Less than a week after arriving home from my grand UK adventure, my husband and kids and I loaded up our Toyota and made the 30 hour drive to Utah. We arrived just in time for my sister-in-law's bridal shower.
I didn't do a whole lot in terms of the actual preparations (I designed the invitations, whipped up some quotes to put in frames once I got to Utah and made some scones and mock clotted cream) but my other sisters-in-law were so kind to include me in the actual planning even though I was thousands of miles away because they know I love that sort of thing.
We talked about a lot of different ideas: a garden party, a tea party, a book themed party, a Jane Austen party. Ultimately we decided on a theme we thought tied all of the above together nicely and went with a hope chest inspired theme. We used vintage handkerchiefs, paper triangle buntings, heirloom linens, antique sugar and creamer sets, teapots, old books and quotes from favorite authors in frames. We had simple baby's breath arrangements in vintage vases and a really cute hope chest display that my mother-in-law filled with crocheted and embroidered family treasures. There were vintage handkerchiefs for party favors and vintage tea cups filled with chocolates for game prizes. We had the shower at my sister-in-law Heather's neighborhood clubhouse so we could easily accommodate all the guests.
I was still in British mode from my trip to England so I made several batches of English scones (both plain and with dried currants, sultanas and dried cherries) and mock clotted cream. We served them with a choice of homemade strawberry jam, currant jelly or lemon curd. The scones were a hit and several people asked for the recipe so although I previously posted it here, I'm going to post it on this blog as well.
Classic Cream Scones
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2 cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes and chilled
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in the chilled butter cubes with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
In a separate bowl, mix:
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Stir liquid mixture into dry mixture, just until blended. Turn onto a lightly floured board and pat or roll into a 1/2" thick disk. Too much handling tends to make the scones tough so don't over mix or knead. Using a biscuit cutter, cut dough into circles and place onto a lightly buttered cookie sheet (or use a silicon mat or parchment). If desired, brush scones with one egg whisked together with one teaspoon of water. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes at 425 degrees or until lightly golden browned. They will dry out if you over bake them so I checked mine at around 11 minutes to make sure they weren't getting too brown since ovens vary. Optional: You may fold 1/2 cup dried currants, chopped sultanas and/or chopped dried cherries into the dough before patting into a disk and cutting out, if you'd like. Serve with mock clotted cream (recipe follows) and lemon curd or fruit preserves.
Mock Clotted Cream
3 oz. cream cheese, softened a bit
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff, please)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Mix all together in a food processor until quite thick (it takes awhile). It should be about the consistency of thick yogurt. This will store well in a refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
|Hope chest display.|
|The guest of honor.|
It was a beautiful evening and everything was so lovely and classy (just like the guest of honor). I'm so thankful that I got to be there to participate. I love my husband's sisters like my own.
|The shower invitation that I designed. I used the wedding colors.|