A Look at Shrove Tuesday

Elizabeth Cleland's 'Common Pancakes'

A Look at Shrove Tuesday with a Very Old and Decadent Pancake Recipe Where does the tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday come from? And for how long has this been going on? The popular theory goes that in the past people would make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday as a good way to use up all the remaining eggs,…

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Whisky Bitters, an excellent tonic

Whisky Bitters

Whisky Bitters I recently came across a formula for a variety of bitters made with whisky, in Isobel Johnstone’s The Cook and Housewife’s Manual, an old Scottish recipe book first published in 1826. When we think of bitters, it is Angostura that usually first comes to mind. Either that, you might think of all the glamorous amari that come from…

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Homemade Hot Sauce

Homemade Hot sauce

Homemade Hot Sauce Here is an excellent recipe for a homemade hot sauce. This one is made with dried red chillies, sugar, salt, garlic and lime juice, and nothing else besides water. There you have a blood red, spicy homemade hot sauce that tastes so good it will ruin your palate for everything else. There are so many hot sauces…

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A History of Fried Chicken

Hannah Glasse' 1747 Recipe for Fried Chicken

A History of Fried Chicken Fried chicken is still enjoyed as it always has been in the southern states of America – at its best in Mom and Pop style restaurants, preferably fried in the traditional lodge skillet. But until recently the rest of the world saw fried chicken just as an alternative to McDonalds. In the search for new…

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The Origins of Kedgeree

Kedgeree

The Origins of Kedgeree Kedgeree is just one of many wonderful British dishes for which we have to thank India. Without the influence of Indian cookery we wouldn’t have favourites such as chutney, as well as of course, the classic ‘British’ curry chicken tikka masala. India has ultimately transformed British food and now Britons are devoted, as well as totally…

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Nettle Kail (i.e. Nettle Soup

Nettle Kail (i.e. Nettle Soup)

Nettle Kail (i.e. Nettle Soup) Nettles are often thought of as a hippy food, or as a plant to be feared for its sting; however, nettles have been eaten in Scotland for as long as anyone can remember. William Gardiner notes in The Flora of Forfarshire (1848): ‘Plentiful by hedge-sides and in waste places, particularly near the habitations of man….

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Empire Biscuits, A Hateful History

Empire Biscuits

Empire Biscuits, A Hateful History The Empire biscuit, old-fashioned and sickly sweet, must qualify as a children’s treat – two shortbread biscuits glued together with jam, on top a layer of fondant icing, and for decoration a glacé cherry on top, or what is usually preferred – a jelly tot. The air of nostalgia around Empire biscuits, and other fancies…

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Dried Broad Beans from Hodmedod’s

Dried broad beans from Hodmedod's

Dried Broad Beans from Hodmedod’s Dried broad beans were once a common ingredient in Britain, and have been eaten here since the iron age. Broad beans are one of Europe’s oldest and most important crops, having been cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The dried form was valued for its high protein content, especially at times when there…

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Seakale from Angus

Seakale from Angus, Scotland.

Seakale from Angus This pale and beautiful seakale has come from Eassie farm near Glamis, in Angus. Sandy and Heather Pattullo who run Eassie farm are famous in the restaurant world for their asparagus, which they have been selling to the finest restaurants in Britain for almost 30 years. They have been growing seakale for just as long, supplying renowned…

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Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb The very best forced rhubarb is supposed to come from Yorkshire, in what has been nicknamed the rhubarb triangle. The few growers left of this unusual, sour and potentially bitter vegetable take such pride in it they have even procured PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin). For it to be called Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb it must come…

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