Lately, I’ve been living and breathing Earl Grey tea. I’ve been drinking London Fogs all day every day, I’m pretty sure I’m starting to speak with an English accent too..
Needless to say, today I woke up with the strongest craving for something kissed by bergamot, and nothing else would do but these scones. Like my Earl Grey cupcakes, we are putting tea leaves directly into these scones so don’t mistake me for some fool who is going to call this an Earl Grey scone if it doesn’t actually taste like a cup of tea.
Heres what you’ll need to make 18 mini scones:
2 cups all purpose flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 1/3 cup sugar 3 bags of Earl Grey tea ¼ cup cold vegan butter ¼ cup cold coconut oil ¾ cup soy milk
In a mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and the tea. Then cut the coconut oil and butter into the flour. I do this with a whisk, but if you have a pastry cutter, use that. Once the chunks of oil and butter are pea sized, moisten the dough with the milk. You should be able to form it into a ball, so use less or more as needed. At this point, separate the dough into 3 even sized balls. Flatten each of them into a disk 1″ in height, and cut into 6 triangles. You will have 18 scones. Bake on a parchment lined sheet at 400 F for ~15 minutes. They should be just slightly golden.
To make the glaze, just pour icing sugar into a bowl and add some soy milk until its the right consistency. Dip them, add any toppings, and they’ll be set within a few minutes.
500 g All purpose flour (2 C)
75 g granulated sugar (½ C)
14.3 g baking powder (1 Tbsp)
2.85 g table salt (½ tsp)
394 mL heavy whipping cream (1-2/3 C)
Preheat oven to 163°C (325°F). Whisk together dry ingredients in large bowl. Add desired nuts and/or dried fruit not to exceed half the volume of dry mixture. Whisk thoroughly. Make well in center of mixture. Using wooden spoon to stir; slowly add heavy whipping cream while stirring.
Lightly flour the dough until dry ball has formed and easily rolls out of bowl. Roll out onto well floured flat surface. Press evenly until about an inch thick.
Cut into desired shapes and place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. These scones will expand.
Bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove when golden and allow to cool on rack for 5 minutes before glazing or 20 minutes before frosting. Give most of them away or you will wind up eating the first batch before the second comes out of the oven.
It was nice, as always, to have you and your entertaining children for tea last week - I haven’t laughed so hard in months. Really, your daughter should be a comedian. And Emily and I are ever so fond of Ron.
It was hard, as always, to watch Hermione leave so soon after arriving home, but she feels so essential in your politics. She’s only a child, as much as she likes to believe otherwise. Please don’t let her do anything heroic this year. (I’m told is a trait of her “house”). Emily and I have retrieved too many letters about her hurt and breaking rules and helping her friends escape near-death experiences.
Father to father, you must know the feeling. Is it less scary for you, knowing the world you send them off to? I’ve never even seen her school. Or maybe, God forbid, you’re aware of dangers there I haven’t even thought of and you’re more scared for your kids. With Voldemort (Voldemore? Voldemorre?) back on the loose…I almost couldn’t let her leave the house.
Enough about me. You asked about our pipes system - I had to spend an hour or so in the library, but here’s a diagram of where the water for our suburb comes from. It’s just a brochure from the city, but I drew on it a bit so you can understand. My return question is this - after reading Hogwarts, A History, (great read, by the way), I’m baffled as to why there are so few students at currently, compared with the date of its creation, especially with the fairly recent addition of Muggleborns. Where have all the wizards gone? I can’t get the numbers to line up.
I hope all is well with the Order of the Phoenix. Please remind Hermione to write from Headquarters…Emily and I are praying for Harry.
Thanks, Arthur. Looking forward to your next letter.
PS - Emily was wondering after Molly’s scone recipe - is that something shares with mere Muggles? They sure taste like magic.
They had a plan: Simon was going to write books and Baz was going to publish them. Everything is perfect until Baz reveals a secret: he’s moving to New York City to attend university. Without Simon.
Six years later, Baz gets a worrying phone call from his stepmother and makes the decision to return to Watford, despite the bad memories it holds. Once there, he runs into Simon and finds out that time hasn’t exactly stood still in this sleepy little town, and that life doesn’t always give you second chances.
