There are a couple tantalising Border food events this month, writes Sandy Neil.
Tweed Green is giving a free local food village lunch at Cardrona village hall, 11am-3pm, on Saturday.
The menu cooks up a feast with ingredients sourced within 50 miles into a seasonal soup, such as lamb Scotch broth with kale, home-baked bread using Gilchester flour from Northumberland, and a wealth of farmhouse cheeses from Stichill, Loch Arthur and Dunsyre. There’ll even be a garden apple cake and flapjacks using Border oats, butter and eggs.
Tweed Green’s aim, explains Traquair-based food writer Fiona Houston, is to give people a good, free local lunch, but also to make them think where their food comes from.
“We want to show people local food is good for you, good for this area, and good for the planet,” she says. “It’s better for you, because you’re in control of what goes into your food; it’s better for the locality, because it keeps money in the local economy; and it’s better for the planet, because it reduces food miles and CO2 emissions. Plus we want to celebrate the good food we’ve got in the Borders.
“That’s the free lunch’s only catch: all you have to do is ask yourself why we are promoting local food. When you next head for the supermarket, please ask yourself how many of the items you intend to buy could be locally sourced and bought from the butcher, greengrocer, or corner store? Could you make the extra effort to do that?”
For more information, visit www.Tweedgreen.Org.
Later that evening, the Lodge at Carfraemill near Lauder will also be championing local food at its St Andrew’s Night celebration – an evening blending music, supper and whisky.
Clarsach player Ailie Robertson, shortlisted for composer of the year in the traditional music awards, composed and plays the concert’s three movements, before a dinner of Hawick butcher Lindsay Grieve’s award-winning haggis, neeps and tatties, oatcakes with Border cheeses from Stichill Jerseys and Standhill cheesery, and finally a dram of Turnbull’s whisky from Hawick.
Tickets for the November 26 event cost £25. To book call 01578 750750.
On December 2, Selkirk’s County Hotel will play host to a mediaeval feast, serving a four-course banquet of 16th-century recipes – pease potage in a bread bowl, salmon and prune pasties with pickles, grape-stuffed chicken with roast onions, and finally jelly puddings.
Cabaret entertainment will be from Jedburgh-based entertainers Les Amis d’Onno, and period headgear will be provided with the meal – diners are reminded that in the 16th century, there were no forks!
The event starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £20, and are available from the County Hotel and the Scott’s Selkirk shop in Selkirk’s Market Place.
Don’t forget to dine at Meg Dods’ kitchen at Scott’s Selkirk on December 3 and 4, too.