Baking, gardening and another movie night…

There were lots of comments both on here and on my Instagram re the jam or cream first on scones debate. I’ve also had a couple of requests for my recipe which you’ll find later in the blog. No takers for the film we were watching on movie night, though – it was Déjà Vu, but there is a much easier film to guess also later in this blog. But I thought I’d start this week with the exciting news that the Richard Jackson lily bulbs finally arrived late on Saturday afternoon, complete with Richard Jackson compost, and they were in the pot by lunchtime on Sunday. This photo was taken with Philip Kingsley Elasticizer in my hair – it’s great to leave in for a while to give hair some extra TLC at home.

It’s a little bit late now to have the ‘official’ lily growing competition between the presenters that had been planned, but I’m sure we will all be keeping an eye on progress on each other’s social media. I posted a photo with a ruler, just for a bit of fun, as I can’t see the numbers when I’m not wearing my glasses, and Simon Biagi took the bait!! I hope mine do okay now.

Actually, it’s a shame that the Richard Jackson Root Booster Today’s Special Value doesn’t launch until tomorrow at 9 p.m. – a scattering of that around the bulbs would have settled them in well I’m sure. Still, there is plenty of the gardening season to go and it’s a really good offer. Thanks to Richard not only for the great Today’s Special Value offer, but also for the bulbs. And while we are talking about our amazing gardening guests, we have a new one joining QVC for the first time with me on Saturday’s Lunchtime Show. Keen gardeners among you will, I’m sure, recognise Mark Lane from his appearances presenting BBC Gardeners’ World – I’m looking forward to yet more professional gardening tips. I don’t need any tips for the tree fern though – here is the latest photo taken this morning. Two more weeks and some of the fronds will have unfurled completely.

So, on to food, which a lot of us seem to have been focusing on during lockdown. Dan’s girlfriend Katie is working from home (our home) but still mucks in with cooking dinners at weekends. This was Saturday’s offering, a Thai Massaman Curry, which was absolutely delicious… tasty but not blowing your head off hot!

She also made a fruity rice pudding dessert with fresh mango, as we were almost out of scones.

The great Cornwall v Devon debate will continue re jam or cream first, but you have to have decent scones to start with. This was a recipe from my old Bero cookbook, the one I was on the cover of when I was aged ten, but slightly amended by me.

Fruit Scones

  • 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 oz caster sugar
  • 2 oz currants or sultanas
  • 1 egg beaten with enough milk to make 150 ml liquid
  1. Heat oven to 220C (200C fan assisted) gas mark 7 and grease a baking tray.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter until finely dispersed, then mix in the sugar and dried fruit.
  3. Add egg and milk to the mixture (reserving a small amount to brush the tops of the scones) and use a knife to bring it together to form a soft dough.
  4. Knead very lightly on a floured surface before rolling out to 2cm thickness. Using a 6cm cutter, cut out rounds then gather the dough scraps to make the last couple.
  5. Brush the tops with the reserved egg and milk mixture and bake for 10 minutes.

Makes 8 – 10 scones but the recipe can easily be doubled to make more. I hope yours turn out okay.

I made these little chocolate cupcakes on Sunday and this was the photo on Monday, as I headed up to my writing room to make a start on my next novel – yes, I’m starting a new one before Why She Died is even out at the end of this month. I’ve also been reading a bit in this five day break and it reminded me that I had said I was going to be doing a reading of one of my short stories, A Recipe for Love (quite appropriate with all the baking I’ve been doing lately) on my @JuliaRoberts Facebook page. It’s going to be tomorrow night at 8 p.m. and is a romance with a hint of comedy and still my trademark ‘twist’ at the end. If it goes well, I’ll do another one next week.

I’m also planning on doing a QVC quiz on there as we have been so enjoying our Thursday night pub quiz. I might even start it this coming Monday, so maybe check my page over the weekend as I’ll announce it on there – could be a bit of fun and something else to keep you amused.

So, I have a confession to make, just like Star Wars movies, I have never watched any of the Harry Potter films… until last Sunday! This was a screengrab from last night’s ‘lockdown movie night’ and it’s clearly a Harry Potter, but do you know which one??

