Tag Archives: currants

Clootie Dumpling

Happy St Stephen’s Day! Actually, I imagine most of you will be reading this in a couple of day’s time when you need a break from your Christmas present books or stumbling here in a couple of months when you are looking for a suitable recipe for ballast-food.

I spent Christmas day with friends this year, a delightful experience, with just a few pangs for family rituals. I brought a contribution to the main course, offered to make custard and in a flurry of last-minute organisation, volunteered to cook clootie dumpling which several of us had missed the opportunity to have when on holiday in Scotland in the summer. On that trip, I had bought Traditional Scotttish Cookery by Margaret Fairlie, first published in 1972 by Hale Books, in Inverness Museum. I’ve tried to find out more about Ms Fairlie, but the internet is only giving me information on the identically named eminent gynaecologist and first woman to hold a professorial chair in Scotland. So if you know any more about Margaret Fairlie, cookbook writer, do comment and let me know.

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Brussels Cakes/Cakes de Bruxelles

Another guest post by Martha (first one here). Thanks Martha!

I knew I’d struck vintage cookbook gold the moment I laid eyes on the cover. “Cooking Into Europe: Choice Common Market Dishes”, with its offer to “Win a week’s gastronomic holiday in Europe!” and its colourful, often unappetising photographs, could not fail to provide hours of joy. I was right too. Best £1.50 I ever spent.

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Lucia Bread

While choosing  food at the excellent Scandinavian Kitchen (great review here and I‘m definitely recreating their ‘pizzasalad‘ – finely shredded white cabbage dressed with a mild vinegar and oregano, some time), I noticed some Lucia bread for sale. This reminded me that I had made a mental note over the summer to try this recipe when in season. That season is now. You can read more about the Swedish festival of Lucia here). The day itself is Monday!

I haven’t had great success with yeast recipes from this book (Scandinavian Cooking’ by Beryl Frank, published by Evans Brothers, 1978) in the past, but I always like to give a cookbook a few tries before I abandon it completely.
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