Scones recipe that we tried and tested at Solas Day Centre on 5/8/16
The recipe was (we made 17)

1lb (450g) SR flour, 4oz (125g) butter, a pinch of salt, 2pz (50g) caster sugar, we measured 350ml of milk but only used about 320ml of it. You need a soft dough that isn’t too sticky. 1 beaten egg to glaze.

We rubbed the butter into the flour, stirred in the sugar and salt and mixed in the milk. We dusted the table with a little flour and gently flattened the dough to around an inch deep and then cut out rounds with a cookie cutter. A quick brush with beaten egg and they were in the oven for about 15 minutes.

This is the full sized Christmas Pudding we made. We did actually split the recipe in two, to halve the boiling time but the recipe was excellent.

These are the mini Christmas Cakes we are making in care homes and day centres, to cut down on cooking time.

These are the mini Christmas Puddings we are making in care homes, to cut down on cooking time.

Mince Pies recipe – For the shortcrust pastry, we used the age-old traditional recipe of ‘half fat to flour, and half lard/half butter’.
We used 1kg of plain flour, 250g butter and 250g lard, rubbed in, a little salt and some water to bind it. We chilled it in the fridge overnight and then used it to make mince pies with a jar of mincemeat the next day, brushing the tops with beaten egg. They took about 2o minutes to bake in our oven at 170 degrees.

This is the gingerbread house template we used.
This is the recipe we used. We did find the dough too wet and we had to add extra flour…quite a lot of extra flour in fact but that might have been because it is so very difficult to measure syrup and treacle accurately!

Recipe and details from a duff making session at a local care home. duff trial 


Alzheimer Scotland Collaborative Recipe for Barley Soup
Serves 10 (This is double the quantity required for a family)

Lamb bones (You can use stock cubes if you prefer but bones are better for authenticity. You can also use beef bones.)
1 cup of Broth Mix (or barley)
2 Onions, chopped
2 large carrots, or smaller equivalent, peeled and cubed
1 large, white turnip, peeled and cubed
Water, enough to cover all of the bones and vegetables and leave them plenty of room to move.

(NOTE: other recipes include celery sticks, chopped, leek, chopped and half a cabbage, sliced and added near the end of cooking but our group did not include any of these. Try to find the best flavoured, home grown veg if possible, for flavour).

Wash, prepare and chop all of the vegetables.
Put the bones into a pan of water without roasting them first.
Add all of the vegetables and barley or broth mix to the pot and some salt. No pepper.
Make sure there is enough water to cover everything.
Bring to the boil and simmer for two hours, skimming off any ugly bits, which float to the surface from time to time.
Remove the bones with tongs.
Season to taste and serve with fresh bread.


Making Butter
This tradition has fallen by the wayside somewhat because cream is more expensive than the butter, to buy. However, crofters in the past who had a cow or two, would skim the cream off the top of the milk (often with a scallop shell) and use this to make home made butter. The family would often share the task, using a butter making tool such as a barrel with a paddle in it, which would be passed around. Tristan from Hebridean Connections brought several butter making artefacts along to the mini food festival we held at Solas and I have enjoyed many sessions watching hand-memory in action from many people who made butter in front of my eyes over the past few months.

The basic recipe is simply to over-whip cream until it becomes very sloshy, with separated lumps of butter. I have been doing this with a kitchen whisk (take care, or you will be scraping it off the ceiling!). The buttermilk is reserved to make scones with, after it is poured away into another container and then the butter is washed and kneaded under the cold tap, seasoned with salt and shared either by hand or with wooden butter pats.

It’s been an interesting inter-generational activity, with traditional skills being passed down to new generations.