Lockdown Recipes, Gerry Rafferty and “Baker Street”

Here’s a little present for you. Two in fact.

I think I’ve mentioned around here before that I have another blog set up as an homage to my favourite Scottish author, Jane Duncan. I’ve not updated it for a while but today decided to check if anyone had visited recently. Turns out they had, and all because I’d included a recipe for Girdle Scones a fair while back. In these days of staying at home, it seems more and more of us are trying our hands at baking, and girdle scones couldn’t be easier to make. Just to be clear, I’ve not made a typo there, I do mean girdle and not griddle, as that’s just what it’s called around here.

I had included that recipe after paying a visit to MacDonald’s Hardware in Dingwall (click on the link to see what their very Scottish best-selling item is), where I’d spotted a girdle just like the one my granny used to have. Most mornings, especially during the long summer holidays when her grandchildren were around, she would mix together a few ingredients and make some pancakes or scones. I absolutely had to buy one for myself, and soon found the perfect recipe, ironically on a website set up by a lady in Dunedin, New Zealand. Considering Dunedin (Dùn Èideann) is the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, and considering the fact that New Zealand is awash with the offspring of former Scottish immigrants, I thought it was quite fitting.

In case you want to try them out for yourself (a heavy frying pan can be substituted for a girdle), here is that recipe. Very easy indeed, and quick to make. I took some pictures last time I made some and you must admit, they do look tasty, especially if spread with homemade strawberry jam.

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Girdle Scones

Ingredients:

1 cup plain flour
2 tspns baking powder
1/2 oz butter
pinch of salt
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup milk

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.

Rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the currants (or sultanas if you prefer) and then add just enough milk to make a soft dough. Don’t add all the milk at once though, in case you don’t need all of it. If your dough looks a little sticky don’t be afraid to add a little more flour.

Roll out to roughly 1/2 an inch thick and cut into six wedges.

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Grease the girdle then place on a hob until hot. Carefully transfer the “snuggled up” wedges onto the girdle and wait until golden brown and cooked in the middle. Takes roughly 5 minutes on either side. When turning your wedges, be careful to place them gently on the hot surface, and try to turn them only once.

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Transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy.

But of course this is supposed to be a music blog, so where’s the song? At first I was a bit stumped, as not many songs about baking out there and I’ve already exhausted my stash of kitchen songs for an earlier post. All seemed lost, then a light bulb moment, and I was reminded of this classic from 1978, Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty.

Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty:

Named after a street in London which had no doubt housed bakeries centuries earlier, the song was included on Gerry’s album, City to City. It came along during my last year at senior school and although it didn’t make it to the No.1 spot, it certainly did hang around the charts for an awful long time. The song had apparently been written when he was commuting between his home in Glasgow and his lawyers in London, trying to disentangle himself from the contract he’d had with his previous band Stealers Wheel. “I knew a guy who lived in a little flat off Baker Street,” he said. “We’d sit and chat or play guitar there through the night.” Of course for most of us, the most memorable part of the song is the prominent eight-bar saxophone riff played as a break between verses.

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So, “What’s It All About?” – It’s a funny old business being on lockdown isn’t it, and although I’ve been on a real roller-coaster of emotions over the last few weeks (as can be seem from the material in my blog posts), today I think I just let it go. It’s been lovely and sunny, so our morning walk (for exercise) took in a really picturesque part of town and I made a little film when I came home with the shots taken on my phone. In the afternoon I rearranged the furniture to create a comforting little nook in the now redundant dining room that overlooks the garden. No-one will be coming to visit for some time, so we can live just how we want at the moment. I think we are all appreciating our food a lot more, and valuing where it comes from, so spending time in the kitchen is less of a chore and more of a joy.

Having said all that, if you are a frontline or key worker, or indeed trying to work from home whilst home-schooling children, I know your experience of lockdown will be a totally different one. I do feel guilty that the way things have landed, neither Mr WIAA or myself are currently of much use to anyone, but hopefully our time will come. Tomorrow I might fall to pieces again, but until then, I will enjoy Gerry and enjoy my scones. Should you choose to accept the mission of making them, you will not be disappointed.

Until Next time….

