Wednesday 21 October 2009

Better not

old recipe

My mother had an expression: 'Better is the enemy of good' that she used when an attempt to improve something that had been fine in the first place ended up in disappointment, failure, ruin, even, or simply more work than it was worth.

So it was with my dropscones recipe. For years I have thrown together a batch of dropscones at a moment's notice, using my trusty old griddle with its patina of age that ensured even cooking, a good colour, and no sticking, and they've been perfectly acceptable, good with butter and jam, and even less effort to make than a batch of plain scones. But I was given a new recipe the other day, using cream of tartar and bicarb instead of baking powder, more eggs, and a measured amount of milk, usually judged by eye and texture than by fluid ounces. It sounded richer and possibly producing more depth of flavour.

I tried it out, and the result was horrid: thick-textured, rubbery, and tasting of bicarbonate of soda. See? Don't they look like they'd bounce if thrown? Well, they were thrown, after this picture was taken: they went into the little wooded area where local foxes clear up any non-compostable treats we care to leave for them (we're a bit silly like that round here).

new recipe

Hardly a national disaster, of course; after all, a dropscone is a dropscone is a ...vehicle for lots of melting butter. Back to the old tried and true recipe.

(And see the uneven colouring? Well, that poor old griddle is on the slow road to recovery after its patina had to be thoroughly scoured off following the Lovely Son's criminal decision to cook black pudding on it.... Black pudding! On a baking griddle! I will say no more. My lips are pursed too tightly for that.)


mountainear said...

Obviously a variant of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

Husband is a great one for 'new and improved' - if a recipe can be added to or made more complicated or, heaven forbid, been tried by Gordon Ramsey then it must be better than the old faithful I've used for years. What tosh - the reason I've used it for years is because it works.

Love drop scones - haven't made any since my boys were little. Now feel the urge.

Shelagh said...

Try as I might, I can't think of anything to say about the drop scone incident. Except I still remember with longing your regular scone recipe and the marvellous results from that. My mouth is watering as I type. As we say here, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The fancy butter shapes look nice though...

Bee said...

These drop scones look very similar to what I would call pancakes! (Even though I always use the same recipe, they can vary hugely in terms of taste, texture, and color. I've never figured out why, really.)

BTW, I sometimes substitute a 2 to 1 mix of cream of tartar/baking soda if I run out of baking powder. I think it works fine, but you need to make sure that there are no lumps in your soda!)

Charlotte said...

The drop scones certainly don't need the changing, there the scrummiest I've ever tasted. Yum my favourite! x

Spiral Bettie said...

I have been enjoying your last several posts. There is a quality of enjoying life in the smaller moments as well as the adventure of larger ones!

I have had a greater understanding of the sentence, "I enjoyed a cup of tea." rather than "I had a cup of tea."

Your blog shows the difference!

laurie said...

dropscone? those look like pancakes.....i'd eat 'em. with enough maple syrup even the thickest toughest pancakes are edible.

and i definitely want the cake with coffee frosting in the other post.

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