Morning, noon and night

Three random things I learned, or remembered, today

Archive for Food

Dropped Scones



I came across a local parish recipe collection. The women of the parish submitted recipes and the book was sold to raise funds for church roof repairs.

This little book probably dates from the late 1950’s or early 60’s.

There was a recipe for dropped scones (Scottish pancakes) from a 95 year old. I can remember her grand-daughter.

She was the only contributor whose age appeared after her name. This old lady would be over 150 years old if alive today.



4oz self raising flour
1 and 1/2 oz castor sugar
1/2 oz butter
1 small teaspoon syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
(it is emphasized that all the teaspoons should be small)
1 egg beaten with about half a cup of milk according to the size of the egg.


Mix dry ingredients in a basin.
Melt butter and syrup in a pan and add to dry ingredients with the egg and milk.
Mix to a smooth batter, and bake in a fairly hot greased girdle. (I thought it was griddle!)


Organic products are better?



Up till now, as far as I know, evidence that organic food is higher in nutritional value has been lacking. It has rather been a “lifestyle choice.”

Apparently, this is beginning to change. It has been shown that organic fruit and vegetables contain 40% more antioxidants which are thought to cut the risk of cancer and heart disease. The antioxidants in organic milk were shown to be 90% more in this study.

The food Standards Agency will consider this research and if necessary review their current advice.


Afternoon tea at The Landmark, London



I was just looking up how to make a really good cup of afternoon tea in an old cookery book for my new “Kitchen Witch” blog, and I remembered “The Landmark Hotel” in London. This is real afternoon tea! A pleasurable experience in a peaceful atmosphere away from the realities of everyday life (my kind of everyday life, anyway).

I don’t go to London often, but when I’m there try to fit in an afternoon visit of pure self indulgence.

Go by yourself, even. Take a magazine, pretend you’re reading and watch another world go by!

It’s very expensive by Scottish standards. But you’re worth it.


A Second Blog




I started writing this blog “Morning, Noon and Night” a few months ago. Every now and then I included recipes from very old cookery books that have been lying around our house for as long as I can remember. They are faded and tatty and have been handed down from generation to generation.

Sometimes, hidden among the pages are old handwritten recipes and cuttings from magazines.

I decided I would record some of these old recipes by gradually posting them on a second blog site. I’ve started off with some of the most basic. Some of the old cookery books really started from scratch in a way that is seldom done today. So, the simplest old recipes will appear first.


There will probably be some scattered household hints too.

The photographs are a bit of an assortment really. They are often unrelated to the posting but rather a reminiscence of the way things used to be.

The Bisto Kids



Just reminding myself of The Bisto Kids and finding out a bit more about Bisto.

“The very first Bisto product, in 1908, was a meat-flavoured gravy powder, which rapidly became a bestseller in the UK. It was added to customers’ own gravies to give a richer taste and aroma. Invented by Messrs Roberts & Patterson, it was named “Bisto” because it “Browns, Seasons and Thickens in One”.”

“In 1919, the Bisto Kids (created by cartoonist Wilf Owen), appeared in newspapers and soon became popular. Bisto is notable both for the age of its brand and for the advertising campaigns it has used. Although the Bisto Kids have not been included in Bisto advertising for many years, many people still recognise them; the Bisto Kids, a boy and girl in ragged clothes, would catch the odour of Bisto on the breeze and exhale longingly, “Aah, Bisto!” This clever gambit was intended to capture the all-important “Oliver Twist” (or “urchin”) segment of the working-class market. The Bisto Kids were also part of more elaborate advertising campaigns in later years.”


Mince and potatoes




This is a recipe for Scots all over the world who are homesick for their mother’s or granny’s “Mince and Tatties”

Every Scottish mother’s mince and tatties tasted differently because of little variations.

My mother made the best mince and tatties in the world. Truly. Mine is something like it but does not always turn out as good.

I never measure anything very much when I’m cooking, but this will give you a bit of an idea. Eventually, your mince and tatties will taste like yours and yours alone. And you will like yours best of all. So persevere.



