Lockdown cookbook raises £6k for charity

A Borders farmer’s wife has raised more than £6,000 for two worthy causes after her traditional cookbook became both a publishing sensation and a historical document.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 5:07 pm
Ann Redpath, from Hownam with her recipe book and memories - "Lockdown in Lambing"
Ann Redpath, from Hownam with her recipe book and memories - "Lockdown in Lambing"

Ann Redpath had no idea what she was getting into when she posted recipes on her Facebook page at the end of March, in between her working life at the Yett at Hownam, south of Morebattle.

She dug deep into her memory for traditional recipes learned from her mother Jean, such as rice and cheese puddings, and her suggestions proved so popular that she was persuaded to put them into a book, called Lockdown in Lambing, copies of which have been flying out of the door.

Ann also included in her book photographs taken of farm life and noted key lockdown dates such as the day that news broke that Kelso Ice Rink was being lined up for use as an emergency mortuary, making it something of a historical document.

Almost 2,000 copies have been printed, with more than £6,000 raised for the Borders General Hospital at Melrose and the Royal Highland Education Trust.

Ann, 47, said: “It was at the start of lockdown when people were buying pasta and bags of rice and things were going a bit daft, and I started putting easy-peasy recipes on my Facebook page like pancakes, milk puddings, rice puddings, cheese puddings – just basic things using store cupboard ingredients.

“When everyone starting doing the NHS clap, someone said I should do a book.

“I decided it would be a good chance to make money for the Difference charity at the Borders General, where a friend of mine had been nursed a few years ago, and the Royal Highland Education Trust, which is a good charity for kids to learn about famine.

“While I was looking back through all my posts on Facebook, I noticed all the things we had been sharing – the day Boris Johnson was taken into hospital, the day Kelso Ice Rink was got ready to be turned into a morgue. That was a big thing because it was a happy place in the winter and now it was being turned into a mortuary.

“I thought it would be quite nice to have them going through the book as reminders of what was happening at the time.

“The first order was for 200 and the next for 400 and eventually I had 1,800 printed, and there are still people buying them and then coming back for more because it is a wee bit different from what they realised with all the historical dates in it.”

Ann, married to farmer Derek, added: “When we were in lockdown, my son and I were cycling at the end of our farm road every day and taking pictures of the trees changing and of the lambing. We’ve included some of them.”

Email lockdownrecipebook
@gmail.com to order a copy. Copies cost £10 each, plus £2 postage.