Borderers go back a long way in looking for a good recipe book

Some of the selection of border recipoe books.
Some of the selection of border recipoe books.
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This month, we take a tour of Border cookbooks from 1925 to 2003, giving a wee taster of 110 years of local recipes.


Apple Vichysoise

2 large raw potatoes, coarsely diced; 1 Spanish onion, coarsely diced; 2 stalks celery, sliced; 2 peeled eating apples, sliced; 1 cube chicken stock; 1tbsp butter; ½pt double cream; salt, pepper; chives finely chopped for garnish.

Boil potato, onion, celery and apple till tender in the chicken stock and butter. Liquidise together. Serve hot or chilled with whipped cream and chopped chives on top.

[Recipe donated by Mrs Constance Inglis, Bothendene, Bowden, in The Queen’s House Cook Book, Kelso]

Cream of Barley Soup

One teacup barley, two pints milk, two quarts white stock, 1oz butter, 1 onion, small piece mace, small piece cinnamon, 2 yolks.

Simmer barley and other ingredients for two hours, beat eggs into milk and add very carefully to strained stock; dish up at once after adding eggs and milk, season with salt and pepper.

[Recipe donated by Mrs. Macdonald, Dunira, Hawick in Hawick Cottage Hospital Jubilee Cookery Book, 1935]

Crofter’s Pottage Soup

2oz carrots and turnips, peeled and diced; 2 medium onions, diced; 2 cloves of garlic, chopped; 2 stalks of celery, shredded; ¼ medium cabbage, shredded; 2oz streaky bacon, cut small; 3oz butter; 4oz porridge oats; 2 tbsp tomato puree; 4pt stock, 2 bay leaves; 2 tsp sugar; salt and pepper.

Prepare vegetables. Fry bacon in butter until soft. Add oats and vegetables except cabbage. Stir in tomato puree, add stock and bay leaves. Bring to boil, add seasoning. Simmer for 1 hour before adding cabbage, then continue cooking for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves, add sugar. Serve piping hot accompanied by Parmesan cheese. Serves 8-10.

[Recipe donated by Mrs Kenneth, Edinburgh, in The Queen’s House Cook Book, Kelso]


Kipper Pate

6 kippers; 250g packet Philadelphia cream cheese; juice of ½ lemon; celery salt; paprika pepper; watercress; toast.

Poach the kippers and remove flesh from the bones and skin. Pound well with pestle and mortar to break down fibres. Beat in cream cheese, lemon juice and seasonings to taste. Garnish with watercress and serve with toast. Kipper pate is also good piled into smooth mounds on small squares of toast, topped with single or double watercress leaves, and served with drinks as a canapé.

[Recipe donated to Yarrow Cooks (1992) by David and Judy Steel]

Crab Starter

1lb crab meat; 3oz butter; 1 small chopped onion; 4oz sliced button mushrooms; 3 tbsp dry sherry; celery salt; Tabasco sauce; 4oz grated cheese; 2 tbsp double cream; salt and pepper.

Flake the crab meat. Melt the butter and sauté the onion until soft but not coloured, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further three minutes. Stir in the crab meat, add the sherry and a dash each of celery salt, and Tabasco sauce. Simmer gently for seven to 10 minutes, then add grated cheese and stir until melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream, re-seasoning if necessary. Spoon into scallop shells to serve.

[The Eyemouth Fish Recipe Book]

Herrings in Sour Cream

4 filleted herrings; white wine; vinegar; sour cream; peppercorns; bayleaf; parsley; thyme; onion; carrot.

Combine white wine, vinegar, peppercorns, bayleaf, sprigs of parsley and thyme, a chopped onion, sliced carrot and a pinch of salt. Simmer covered for 30 minutes, allow to cool, and strain. Take a baking tin and lay the herrings in it, skin side up. Pour the liquid over the fish and cook in the oven at 350F. Allow to cool in the liquid. Drain, lay skin side down in a serving dish, cover with sour cream and serve chilled.

[The Eyemouth Fish Recipe Book]

Baked Jed or Teviot Trout

1 tbsp salad oil to each trout.

Sauce: Yolks of 2 eggs; 2oz fresh butter; 3tbsp vinegar; 1 bay leaf; 6 peppercorns; pepper and salt.

Clean the fish, dry, make three or four cuts across just through the skin; put in baking dish; season the cuts with salt, pepper and oil. Cover with buttered paper and cook in a hot oven 10 to 20 minutes. Place on hot dish, pour sauce over and serve.

To make sauce, put vinegar in a small pan with bay leaf and peppercorns, and boil for five minutes. Let it cool, then mix gradually with yolks of eggs. Season with salt and pepper; add butter by degrees, stirring well. As soon as thick put through strainer and use.

[Recipe donated by Mrs R J Lyal, to the Jed-Forest Football Club Bazaar: Some Favourite Recipes, 1925]


Stuffed Tomatoes

4 large tomatoes; 4oz sausage meat; 2 dessert-spoons chutney; 1tsp Worcester sauce; salt and pepper.

