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By Mags Hall

Thank you to everyone who took part in our recipe swap or came to speak to us at our recent Christmas events. We’re pleased to say that the winner of the copy of The Scots Kitchen is Ingrid Glendinning from Dunfermline – we thought her festive Winter Salad, below,  would make a lovely fresh addition to the Christmas table, as a light starter, or to give some refreshing crunch alongside your Gartmorn Turkey. We’ve added a few more of our favourite ideas too – give them a go over the holidays and tell us what you think!

Ingrid’s Winter Salad
Any amount of the following winter vegetables;
Finely shredded white / green cabbage
Finely sliced white end of leek
Finely shredded red cabbage
Finely grated carrots
Finely grated parsnips
Sliced red onion
Cooked potatoes, sliced
Cooked or raw Jerusalem artichokes, sliced, if available
Corn Salad (lamb’s lettuce)

For the dressing;
1 small pot of soured cream
Cream (the amount depends on your vegetables, but add as much as you like to make it runny enough)
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
1 tsp mustard (more if you like it spicy)
Dash of Fife honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour some of the lemon juice over the carrot and parsnips to stop from going brown. Arrange all the prepared vegetables in little piles on a large, pretty serving plate. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and pour into a gravy boat. The salad is intended to be served at the table, so people can help themselves to whatever they like and pour their dressing on. It’s not the same as mixing it all in one salad bowl; it makes it a wee bit more special, for special occasions or just for fun. You could use other dressings instead of or in addition to this one, like an oil and vinegar one, but this one works really well with the winter veg.  And you could add apples and pears to the veg plate, if you like them in a salad.  Enjoy!

Colin’s Oatmeal Stuffing

I heard someone refer to this as the quickest route to heartburn. This is true but it is still delicious.

2 cups medium oatmeal
2 large onions, finely chopped
8 tbsps goose fat or butter
2 tsps salt

Cook the onion in the fat till it is soft, add  the oatmeal and salt and cook slowly with a bit of a stir now and then. My mother used to cook the stuffing separately in a bain marie very slowly so there was no chance of the oatmeal burning. We ate it with the Christmas hen or chicken as it was euphemistically known.

Fergus’s Auntie’s Cloutie Dumpling Recipe

 Cloutie Dumplings are obviously written into the DNA of the Walker family. My great granny, Ellen Walker, was a stalwart supporter of the Puddin’ Race. She was a fisher-woman from Old Torry in Aberdeen, and on wash day every Monday, she would have a pot of soup bubbling away in the boiler-room of the tenement wash-house – and in the pot she would hang a cloutie dumpling. How’s that for energy efficiency?

So here’s a great recipe from her grand-daughter Lis – I especially like the addition of the carrots and apples. Soup is optional.

1lb (500g) Plain flour                                          6oz(175g) Breadcrumbs
½ lb (250g) Sultanas                                           ½ lb (250g) Currants
4oz (125g) Raisins                                              1tsp Baking powder
½ tsp salt                                                          2 tsp each of: cinnamon, mixed spice, ginger
4oz (125g) chopped mixed peel                           ½ lb (250g) brown sugar
½ lb (250g) finely chopped suet                            2 grated cooking apples
2 grated carrots                                                   ½ lb (250g) black treacle
2 eggs                                                                Zest and juice of one orange/lemon
Milk to mix

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, using milk to mix to a soft consistency.

Half fill a very large pot with water and bring to the boil. Add a large piece of cotton or linen cloth to the boiling water and leave it in for a few minutes. Lift out with some tongs, allow excess water to drip off, then lay out. Sprinkle with a thin layer of flour to form a seal. Add the mixture, draw up the edges and tie up with some string allowing for expansion room.

Put a plate in the bottom of the pan and add the dumpling. The water should come ¾ of the way up the dumpling. Bring to simmer point, cover and cook for about 3 hours. (Using a pressure cooker should speed up this process). The pudding can also be boiled in a greased pudding bowl.

To turn out the dumpling, fill up a basin with cold water and have a bowl ready that the dumpling will fit neatly into. Also have ready a large, heated ashet or plate.

First dip the pudding into the cold water for 1 second only. This prevents the dumpling sticking to the cloth. Now put it into the bowl and loosen the string. Open out the cloth and hang over the sides of the bowl. Put the serving dish over the bowl, invert, then remove the cloth. Dry off the pudding in the oven or in front of the fire. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Eat hot with cream or custard (or soup!).