Baker Street Lyrics
(Song by Gerry Rafferty)

Winding your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well, another crazy day
You’ll drink the night away
And forget about everything
This city desert makes you feel so cold
It’s got so many people, but it’s got no soul
And it’s taken you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re trying, you’re trying now
Another year and then you’d be happy
Just one more year and then you’d be happy
But you’re crying, you’re crying now

Way down the street there’s a light in his place
He opens the door, he’s got that look on his face
And he asks you where you’ve been
You tell him who you’ve seen
And you talk about anything
He’s got this dream about buying some land
He’s gonna give up the booze and the one-night stands
And then he’ll settle down
In some quiet little town
And forget about everything

But you know he’ll always keep moving
You know he’s never gonna stop moving
‘Cause he’s rolling, he’s the rolling stone
And when you wake up, it’s a new morning
The sun is shining, it’s a new morning
And you’re going, you’re going home

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

24 thoughts on “Lockdown Recipes, Gerry Rafferty and “Baker Street””

  1. Scones are a passion of mine. I eat a scone most nights of the week, sometimes two. One of the many habits that Louise hates. Indeed, I consider myself a… ahem… sconnosseiur. If it weren’t for the fact that I burn water, I would be trying your recipe.

    I have thought in the past about trying to compose a Top Ten Scone Songs, but I usually get as far as Hall & Oates – Cheese Scone… and then call it a night.

    Surprised you didn’t mention about Bob Holness playing that sax break… 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ah yes, Cheese Scone think I’ve heard that one before. Very good.

      Yes I did read that snippet about Bob and the sax break, but decided not to go there.

      Try my scone recipe with Sam, easy peasy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You know what, it occurred to me after posting this that some of the ingredients are now hard to come by. Flour especially is off the shelves but fortunately I had a decent supply before all this happened. Still not achieving as much as I should at the moment though, as not a normal “staying at home” scenario at all. I did however prepare a meal plan today that could potentially take us until the 9th May if need be. It will be coq au vin to start with but a tin of corned beef by the end. Hopefully we’ll manage a few trips to the shops in the interim. Strange times.

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    1. Of course they are and until you mentioned it I had forgotten. Somehow the Baker Street of Conan Doyle and the Baker Street of Gerry Rafferty has never struck me as being the same place. Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. Speaking of Baker Street: My wife and I have now watched all the episodes of Sherlock. I’m already missing the series. It’s very trippy, but also somehow seems authentic. Along with millions of other people, I hope that another group of episodes eventually will be filmed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes you’ve mentioned you were watching it before so glad you’ve enjoyed it. Very up-to-date in terms of the technology but a lot of traditional sleuthing too so they got the balance right I think. Hope you’re doing ok over in Pennsylvania.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Alyson. Scones aren’t nearly as popular in America as they are in Scotland, but my area of the country has a thing for them, and they are served in droves at local festivals. I will try your recipe, sans the girdle. After reading up on the girdle (fascinating!), it looks like a cast-iron skillet makes a fine substitute. Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good to hear you’re going to try out my recipe Brian – Something to do with the family? Yes, a decent sized cast iron frying pan would work just as well. Of course if you google the word girdle you end up with something totally different so it’s best to google “girdle for hob”. Ironically, when I did that on one search engine, the first picture to come up was one of my kitchen, originally taken for my other blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Those girdle scones look lovely. Might have to wait until we meet up again one day and ask you to bring some along! On the subject of scones, I have to ask – scone as in ‘stone’ or scone as in ‘gone’?! I was brought up to say it like stone and then somewhere along the line found myself out of of step and surrounded by sconners.
    Talking of Baker Street, I know you didn’t mention it but after reading this I was reminded and wound Mr SDS up about that apochryphal Bob Holness thing by the way… although he wasn’t convinced.
    Hope you”ll continue to enjoy your new girdle (!) and lots more home-baking, there is something very comforting about it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ah, yes for us it’s always scone as in “gone” but many others pronounce them the other way – Is there a right and a wrong? Not sure. Of course up here in Scotland we also have a place called Scone (rhymes with “moon”) where the monarchs used to be crowned (on the Stone of Destiny), so yet another variant.

      As for my girdle, I’ve had it for a few years now, but it’s done nothing for my figure!! Too many scones! I did a 3-week menu plan yesterday however and have been enjoying batch cooking of late – There’s a lot about this lockdown that is positive in that people have more time to appreciate the food they eat and make things from scratch. I have a feeling many of us will not be going back to our old ways after this and harassed parents who both used to work long hours might have a reappraisal (assuming there will still be any jobs left after this for us to reappraise).

