir together orange juice, egg and zest. Add this to dry ingredients and stir to combine. The dough will be sticky.

With lightly floured hands, pat dough into a 9-inch diameter, 1-inch thick circle in the center of the prepared baking sheet. Brush cream over the top of the dough. With a serrated knife, cut into 8 wedges but keep in the circle shape with the triangles still touching each other. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Recut scones if needed and transfer scones to the wire rack to cool.

Yield: 8 scones

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