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The Potato Book

From Bawd Bree to Partan Bree, a distinctive culinary repertoire awaits the traveler to Scotland, and those who associate Scottish cooking with such deadly sounding dishes as haggis and black bun is in for a pleasant surprise. Blessed with a wealth of natural produce from its rich land and teeming waters, Scotland has developed a culinary repertoire of exceptional quality and variety. Partridge, grouse and pheasant from the rolling moorlands, venison from the red deer running wild in the mountains, salmon and trout from Highland rivers, succulent beef from the Aberdeen Angus herds, shellfish of all kinds, with ingredients like these, only a truly lamentable cook could fail to come up with a feast.

Maw Broons Cookbook
Maw Broons Cookbook

Maw Broons But An' Ben Cookbook
Maw Broon's But An' Ben Cookbook

Inverawe Smoked Fish Cookbook

Food of the Scots
Food of the Scots

Scottish Seafood CookingFrom Crab Shack to Oyster Bar: Exploring Scotland's Seafood Trail Ranging from Oban to Tarbert, Scotland's Seafood Trail encompasses some of Britain's most glorious coastline. Here the cold, clear Atlantic waters caress the sealochs and inlets of Argyll and Kintyre creating the perfect environment for seafood in all its variety. This relatively unexplored coastline has been undergoing something of a culinary revolution over the past decade and is now a showcase for all that is best in Scottish seafood. The nine establishments featured in this beautifully illustrated book all serve simple food, simply served. Langoustines, crab, scallops, oysters and mussels all have such wonderful flavours that they require only the minimum of additional ingredients. And behind each place, there's a story and some interesting characters who have put their heart, soul and wallet into it! Featured in From Crab Shack to Oyster Ba" are: The Seafood Cabin (or 'crab shack' to the locals), Skipness; The Anchor Hotel, Tarbert; The Hunting Lodge Hotel, Bellochontuy; The Tayvallich Inn; Dunvalanree House, by Carradale; Ee'usk, Oban; Cairnbaan Hotel; The Royal Hotel at Tighnabruaich; and the The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Cairndow. Recipes include Whole salmon, Aga-baked in wet newspaper, Seafood Cabin; Scallops grilled with Crabbies Green Ginger, Anchor; Grilled sardines with spinach and tomato salsa, Hunting Lodge; Loch Fyne oysters pan-fried in butter with chervil and cream Tayvallich Inn; Roast gigot of monkfish with garlic and rosemary, Dunvalanree; Clam chowder, Ee'usk; Goan spiced mussels, Cairnbaan; Smoked cod roe on toast from Laroch Foods; Scallops, monkfish, tagliatelle, pea and parsley veloute, Royal Hotel; and Loch Fyne bradan rost with whisky sauce, Loch Fyne Oyster Bar.

Teach the Bairns to Cook
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The Complete Book of Mince

A huge pot hung over the fire which leapt in a shining black-and-steel range. A black kettle stood on one hob, a brown teapot on the other. Steam rose gently from the kettle and thickly from the great black pot, whence also came a continuous ‘purring’ noise and the wonderful smell of Scottish Cooking.

Scottish Highland Hospitality Among the ancient Scots it was deemed infamous in a man to have the door of his house shut, lest, as the bards express it, ‘the stranger should come and behold his contracted soul’. The free and open hospitality survived much later in Scotland, and particularly in the Highlands, than in the supposedly more highly civilized countries of Europe. Robert Burns, who made a tour of the Highlands in 1787, leaves an enduring tribute to the virtue of hospitality in the race to which he was bound by blood and sentiment:

When death’s dark stream I’ll ferry over
A time that surely shall come
In heaven itself I’ll ask no more
Than just a Highland welcome.

Scottish Toasts and Graces
Scottish Toasts and Graces

City folk tend to look back to bygone days when the streets of the larger Scottish cities rang to the cries of ‘oyster wives’ and vendors of everything from hot peas to Het Pints, a brew of ale, eggs and whisky flavoured with nutmeg and sold from a steaming copper kettle. Those were the times of Scottish Cooking when a fish dinner, including ale and perhaps a dozen oysters, cost little more than one cigarette does now. As far back as the thirteenth century, salmon was so plentiful that it was pickled for export to London to be fed to the poor, and only a hundred years ago servants in big houses had contracts stipulating that it was to be served to them no more than three times a week.

Bless the fish for Peter’s sake,
He gruppit fish himsel’;
Bless the sheep for David’s sake,
He herdit sheep himsel’;
Bless the soo for Satan’s sake,
He was aince a soo himsel’.