      Hope you’re doing ok.

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  5. For some ridiculous reason we can’t get tattie scones here! Or any other scones, By the way, re hats, my partner is cutting the larger dog’s hair, and is saving the trimmings with the intention of making me a hat

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think tattie scones must be a very Scottish thing – Easy to make though so just get baking?

      Ah, and another hat tale. Not sure if I like the idea of wearing a hat made of dog hair (are you winding me up?) but not much different I suppose to one made with wool or any other animal’s coat. We’ve just finished watching the drama Unorthodox on Netflix and were transfixed with the hats they wore. Spectacular affairs – check them out as I have a vision that your dog hair hat could look the same.

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  6. Nice recipe and I especially love the song choice. Well-played, Alyson. I’ve been baking lately (which I started before the pandemic but it’s been easier with a little more time at home). I will definitely consider making these scones, although I have several other baked goods on my list to get to first. The sax player on “Baker Street,” Raphael Ravenscroft, should have made a ton of money for that memorable performance, but apparently he just got a small session fee. He did end up working with a lot of big names after that so I’m sure he did pretty well for himself. I first became aware of his name when he appeared on Robert Plant’s first solo album, not realizing he was the same guy from “Baker Street.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Didn’t expect my scone recipe (on a music blog) to be such a hit, but here we are. If you’re a bit of a fan of baking anyway, my recipe will be a really easy one.

      Yes, when reading up about the song I discovered the name of the sax player and how he only got paid the going rate for a session musician. Gerry on the other hand started getting £80k/year in royalties. ‘Tis the lot of a jobbing musician I suppose and there must be many such tales but not often one where the riff is the most memorable bit of the whole song.

      Hope you’re surviving the lockdown and that your state doesn’t suffer too badly.

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  7. While on a birthday Skype call with a couple of friends last week, they each impressed me with tales of their respective sourdough bread making exploits. I absolutely love sourdough, but haven’t got the first clue how to make it – nor the patience to try I suspect. Also, if I did somehow manage to make an edible loaf, I doubt that it wouldn’t last more than five minutes before I demolished it! I try not to eat too much bread in general, but have little willpower where a fresh, warm loaf is concerned.
    Towards the end of his life my Dad got into baking his own bread, baking two loaves at a time – one for he and Mum to use straight away and one to put in the freezer for later in the week. It took him a very long time and lots of tweaking to perfect his own particular tasting recipe, but it was well worth the effort. The highlight of any visit home was a big toasted slab of Dad’s bread. When he died suddenly in 2007, his last loaf was left in the freezer. A couple of weeks later, Mum and I defrosted and shared the loaf, knowing that we’d never taste his bread again – it was quite a moment.
    But I digress – those scones (I pronounce it as in cones) look amazing and, dare I say it, possibly within the range of my limited capabilities. I don’t know if they’d work made with oat milk and dairy free spread, but I think I might have a try! I’ll report back, assuming I don’t burn the house down!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How about you make the scones and then surprise your friends on Skype with your baking skills – Couldn’t be easier.

      That’s a really poignant story about your dad’s bread making and how he had one loaf still in the freezer when he died. Bet you shed a few tears when it was eaten. We’ve had a similar experience in that when someone dies suddenly, whatever they were working on at the time is left half-finished. My dad used to make little decorative wheelbarrows out of wood. He made one for DD when she was small for wheeling things around in the garden and was in the middle of making another one when he died. We found all the pieces in the garage cut out ready to put together – Really upsetting. Same with my mother-in-law, she used to do a lot of sewing and we found a half finished garment in her sewing room. With bloggers I suppose it could be that we get comments left that might never get a reply. Getting a bit morbid now but we all worry a bit when someone hasn’t posted anything new for a while. At this scary time it might be wise to make sure we all have contact details for each other.

      Good luck with the scones – I’m sure the oat milk will work just as well.

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    1. That’s a really cool picture – You do like getting out and about. C and I did decide that next time I come down to London we need to seek out famous musical streets such as Denmark Street. As has been mentioned about Baker Street is more famous for being the home of Sherlock Holmes but for fans of music it will also always be associated with Gerry Rafferty. Raphael and Rafferty, what a team.

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