Restaurants and bars are not the only ones having to innovate during the pandemic. With nuptials being COVIDed, wedding officiants like Spike Gillespie have had to find something else to officiate. Now, it’s not entirely fair to embroider any specific title onto the back of Spike’s denim jacket. Besides officiating weddings and memorializing loved ones, Spike is an accomplished author with eight books, worked as a journalist for 26 years, is an avid blogger, and is only missing the ark at her ranch east of Austin. But with her officiating bread-and-butter clotted by a once-a-century pandemic, Spike unexpectedly turned to scones and clotted cream to save the day.
Why scones? Well, Spike does enjoy things British and was baking scones to comfort herself during the pandemic. After nods of approval from visiting Brits and supportive comments on social media, she thought: Why not make and sell these things? Scone Crone was born!
The term “homemade” gets tossed around a lot on culinary cricket fields. These scones are honestly homemade evoking the full charm and personality of a rustic country house among the wolds of Surrey Hills with “God Save the Queen” on the radio (quite possibly the Sex Pistols’ version). Spike, as it turns out, is a talented baker, creating gorgeous and delicious rock buns of love. Each scone is a work of art for the eyes and the tongue.
The Scone Crone conjures an array of sweet and savory scones, with recent sweeties of strawberries & creme, lemon curd, and The Monhegan (chocolate, cinnamon, and cayenne) and recent savories of cheddar & Hatch chile, pesto ricotta, and spinach & feta. Serendipitously, I just finished Spike’s book, The Maine Event, where she lovingly describes a scone she ate on Monhegan Island off the Maine mainland. Like dogs, each scone is good in its unique way with some jumping into your lap to slobber your face while others snooze pleasantly at your feet as you sip tea. If you have a hard time choosing, Spike offers the Half Crown where you are royally bequeathed one of each ($18 + a $2 delivery-in-Austin fee). Spike also works up vegan-safe scones and Throw the Dog a Scone pooch treats (which, sadly, our cats weren’t interested in).
The operation involves ordering by a specific time (sign up for the weekly updates) and then deliveries on a particular day (that may change week to week). The business model kinda assumes you are home for delivery since the pastry boxes are not sealed (your scones will be delivered whether you are home or not, but you may be in a race against the ants to get ’em if you are not there).
Making scones is, in many ways, like making marriages. Various ingredients are carefully timed and mixed into a gloriously greater and joyous whole through careful and conscientious officiating. I’m not sure what the future holds for Scone Crone once the pandemic is back in the pan and the hitchins’ recommence. Spike’s scones are now part of our day-to-day pandemic routine (Would you like a scone? “Hell yeah, I’d like a scone!”). I’m hopeful this marriage lasts!