Even though our public libraries are still not open for walk-in browsing, there is still a way to peruse the new books. We can put holds on books, and, when we pick them up, the library staff have filled the windows with all kinds of new books. During a recent visit, I spotted my title book in the window, and immediately checked it out: A Promise of Ankles by Alexander McCall Smith. It’s part of the 44 Scotland Street series.
One of the characters, Angus, is out walking with his dog, Cyril, when Cyril runs off into the bushes and makes a great discovery – a skull. And, not just any skull, but a Neanderthal skull! Angus’s wife, Domenica, has identified the skull as such, and has contacted the National Museum of Scotland to verify the find. A representative from the Department of Neanderthal Affairs, Dr. Colquohoun, has agreed to come over and verify the authenticity of the skull. In honor of his visit, Angus makes his famous cheddar cheese scone, liberally laced with cayenne pepper. While the museum representative is visiting, there is a lengthy discussion on prehistoric peoples in Scotland, Neanderthal culture, and, of course, scones. Dr. Colquohoun consumes at least three scones with his tea before returning to the museum with the skull, so it can be evaluated and authenticated.
To pay homage to this important meeting, I chose a cheese scone recipe from King Arthur Baking Company, substituting a healthy amount of cayenne for the hot sauce and mustard. They did indeed have a kick to them.
To find out what the outcome was, you’ll have to read the novel. As for me, I need to get caught up with all the local residents, so I’ll be in search of more books in the series.
In the meantime, this is my submission for this edition of Novel Food (#41).