Scones were made in two houses in the garden area of Waikanae and the contestants and their support teams assembled at Cafe Rata where some of the best china was set out.
|Ministry of Food cheese scones cut and ready for the oven to get up to heat.
|On the tray and just about to go in the oven - the tray has heated up with the oven. Apparently that is a critical success factor in the baking of these scones.
|And out of the oven, delicately cooling ... See how crunchy they are?
|Bevan and Mads - Bevan's scones are the ones on the right - much more refined looking than my ones, I must say.
|See, Kirsty darling, I DO use my china cups - and the set on the right is the one you gave me.
The scones were plated up, tea and coffee were made, and just as all four of us were about to sit down and get on with the taste test, Bruce and Gary arrived, unannounced, having determined they would be able to get a coffee at our place.
Talk about timing, guys!
So out came two more fine china cup, saucer and plate sets, and a bigger cafetiere of coffee.
|I am sure those two can smell cheese scones from 3 kilometres away!
Both sets of scones were yummy indeed.
Of course, we hadn't established criteria before the competition or even before we started eating. So criteria were nominated as we went.
For lightness, Bevan's won hands down, as they did for size and form.
Mine won for cheesiness (equal quantities of tasty cheese and flour will do that ...) and for crunch.
Bevan declared that my scones won the competition, and that was generous of him. I think it was a close run thing. However, I have always declared that Ministry of Food cheese scones are the best in the world, so his assessment is fair.
The next competition is sweet muffins - our own choice of flavours. It was going to be date scones, but I cede to Bevan already as cheese scones I can make, but date scones require more finesse than I possess, I fear. (Note before posting this on 28 Dec at about 9.30am - I just got a text from Bevan asking 'Muffins at yours at 10.30am?' BUGGER - we are now in Taranaki, and I forgot to tell my fellow contestant that we were running away from the competition - on a temporary basis of course! Sorry, Bevan! He has declared himself the winner by default, and that is fine by me - but I live to fight another day ...)
And so to xmas - we had determined no presents but at the supermarket on 24th I saw something that I knew David would like.
I really do like shared and organised pot luck xmas dinners. We had ours at Bruce and Gary's along with Adrian and Errol, Simon and Jane, and Leith - quite a small gathering by B&G standards, but there was plenty of food and it was all lovely, except the broad beans (blech, yuk and other sounds of disgust).
David and I had taken the motorhome down and parked it on the street outside so we could relax and stay overnight. A very quiet night in a street that is populated by mostly retirees ... I know it was quiet because I was awake from 1.30am to about 4am, dammit. Too many glasses of wine plays havoc with my sleep. Note to self: establish the causal relationship and make the necessary behaviour change ...
We came home very early and went back to bed - so the morning of Boxing Day passed in a very relaxed fashion. In the main because I had too much wine on xmas day, and felt decidedly seedy and tired.
None of the people in the following two photos look seedy though, dammit!
|Lesley and Matthew (foster nephew) at home in Staines. Lesley is looking the most healthy I have ever seen her - a fully plant-based diet will do that!
Season's greetings, people. Be safe, have fun, be loved.