When last we met The Book Lover's Cookbook, it was bringing us down with some neonaticide, having previously brought us down with random violence, Civil War-era despair, slightly unhinged pioneers, and child/elder abuse. It was time for a break. Something that would not make us afraid to step outside our front door (or at least onto any Amish farms). Something comforting and nurturing. Something like Mrs. Dalby's Buttermilk Scones.
I couldn't wait for the relief of reading something uplifting and life-affirming for once. These were, after all, taken from a book with the words "warm and joyful" right there on the cover. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
|It's the heartwarming story of a giant vet, his giant sheep companion, and the various miniature people and animals that they serve.|
Here we go, let's check the excerpt!
"You'll have a cup of tea, Mr. Herriot." She said it in a gracious way, not casually, her head slightly on one side and a dignified little smile on her face.
And when I went into the kitchen, I knew what I would find: the inevitable tray. It was always a tray with Mrs. Dalby. The hospitable Dales people were continually asking me in for some kind of refreshment--"a bit o' dinner" perhaps, but if it wasn't midday there was usually a mug of tea and a scone or a hunk of thick-crusted apple pie--but Mrs. Dalby invariably set out a special tray. And there it was today with a clean cloth and the best china cup and saucer and side plates, with sliced buttered scones and iced cakes and malt bread and biscuits.
Looks like Mrs. Dalby is going to be one of those determinedly generous hostesses, maybe a little on the amusingly eccentric side like that crazy dog lady from All Creatures Great and Small. Excellent! Probably no tragic backstory in this one, it's pretty light stuff overall, I'll just take a peek in the chapter here, and…ah. Hmm. Recently widowed, you say? With how many…three children? Under the age of eight. I see. Well, I'm sure the land she was left with will sustain…oh, "Prospect House was a bad farm," huh? And half of her cows are going to die and you can't fix it? Are you sure it isn't just copper deficiency? Because it seems like it's usually copper deficiency. Terrible, lung-eating worms, you say. OKAY THEN.
But with the Dalbys who needed my help so desperately I had nothing to offer; my memories are of repeated comfortless visits, of death, and of an all-pervading reek of chloroform, creosote and turpentine.
Anyway, these scones were really good. I ate four of them.
And look, we finally got the cast pictures for our in-house production of Godspell!