Thursday, May 13, 2021

Around here - good news story

One of my favourite shows is Landline which usually airs on a Sunday and I think it's also replayed on another day on the ABC.  There was a lovely story about a chef, Martin Duncan who found a random pop-up article on his Facebook page that caught his attention.

A 96 year old woman in Scotland had come up with a remarkable solution to the isolation she had been feeling since her partner's death 15 years earlier.  With no friends or family, she decided to hold morning teas to, as Martin puts it, "escape her cage".  The concept was a big success and Martin was sold and "Scone Time" was born 18 months before Covid-19 hit.

Scone Time quickly became a community connector where seniors could come together with family, friends and local business owners over fresh hot scones loaded with home made jam and whipped cream.

The simple concept involves Martin setting up at a venue, usually a local hall or meeting room.  These often hold memories for guests who may have attended dances or supper clubs there in the past.

Along with volunteers, he sets up tables with vintage tea sets, gets the coffee and tea brewing, and warms up his freshly made scones along with lashings of jam and cream sourced from local farmers.

"One guy hadn't been out for two years after his wife passed away, and Martin told him "you've got to come".

He wasn't on the internet so Martin said "just come, come with me" and he put him on a table with a lot of girls - the youngest was 82 and they brought him into the fold.

One 92 year old lady had missed only one event because she had to go to the doctor.

This story was so lovely and solves a big problem of isolation of the elderly.  Even if people have family they may not be living in the same town or city as them and therefore can still be alone.  I love that the good china gets used and is such a ritual.

Here's the link to an article on Scone Time.

Here's a link to the original recipe which I have written out below.

This lady donated her Royal Albert tea set so it could be put to good use for Scone Time.

Scone Time's Winning Scone Recipe

Prep Time : 15 minutes

Cook Time : 15 minutes

Makes : 24 scones [approximately]



  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk (plus extra if required)
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence


  • 125g chilled salted butter
  • 1 kg self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Plain flour for dusting benchtop


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Grate the butter and use your fingers to rub it into the flour and baking powder in a large bowl.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, without overmixing them. Add more milk if required for a moist dough.
  5. Gently pat scone mix out onto a floured benchtop and cut into squares.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with jam and cream.