Morning, noon and night

Three random things I learned, or remembered, today

Archive for Old recipes

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!)


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.

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 |

Apple curd



A seasonal curd from the same old recipe book.



1.5 lbs of tart apples
1 gill of water
2 eggs
3/4lb sugar
1/8 teaspoonful of ground ginger
1/4lb butter

1. Peel, core and slice the apples.
2. Simmer gently in the water until they are thoroughly cooked.
3. Beat until smooth, then add the sugar, beaten eggs, and butter.
4. Blend all the ingredients thoroughly and stir over a gentle heat until the eggs thicken. Do not allow to boil.
5. Add the ginger.
6. Pot and cover immediately.

N.B. As apple curd does not keep very well, it should be made in small quantities when required.

Lemon Curd



So, lemon curd is not a fruit “cheese.” According to my 1920’s “Modern Housewifes Book”, curds are different from cheeses because they always contain egg and butter.


1lb castor sugar
4 lemons
4oz fresh butter
5 eggs

1. Wash the lemons and grate the rind from them very thinly.
2. Beat the eggs.
3. Put the eggs, lemon rind and juice, melted butter and sugar into a large saucepan.
4. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture thickens, taking care that it does not boil and curdle.
5. When the mixture is thick, strain into small sterilised pots and cover immediately.

Curds and Cheese



I know what lemon curd is and I love it.

I thought I knew about cheese. But apparently not.

A “cheese” from fruit is apparently made from fruit, sugar and water.

Here’s a fruit cheese recipes from my ancient “Modern Housewifes Book” from the 1920s


Ingredients: Damsons and sugar

1. Remove the stocks from the fruit and put into a large saucepan
2. Cover closely and cook gently until the fruit is quite soft, then rub through a fine sieve.
3. Measure the pulp and put it into a preserving pan with the sugar, allowing 14ozs of sugar to each pint of pulp.
4. Boil until the greater part of the syrup has evaorated and the pulp has become stiff, stirring frequently at first and almost continuously towards then end of the process.
5. Turn into sterilised pots, seal and store.

Mince and potatoes


I noticed someone has searched my blog for “mince and potatoes recipes.”

It struck me that maybe there’s lots of young people wondering how to cook the old fashioned unsophisticated meals of their childhood, or their mother’s childhood and maybe even their grandmother’s childhood.

Or maybe men living alone who have never cooked at all.

Maybe I’ll try and put my simple recipe for mince and potatoes on this blog, once I get round to working out how to put such an automatic process that doesn’t reach consciousness, into print.

Yes, I’ll add a category “Old Recipes”