Simon wakes up with his cheek on the keyboard and a sour taste in his mouth. When he lifts his head, he sees that the open word document is blank. He’d spent almost an hour the night before just staring at the screen, occasionally writing a sentence or two before scowling and hitting backspace. The ideas just aren’t flowing lately and it leaves him feeling queasy and on edge, like he should be accomplishing something and just…can’t. He closes his laptop with a frustrated sigh.
Simon pads to his small kitchen in search of breakfast, eyes still blurry and neck sore from his unfortunate sleeping position. Cracking his neck, he fills up the electric kettle at the sink and starts it up. He’s craving scones this morning, but he’d run out yesterday and hadn’t bothered to buy any more. Deciding to eat breakfast at work–he’ll convince Philippa to whip up some extra for him–he goes to get dressed while he waits for his tea.
After trading his flannel pyjama pants for work trousers and a black t-shirt, Simon makes his way back to the kitchen just in time to hear the kettle beep. He grabs his favorite mug and tea pouring in the boiling water, dunking the bag a few times before tossing it in the bin and adding his usual obscene amount of milk and sugar.
Simon shrugs in response. His non-verbal reply doesn’t seem to faze her as she prattles on.
“I slept great! Did you know you’re supposed to turn off your electronics an hour before you sleep? I started doing that and now I sleep like a baby! It also probably helps that I’ve given up gluten. Have you thought about giving up gluten, Simon? I’ve really noticed a lot of positive changes! I know you might miss your scones, but the good news is that they can be made without–”
This is what gets Simon’s attention. “Philippa,” he says slowly, dreading the answer, “did you follow the usual scone recipe this morning?”
She bites her lip. “Well…not exactly…”
Simon takes a deep, calming breath. “Why not?”
“I just–” she falters, “I just thought I’d try something new.”
Simon’s not in the mood to argue with her, so he just shakes his head and stalks past her to the kitchen to assess the damage.
The rest of Simon’s day is fairly routine until around 2 in the afternoon, when Baz’s stepmum enters the cafe. He’s surprised; she hasn’t come by in ages, not since he and Baz were together. Daphne has a few more lines around her eyes and her black hair is shot with grey, but she otherwise looks the same as Simon remembers her.
There’s someone standing to her left, and Simon doesn’t recognize the man until he turns around.
Simon’s throat feels tight and everything is hot. Baz is here, in his cafe, standing right in front of him. This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening.
Baz looks so fucking fit. It’s not fair. Nothing about this is fair. Baz ruined his life and now he was back to ruin it some more.
Simon hates Baz. He feels it everywhere, spreading through his body like a wildfire. His anger is pouring off him in waves and he’s sure Baz can feel it.
Hi’s vision starts to go red and hazy and his pulse is pounding in his ears. The cafe around them disappears. All of Simon’s attention is focused on Baz. He doesn’t even register Daphne standing barely a foot away. The only thing that matters is Baz is in front of him and Simon is furious. How dare he stand there so calmly, in his expensive looking jeans and his stupid man bun? Simon wants to hit him.
So he does.
The crack is satisfying for all of two seconds, until Baz lifts his head and looks Simon in the eye, his expression hurt and confused as blood flows from his nose and drips onto his pristine white collar.
And then Simon runs.
* * *
Simon runs and runs and runs, and doesn’t stop until he reaches the woods. He has to shove his way into the clearing. It’s like the trees know he shouldn’t be here, like they’re trying to keep him out.
He flexes his hand and winces. That wasn’t the first time he’s punched someone, but it was the first time he’s punched Baz. He feels horrible and he can’t get Daphne’s screams out of his head, or the way Baz’s face had looked seconds before Simon’s fist made contact with his nose.
Anyone else would have just yelled at him, but Simon has always solved his problems with fighting. He hates talking things out. He hates to talk, period. He struggles to turn his thoughts into words. It’s the reason Baz had suggested he start writing his thoughts down.
At first he’d tried a journal, but felt uncomfortable writing about himself, so he started writing about fantasy worlds. World’s where the hero always triumphed, and the bad guy was always defeated, and everyone lived happily ever after. Writing these stories always gave him hope that he might have a happy ending of his own someday.
He used to think Baz would be there for it.
The night before Baz left for the states was one of the worst nights of Simon’s life. He didn’t know what kept him from going to see Baz, but he couldn’t work up the courage to go to him. Simon had sat on his bed with his knees tucked to his chest just staring at the text, and hating himself for what he was doing.
Simon’s chest feels hollow. Empty. Like a house that’s been gutted after a fire. He leans back against the trunk of the tree and closes his eyes. Slowly, carefully, he allows himself to remember. Remember the way it felt to press Baz against this very tree, and kiss him until both their lips were sore.
He’s 16 and waiting for Baz to finish football practice. Baz shows up, with his hair windblown and body covered in mud and sweat. He smiles that smile only Simon is allowed to see and joins him on the ground.
He’s 17 and he’s just had a fight with his father. Baz is holding him now, rubbing his back as he tries not to cry. Simon remembers the last thing his father said before he ran out the door and he clings to Baz tighter. Baz understands. Baz always understands.
He’s 18 and he’s just slept with Baz for the first time. The idea had seemed terribly romantic when Baz had suggested it, but now his knees are scraped up and dirty and Baz’s hair is full of leaves. Simon still thinks he’s beautiful.
He’s 19 and Baz left exactly one year ago. Simon’s spent the day in a daze. Ebb sent him home from work after he messed up three tables orders and he’s grateful to have such an understanding boss.
He can’t sit anymore. Jumping to his feet, Simon kicks the trunk and swears. His trainers were not made for contact with trees and he’s not sure which hurts worse: the ache in his toes or the burn of his knuckles, but both are a good distraction from the pain in his chest. He grabs a low hanging branch, and is considering trying to rip it down when he hears a twig snap.
“Hello, Snow.” he says, and Simon wants to punch him again.
“Get the fuck out of here,” he snarls, but Baz stands firm. His nose is bloody, and it’s stained the neck of his jumper. Simon recognizes that jumper. He used to steal it constantly when he and Baz were dating, and the sight of it threatens to shatter his heart. He wants to touch it, to see if it’s still as soft as it once way. But he can’t.
“You need to go to a hospital.” Simon says and Baz still stares.
“Did that make you feel better?” he asks finally.
Baz frowns, like he wasn’t expecting that answer. “Are you going to do it again?”
“I’m not here to see you, you know.”
“Don’t call me that.”
“Don’t call me Simon. You’re not allowed to call me Simon.”
“Si–Snow, you’re acting like a child.”
“That’s mature, Simon.”
“Fuck you!” he repeats, shouting this time. Baz blinks at him, unfazed.
For the second time today, Simon runs.
* * * Simon takes the stairs up to his flat two at a time, stomping as hard as he can and muttering to himself. He misses the keyhole a total of 4 times before finally managing to open the front door and barreling his way inside. He kicks his shoes off and they go flying. One lands on his couch and the other on his coffee table, but he doesn’t fucking care.
Simon hates Baz. He hates him. Fucking hell. He wants to punch something again, he wants to yell at someone. He wants to yell at Baz, make him understand how much it had hurt when he’d left Watford. When he’d left Simon.
Everything feels so overwhelming, it’s too much. Why now? Why is Baz back now? It’s like the universe is playing a cruel trick on him, dredging up his past when everything is going so well in his life. Why is he so upset? Baz shouldn’t be able to hold this much power over him anymore, so why does it feel like everything’s gone to shit?
It all clicks then: he’s been in love with a future that wasn’t meant for him. The realization feels like a blow to the chest and he staggers backwards.
No! No, that’s not fair! Fuck Baz for opening his eyes. It’s not fair! He could have been so happy. He could have continued to live his life without wondering what it would have been like with Baz in it. Six years he’d survived on his own, and it’d taken Baz less than six seconds to destroy everything. Bastard. Goddamn fucking bastard!
Simon slams his first into the wall and cries out as he bruises his already sore knuckles. They start to burn, and the pain helps to bring him back to reality. He sinks to the floor, still breathing heavily. His mind feels like a tangled ball and he needs to unravel it in the only way he knows how.
His knees creak as he stands and walks to his desk. He makes himself comfortable in his old leather computer chair and begins to write. None of it will make sense in the morning, of course. He’s not so much typing as smashing the keyboard, but it feels good to get everything out.
There’s a certain high that comes with watching words appear on a page, and Simon feels it thrumming through his veins. Words are becoming sentences and sentences are becoming paragraphs and they’re coming hard and fast and he loves it. It feels so fucking good.