1 lb mince – only use the very best quality minced rump steak. Or mince your own after removing fat.
2 small onions (vary amount according to taste).
2 medium carrots (vary amount according to taste).
1 medium purple turnip when in season (vary amount according to taste). If these early small purple turnips are not available, omit or add a few slices of swede turnip. ( The term swede in Scotland refers to the large turnips which are yellow inside).

Gravy thickening – “Bisto” – see below.


“Bisto” has always been used in our family. Nothing else, because nothing else tastes the same. (If you can’t get “Bisto” outside the UK, ask Santa Claus to send you a years supply every Christmas.)

The amount of “Bisto” you add depends on how thick you like your mince. You’ll need to experiment.

Make up the “Bisto” once the mince is cooked.

Try 3 teaspoons of “Bisto” first. If you like the mince thicker add more, thinner add less the next time.

Don’t add the “Bisto” straight to the mince! Put the spoonfuls in a cup. Gradually mix it into a paste with cold water and add more water until it just reaches pouring consistency.

When the mince is completely cooked, take it off the cooker and prepare your “Bisto.” as above. Add the “Bisto” solution STIRRING it gently but continuously into the mince OFF the heat. If you don’t do it this way the the “Bisto” will form horrible jelly like lumps and the whole thing will be ruined.

N.B. Don’t use the modern “Bisto” granules. Stick to the old fashioned “Bisto” powder.


In may family, there has always been someone who doesn’t like onions, but likes the flavour. If you are cooking mince and tatties for one of these pests, then don’t use an onion powder substitute. And don’t omit the onion. It will not be the same. Instead put two small onions in whole, and remove them at the end. Serve the offending person first, chop up the cooked onion and put it back into the mince for everyone else.

Doing it this way also prevents you from weeping!

So, with that taken care of you’re ready to start!

1. Braise the minced meat in a pot breaking it up with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps forming.
2 Once the meat is well browned, add the water hot or cold – it doesn’t matter. Add enough to cover. Give it a stir.
3. Put in the onion whole or cut up into whatever size you prefer.
4. Cut up carrots and turnip to your preferred shape and size.
5. Bring the pot to the boil, put lid on and turn down to a simmer.
6. Simmer for 30 minutes or so until vegetables are soft and meat thoroughly cooked.
7. Take off the heat and add the “Bisto.” See above.
8. Return to a low heat to thicken.

Additional salt is usually not necessary with Bisto.

You might want to add pepper to taste but we never did.


In summer mince was always served with tiny new Ayrshire potatoes (believe me, no matter what people say, you can’t get the true “Ayrshires” any more)

In winter the big older potatoes were always mashed smoothly with “the top of the milk” and a little butter.

Enjoy and experiment until you make your own signature mince and potatoes.

P.S You could not even begin to imagine how much I yearn for real new baby Ayrshire potatoes! A generation of young scots have never tasted them and have no idea what they are missing. I BLAME THE SUPERMARKETS FOR THIS TRAVESTY!!!!

© Bloomoon711 |

All about potatoes



I was always told that potatoes that go green are poisonous.

Here are some questions and answers I found.

Q. Are potatoes poisonous?
A. No. The potato tuber, the part we eat, is not poisonous, however the potato plant is toxic. Green portions on the skin of the potato are also toxic.

Q. What is the green coloring on the potato skin?
A. The green on the skin of a potato is the build-up of a chemical called Solanine. It is a natural reaction to the potato being exposed to too much light. Solanine produces a bitter taste and if eaten in large quantity can cause illness, this is unlikely, however, because of the bitter taste. If there is slight greening, cut away the green portions of the potato skin before cooking and eating.

Q. Why do potatoes grow sprouts?
A. Sprouts are a sign that the potato is trying to grow. Cut the sprouts away before cooking or eating the potato. To reduce sprouting, store potatoes in a cool, dry, dark location that is well ventilated.

Below is a link to a great website that tells you everything about potatoes. (I don’t suppose it tells you how to grow real old fashioned Ayrshire potatoes though.)


© Photographer:Girivenko Sergej | Agency: