Ken Williams for The Concord Monitor
Some day our prince will come.
We used to picture him riding in on a fine white horse, but these days, if someone just vacuumed out the fine white minivan and got the seat heaters fixed, that would be royal treatment enough for us.
The last time the Fru Gals were this excited about a fairy-tale wedding we were dewy- eyed nineteen year olds with plenty of royal potential (if you squinted hard enough) and a nagging feeling that our “parents” had stolen us away from our true lives as Princesses. Diana, despite her slim thighs and perfect skin never made us jealous—we just wanted to be her, and if not, we would have totally settled for being Gayle King to her Oprah. How could we not love Diana, a girl our own age and shoe size who was whisked away from her job as a kindergarten teacher to become a fashion icon and BFFs with Sir Elton. OK, maybe she wasn’t the brightest diamond in the tiara, but she sure could rock an outfit.
Diana had more cute sweaters than ten years of Talbots catalogs and a hat collection to rival the Easter Sunday congregation at a Baptist church in Birmingham.
Her prince turned out to be more chump than charming, but we didn’t know that on July 29, 1981 when she stepped out of a glass carriage in what still stands in our minds as the most beautiful wedding gown ever. Forget the simple, strapless sheathes that have become de rigueur for brides sized six to sixteen. It’s the wedding dresses of the nineteen eighties that really brought the drama. Who can forget the sleeves so puffy the wedding party had to enter the chapel sideways? The butt-bows that made the bride look like some sort of taffeta shark? The horizontal headpieces that only ever looked good on an Indian elephant or the lead singer of Loverboy?
In 1981 we set our clock radios for 4:30 and huddled around the console television in our floral Lanz nightgowns, drinking mimosas with our mothers, sure as anything that we were watching the wedding of the century. How weird and wonderful that our own marriages have lasted far longer, on far fewer resources than Charles and Diana, who had everything but love.
We will eventually get over our disappointment that The Monitor denied our request to cover William and Kate’s nuptials this week. We know that both our readers would have loved to hear about the food and the fashion, and we’d have been happy to share a frugal tip or two with the Queen. What we’ll never get over is our fascination with the women who drag forty miles of satin down the center aisle of Westminster Abby. Kate Middleton seems like a nice young woman with a pretty smile and killer fashion sense. Rumor has it that she and Wills plan to live simply and without servants.
Sure they are.
This time around we’ll be watching the royal wedding from the comfort of our stadium seats at The Red River Theatre where they will be screening the spectacle live on the big screen. Come join us. We’ll be the teary-eyed twosome in the back.
If getting up and dressed for 4:30 am on Friday is more than your queenly self can bear, whip up a batch of our cranberry orange scones. This recipe is so easy you’ll be able to give the cook the day off and maybe the butler too.
Cranberry Orange Scones
Adapted from allrecipes.com
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
½ teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stir together glaze ingredients and set aside, covered.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in chopped cranberries and orange zest.
In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.