The library in our village is right on the town square—although in actuality it’s a circle. It’s a beautiful old, brick building, and has housed the dreams of young readers for over one hundred years. It’s a two-story building, and in the early days of the last century, when my dad was a boy, the top floor of the library was used for town and village gatherings—wedding receptions, funeral dinners, dances, guest speakers and traveling road shows.
Small towns have changed from those days, and some years ago the upstairs of the library was converted to offices—the ceiling was lowered to conserve heat, and partitions were put up to divide the areas. Even the offices were empty when the calendar pages turned over into this century. The huge room at the top of the library stairs was dusty and filled with piles and boxes of discarded books and magazines. The Board of Directors at the Library thought something should be done, but not much happened until the local Rotary Club took on the project. These days it’s possible to hear whispers…”wouldn’t it be wonderful to have this as a community gathering place again…?”
Realistically, a project like that takes money. Lots of it. Some small grants for supplies have been obtained, and not too long ago a generous former village resident left a bit in her estate toward the project. Little by little, progress is made.
Once a year, the Library Directors host an afternoon tea. Any donations or monetary gain from this event goes directly into the fund for renovating the upstairs of the building. It’s a fun event with a few selected readings, a featured speaker, and plenty of tea and trays of delicacies to tempt your taste buds: tiny sandwiches and cakes, cheese and crackers, cookies and scones. The Board members provide all the refreshments—and I make scones.
And—you can make scones, too! This recipe is quick and simple—I found it in a Sunday Parade magazine several years ago, adjusted it a bit, and now I’m passing it along….for you to enjoy with your tea.
½ cup milk
2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons cold butter
½ cup dried blueberries, cranberries or raisins.
Whisk the egg and milk together. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Cut the cold butter into bits and add to the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, mix and rub until the butter is incorporated into the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg and milk mixture, stir with a fork.
Spoon mounds of the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 17 – 20 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown.
Remove from paper when cool. One recipe makes a dozen scones.
Scones freeze well, so can be made ahead of time and warmed slightly before serving. Try serving them with jam for a breakfast treat.
What a remarkable thing it will be when the renovations are complete at the library. Perhaps there will be a reading room with long tables and excellent lighting, or maybe there will be cozy chairs to snuggle down in with a classic read. There could be a meeting room again, where ladies will gather to discuss current events and newly published novels. Speakers could come—and authors—and—
Make some scones, pour some tea, open your book and dream with me…