Thursday, August 18, 2011

Potato Scones and Entertainment for the New Economy

So, driving back from the farmers' market Saturday morning, I heard an economist on NPR* talking about how we didn't really have a recession--we had a contraction, which is even worse news. Not being an economist, what I could figure out is that while a recession is a blip that doesn't change the projected growth of the economy (i.e. it fits in the "best fit graph" equation for the economy), a contraction actually alters growth projections. I've decided to do my bit and point all of you lovelies in the direction of nearly-free entertainment. You'll have to keep paying for your electricity and internet access, though, which is a total bummer.

Madeleine Carroll and Robert Donat in a still from The 39 Steps
Image from Doctor Macro

One of my favorite websites is Internet Archive, which is all about public-domain awesomeness. Did you know they have The 39 Steps available to download for free? How awesome is that? (Or, you can watch it on this page** if you don't want to download it.) And besides, who doesn't love Robert Donat? The 39 Steps is actually the first movie Paul and I watched after moving to Wichita. We had already changed the address on our Netflix subscription and the disc arrived shortly after we did! After we had unloaded the last box from the moving van and our family members had left for Oklahoma City, Paul and I rolled the TV cart (no big flat-screen then!) next to the bed, propped ourselves up with pillows and vegged out.

While not very faithful to its source material (Alfred Hitchcock was bad about that.), The 39 Steps is an entertaining chase through London and the Scottish highlands when Robert Donat's character (Richard Hannay) is wrongly (of course!) suspected of murder. He meets Pamela (Madeleine Carroll) along the way and she gives him almost as much trouble as the police. Both Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll learn that things aren't always as they appear...


It looks like a biscuit, smells like a biscuit, tastes like a biscuit, but it isn't a biscuit--it's a Potato Scone!  Thankfully, a scone that stealthily conceals one of its ingredients isn't insidious like the villains in The 39 Steps--it's just tasty.

  1. Work the softened butter into the flour mixture
  2. What dough looks like after butter is mixed in
  3. Mash the boiled potatoes
  4. Add potatoes to dough
  5. Make a well for the milk
  6. Mix in enough milk so that dough becomes cohesive (keep checking; it happens more quickly than you'd think!)
  7. Cut dough into twelve triangles
  8. Bake on a floured baking sheet (Don't forget the little bits you've trimmed off the scones!)

I've been eating these for breakfast this week.  So I have fresh scones every morning, I wrapped each square (two triangles) in plastic wrap and then put them in a container in the freezer.  When I get up, I place the two scones on a baking sheet and preheat the oven.  It takes about twelve minutes (instead of ten) to bake them from their frozen state.
Potato Scones

These delicious scones are for Breakfast Club #14: Potatoes.

Breakfast Club was created by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours.
Thanks to Scrumptious Sally for hosting this month!

A closer look at my vintage Staffordshire cup and saucer:

I'm incapable of passing up gorgeous transferware if it's a decent price (or downright cheap). Unfortunately, I only have this cup and saucer in this particular pattern! I'm keeping an eye out for it, though, and hoping I can find a good deal on some other pieces.


*Farmers' markets and NPR?!  Now you'll only need one guess as to my voter registration...  ;-)



  1. Potato Scones, how interesting! Just made plain (buttermilk) scones this week, which I love. So these seem very tempting as well.

  2. Oh my goodness thank you so so so much for putting that link to the internet archives!! I cannot wait to get completely sucked in by various films and music. Also that recipe looks very delicious and I will certainly try it soon since emily might be going gluten free (we'll know after allergy test next week) and we'll have to find something to replace her pastry addiction... I sound like her mother...

    xx Gee

  3. I am a Hitchcock fan but I somehow missed seeing 39 Steps.

    I want to taste them potato scones!

  4. I don't think I have ever watched The 39 Steps. You have now persuaded me to do so. I don't think I can watch it on the computer though, so will have to look out for the DVD.

    I do like your version of potato scones and it reminded me of my silly version. I hope you don't mind me sharing my potato scones

  5. I heart you, Lauren! You are truly a woman after my own heart everything from NPR, to old movies to homemade scones and vintage English tea cups (which I collect and re-sell). I bet you like Agatha Christie, too. :) Will definitely try the scones as well as check out Internet Archive. Thanks for posting a great link and a great recipe!

  6. I am definitely going to have to try that recipe!

  7. Hmmm...voter registration...what could it possibly be? Love the tie in between the movie and the scones. If you lived close by, I might take advantage and appear on your doorstep every morning for tea and scones!

  8. Mmm, they look yummy. There is a theatre version of the 39 Steps on in London and I might be DJing at their 5th birthday party with the Shellac Sisters. I did mean to comment on your wonderful post with all the great links to swing music. Just the kind of stuff we play!

    I've been thinking about getting one of those pastry / mashy / thingamajigs...

  9. Jenny- Isn't the theatre version of The 39 Steps a comedy? I read about it coming to New York. Sounds amusing!

    If you get a pastry blender, avoid the wiry ones because they don't mash; the wires just separate around whatever it is you're trying to mash. Grrr!

  10. I need to watch 39 Steps. I thought I'd seen it, but now I'm not sure. There was a remake of it on PBS Masterpiece recently with Rupert Penry-Jones that was very good.

  11. Oooh, your scones look fabulous! I think 39 Steps is one of the few Hitchcock movies we don't own...have to watch it soon~

  12. I'm really rather interested in those potato scones! They look rather flummoxing and enticing at the same time!

  13. I love this idea! It will help me to use up all the potatoes I've grown. Also, I love the way you've save them. I need to make a double batch of these scones, and then save them that way...

    Nice blog by the way:)

  14. I like your solution to the contraction in the economy! I am a Hitchcock fan but haven't seen The 39 Steps. Thanks for the link! And I'm a sucker for scones so will be making these. :)

  15. Fabulous - I love a good scone. Will have to check out The 39 Steps - I have never seen it before.

  16. I love The 39 Steps! I must have buy some Hitchcock on DVD, other than North by Northwest, I've not got round to restocking my collection since making the painful transfer from VCR a couple of years ago.
    Thank you for joining us at Breakfast Club and for these wonderful scones.
    Oh, and loving your china!

  17. Thanks, Sarah! I just got rid of the last of my tapes (except for the 1967 season of The Avengers) a couple of months ago.

    I'm looking forward to the Breakfast Club roundup!

  18. I am loving your new website professionalism! Great job! I'll have to try to potato scones soon...

  19. I have never heard of potato scones before, maybe I'll try to make them because they look very tasty! :)

  20. I have never been able to find a website to stream old movies so that info is such a god-send! ♥

    And yes, the economy doesn't seem to be looking too good at the moment...

    The Cat Hag

  21. I like the new name and header! The potato scones look delicious, too. Great idea for making them ahead and freezing.

  22. Love the idea of potato scones. They look delish. The Staffordshire is lovely.

  23. these potato scones just seem incredible! and I am in love with your beautiful ancient dishes...

  24. Aaah scones, the perfect autumn treat! Love the way you combine food with vintage... I saw 39 Steps on stage and it was hilarious :)


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