Cut the tops off the stalk end of the tomatoes. Scoop out the centre of the tomatoes. Put them in a basin. Chop the hard centres into small pieces. Add the sausage meat, Worcester sauce, chutney, salt and pepper to tomato pulp and mix well. Stuff tomatoes with mixture and place the tops on. Place them on a round tin which has been well greased. Cook in a [moderate] oven for 25 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

[Recipe donated by Mrs G. Turnbull, Glebe Terrace, Selkirk, from The Lawson Memorial Cookery Book, 1953].

Bacon and Fried Apples

Apples, slices of bacon.

Cut apples into thick slices and fry with bacon, serve in hot dish and garnish with parsley.

[Recipe donated by A.J., Hawick in Hawick Cottage Hospital Jubilee Cookery Book, 1935]

Chicken Crumble

Cooked chicken joints; cooked broccoli; 1 tin condensed mushroom soup; ¼pt cream; garlic; a pinch of curry powder; cheddar cheese; breadcrumbs.

In an ovenproof dish, place pieces of cooked chicken in the bottom and cover with cooked broccoli. Mix the mushroom soup, cream, garlic to taste, and curry powder, and pour over chicken and broccoli. Mix together grated cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top of the dish. Place in oven (350F, 180C) for an hour until well browned.

[Recipe donated to Yarrow Cooks (1992) by Dame Patricia and Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott.]

Yarrow Lamb Roll with Veg

3lb rolled shoulder of lamb; rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper; 2lb parsnips or carrots.

Take the rolled shoulder of lamb and stuff as much rosemary as you can down the centre. Splice slivers of garlic all round the sides. Seal meat all over with a bit of oil in a cast iron pot on top of the stove. Cut parsnips into quarters long-ways and place underneath and all around the lamb, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover firmly with lid and place in a hot oven (400F, 200C) for ½ an hour and then (325F, 160C) for a further 1½ hours. Remove from oven, skim fat from liquid, and serve with potatoes. The beauty of this recipe is that the meat remains moist because of the vegetables, and the vegetables taste good because they are cooked with the meat.

[From Yarrow Cooks, 1992]


Gala Cream

Cook some blackberries or damsons until the juice can be drawn easily. Strain and rub the pulp through a sieve. Put the juice on to boil, add half its weight in sugar, and when boiling stir into it gently half the weight of sugar in stale breadcrumbs; these should be very fine and dry. Boil up once only then pour into a shallow dish when the heat has passed off. When quite cold pile upon the top a meringue of the beaten whites of two eggs, two spoonfuls sugar, and a cupful of thick cream. Ornament the outer edge with ratafia biscuits.

[Recipe donated by “Scrum Half”, to the Jed-Forest Football Club Bazaar: Some Favourite Recipes, 1925]

Free Kirk Pudding

5tbsp flour; 3tbsp ground rice; 3tbsp castor sugar; 3tbsp raisins; pinch of salt; 3tbsp currants; 1tbsp butter; 1tbsp baking soda; half a nutmeg, grated; fully half pint of boiling milk.

Mix ingredients together, breaking butter into small pieces. Add boiling milk. Steam in greased mould 2½ to three hours. Serve with sweet sauce.

[Recipe donated anonymously to The Lawson Memorial Cookery Book, 1953].

Scripture Cake

4½ cups I Kings iv, 22; 1½ cups Judges v, 25; 2 cups Jeremiah vi, 20; 2 cups I Sam. xxx, 12; 2 cups Nahum iii, 12; 1 cup Numbers xvii, 8; 2 tbsp I Sam. xiv, 25.

Season to taste with 2 Chron ix, 9; 6 Jer xvii, ii; 1½ cups Judges iv, 19; 2 tsp Amos iv, 5; 1 pinch Lev ii, 13. Direction for baking are in Prov. xxiii, 24. Bake 1½ to two hours.

[Recipe donated anonymously to The Lawson Memorial Cookery Book, 1953].

Edinburgh Pudding

4 bsp flour; 1½tbsp. sugar; 2oz margarine; pinch of salt; 1 egg; small tsp baking powder; 1 teacup milk.

Rub margarine into flour, add sugar, salt and baking powder, and then add beaten egg. Roll out and cover with jam. Roll up and place in a pie dish. Pour milk over and bake about 40 mins in moderate oven.

[Recipe donated by Mrs W. Welsh, High Street, Selkirk, from The Lawson Memorial Cookery Book, 1953].

Bamburgh Cake

½lb flour; ¾ teacup milk; 1 teacup sugar; 2 eggs; 1tsp spice; 3oz butter; 1½tsp baking powder; ½tsp nutmeg; 1tsp cinnamon.

Beat butter and sugar to a cream; add eggs (well beaten) to milk. Sift in the other ingredients; mix well and put into buttered shallow tin. Bake in a moderate oven. Ice with 6ozs icing sugar, ½tsp cinnamon and a little cold water. When cold, cut into squares.

[Recipe donated by L Atkinson, Glenburn Hall, to the Jed-Forest Football Club Bazaar: Some Favourite Recipes, 1925]