Right, I need to head into QVC now, so I have to finish. Enjoy VE Day, remembering all those who sacrificed their lives for us, and hope you can tune in to QVC over the weekend.

Much love
Julia x

9 Responses

  1. Hi Julia in all my married years (60) I have never tried scones Im not a great cook and had an awesome mother in law who was but I am definately going to try your recipe they look delicious /// Im so pleased that someone else asked why you are not wearing your rings I must have missed whenever you told the reason but although pleased with the reason I hope by now your fingers and hands are feeling better and your ankle is heading the same way love all your pictures and your blogs gives us all something to look at and read in these horrible times take care Julia always love watching you xxx

  2. Hi Julia, the meal looks lovely. I’m waiting on a delivery of a goodie box of cake mixes, icing, spatula, cake tins etc that I have bought online, very exciting! I am with you on the Star Wars and Harry Potter films, never seen a single one! I will be tuning into QVC this weekend, enjoying the diamonique lately, XXX

  3. Hi Julia, great blog as ever. I have final got a copy of Little Girl Missing and i am really enjoying it and finding it hard to put down! Really gripping and i love your style of writing. I have promised it to my mum after, whos not really into reading but a fan of yours, so shes looking forward to reading it too. Will definitely be buying the next ones in the series too. Enjoy your weekend xx

  4. Hi Julia,
    Well I’m happy to report that 3 of the books have come so far that hubby ordered for me so am a happy bunny. I haven’t read any of your books or Jackie Kablers. I’m more of an Agatha Christie reader. It started when I was in Senior school. Our maths teacher said that all good mathematicians read Agatha Christie books. So myself and a group of friends all went to buy said books! The first one I bought was “Cat Among The Pigeons.” Needless to say it did not improve my math’s skills and I went on to do C.S.E. maths not O’ Level. LOL. Having read and watched a lot of Agatha Christie’s work I am now into books by M.C.Beaton such as Agatha Raisin and Hamish McBeth . I find them a nice ” light” read.
    Well there is a bit of good news in that the garden centres are to re-open next week. No sign though of hairdressers opening up!
    I have watched all of the Harry Potter films but must say cannot tell which one it is on your blog. I enjoyed the earlier ones more than the latter ones which I found to be quite dark.
    We watched the V.E Day programmes and listened to the Queen. It was quite moving in view of the current climate. Must say I cried my eyes out when they sang ” We’ll Meet Again”. Also watched the film ” The Man that Never Was.” I found it fascinating. Although the identity of the man who played such a vital role to throw the enemy off the scent was never known it was discovered , under the right of information act some 50 years later, it was found that he was indeed Welsh. ( So proud).
    Well I’m off to bed to read my latest book Its called ” Death of a Nurse.” !!!
    Hope you’re keeping well.
    Love Tina S. xx

  5. HI Julia,

    It was lovely being on the lunchtime show talking about plants, and thank you for introducing me – you’re a star!. I absolutely LOVED it! Everyone is so friendly and helpful. I look forward to joining QVC and sharing my knowledge.

    Take care, keep safe and well.

    Mark x

  6. Have returned back to my childhood days so it seems as at this moment in time it can be daunting.So Much I’m reliving the era of vintage, retro (having just purchased a art deco caravan just before lock down and sadly unable to visit the site it sits on).However I’m now in the BE RO book’s which my mum used but alas I wish I’d kept.
    Interested to learn you fronted the cover when aged 10 and as a matter of interest been trying to quess which particular edition this is.
    Are you in the family group round a table or a little girl with her mother? I know it’s not the one that has a girl certainly pointing at a recipe as this is around 1923…….PLEASE enlighten me as I’ve become a collector of these books.
    GLAD to see you in fine fettle and presenting as well as expected. That’s a compliment Julia.
    With my kind wishes Linda Morton

  7. I love the Be-Ro home recipe books and I think I have a ‘miniature’ version of one where you are on the cover, it is for my collector’s doll’s house and the Be-Ro book is in twelfth scale – so cute.

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