Vacation ends, summer winds down, fall approaches - the return to routine also means that the "By Invitation Only" blog party is back. This month's topic is "Sharing" and with bits of thistle down and Scottish soil still clinging to our boots from our recent Highland Fling, it seems fitting to share a bit of Scotland (and timely, too, on the eve of Thursday's independence vote).
There's so much beauty to experience and history to explore. Whether you're winding through the streets of Edinburgh in search of art, culture and ghosts, or pulling on the wellies to clamor across the heathland, days are full to bursting.
There comes the inevitable point in the afternoon when one more step becomes impossible and you gratefully sink into a sofa beneath the domed ceiling of grand hotel or by the fire in a country manor and wrap you fingers around a cup of tea. A plate of shortbread tides you over until dinner.
When we checked into Edinburgh's beautiful Balmoral Hotel, a tin of shortbread was waiting, along with the recipe. For the rest of the trip, a plate of these biscuits was never too far out of reach, best when accompanied by a pot of strong tea - and a bit of a chat.
This bite of afternoon civility is something I've brought home and would love to share with you. How lovely it would be if you could all pop in for a cup, but in lieu of that, the Balmoral recipe is below.
And for one of you, a little something from our own kitchen - a fresh baked batch of Balmoral shortbread, along with a tin of Scottish Breakfast Tea and a jar of Blackcurrant jam from Inverlochy Castle Hotel, one of the gorgeous stops on our tour.
To enter, leave a comment sharing your favorite place in the world to travel. Signing up to follow along or subscribing by email is another opportunity to win. North American readers only this time, I'm afraid, as the biscuits will be on their way via overnight shipping to keep them fresh.
Tell me, what would you like to share over a pot of tea and plate of shortbread? And please check out what the rest of the By Invitation Only crew has to say on the Sharing subject . You can find them all at Splenderosa. XOXO
1 and 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and salt onto a board. Put sugar into a separate pile on the board and cut in the butter. Gradually knead in flour until you end up with firm dough. Refrigerate dough for at least one hour. Roll out dough, cut into circles and bake on a parchment lined sheet for 10-12 minutes.