A Bowl Of Porridge
A Bowl Of Porridge

PorridgeBut those are bygone days indeed. The allure of traditional Scottish fare, however, has carried through to modern times in all but price. Breakfast and tea have a special place in Scottish cooking, and the visitor who might think of these meals as something light has another think coming. It was Dr. Samuel Johnson who wrote: ‘If an epicure could remove by a wish in quest of sensual gratification, he would breakfast in Scotland.’ Oatmeal is still a staple of the national diet, and certainly most of the older people start the day with a bowl of porridge, flavoured with salt, not sugar, please. Then come the soft warm rolls known as baps, kippered herring from Loch Fyne or smoked haddock (‘smokies’) from Aberdeen and Arbroath, scones and oatcakes with heather honey, jams, jellies and marmalade, claimed by Scots as their own invention. Tea is the occasion for another mammoth spread of cold meats and eggs, potato scones, crunchy shortbread and such delicacies as Dundee cake, a fruity concoction strewn with almonds.

Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

There has long been a great tradition of soup making
and eating in Scotland. There are many reasons for this.
Before people started to live in large cities it was usual
for everyone to own a small garden and to grow
sufficient vegetables for the household needs. It was
typical of the Scottish housewife, who has always been
thrifty and able to make much out of little, to make a
pot of soup out of a little meat or a bone and her own
vegetables, and feed a family on good nourishing fare.
A century ago in the Highlands and outer isles, where
the wind and the rain made gardening very difficult, the
industrious housewife would use young nettles or wild
sorrel or kail to replace the cultivated varieties of
vegetables so common in Scotland today.

There is much advice around on the making of tea from this nation whose "other" national drink it has been for more than two centuries. The only thing to be repeated about the making of tea, is the adage from the side of the Victorian teapot:

Those who love good tea
Must please remember me
Be sure allow the water to boil
Then the tea you will not spoil.

To which can be added, use freshly drawn water. Water re-boiled is only fit for washing up. The following advice is also worth remembering about keeping a pot of tea going and producing more cups:

'Do not drain the pot dry and then fill it up again; fill half the cups at a time and replace in the teapot the water you have taken from it; always with boiling water'.

Nice Cup Of Tea
Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down

An elaborate dinner or late supper will bring out the smoked salmon, rich dark venison or feathered game, roast beef or tender mutton, perhaps lobster from the Firth of Forth. Auld Alliance, a savoury of creamed cheese laced with whisky and served with hot buttered toast, can be a superb climax to the meal.

With the Scots it was whisky or perish.
And how they have survived!
.

Salmon Soup. They never dare make this with fresh salmon in England and it is not so good with tinned. But if you have fishing or poaching friends you may eat of it in Scotland. Prepare a stock with the head, bones, fins and skin of a salmon, the bones of one or two fresh whiting (the whiting makes all the difference) and a few root vegetables, boiling all for half an hour. Strain and remove all the fat and oil. Thicken with a little potato flour or mashed, cooked potato. Add chopped parsley, some scallops of the uncooked salmon and some brown bread crumbs. As soon as the salmon is cooked the soup is ready. This is provided in heaven for good Scots.

TheHaggis
The Haggis: A Short History

HaggisThe visitor who comes across haggis or black bun should not be put off by the unappetizing names. Haggis consists of the heart, liver and lights of a sheep, cooked with oatmeal and onions inside its stomach bag. Hard to believe, but it’s delicious. Black bun, also known as Scotch bun, is a cake made with raisins, currants, almonds, ginger, cinnamon and brandy.

Grace be here, and grace be there,
And grace be round the table;
Let ilka ane take up their spoon
And eat as muckle’s they’re able.

Confectionery. In rural districts in Scotland candy-making is a regular adjunct to courting. It draws together all the lads and lasses round about for miles, and the fun and the daffing that go on during the boiling, pulling, clipping, cooling, are, both lads and lasses declare, worth the money. A few of the lasses club their sixpences together, a night is set, a house is named, and, of course, the young men who are specially wanted are invited to lend a hand and a foot too, for dancing is not an uncommon adjunct to such gatherings."
From an old book on Scottish cottage cooking.

If manipulation, delicate and deft, be one of the secrets of good, or fine cooking, there should be many good, or fine cooks among Scots housewives. So many of them can turn out scones and paste that are gossamer.

HareThe names of many Scottish delicacies are nothing if not colourful. A few examples: Bawd Bree (hare soup), Bubblyjock (roast turkey), Cock-a-Leekie (chicken and leek soup), Inky-Pinky (beef and carrot stew), Stovies (sliced potatoes cooked with onions and lamb) and Melting Moments (biscuits in rolled oats).

‘Do you like your Scots broth, Dr Johnson?’
‘Ah! Very good for hogs, I believe.’
‘Then let me help you to a little more.’

One US cup is equivalent to 250 ml or 8 fl. oz.
A level teaspoon equates to 5 ml;
a level dessertspoon equates to 10 ml
and a level tablespoon is equal to 15 ml.
Recipe Converter.

The U.S. pint is 16 fluid ounces, and not 20 fl.oz like the British Imperial pint.

1 U.S. cup = 8 fl.oz = 250 ml
1 British cup = 10 fl.oz = 300 ml
The teaspoon and tablespoon measurements are the same.
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

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