Stumbling across some local honeycomb

On a long bike ride through sunny Deeside I happened to pass a house with a hand painted sign outside simply saying “For Sale Comb Honey”. Well you have to stop to check it out don’t you? I pulled up to the side of the house to find an elderly gentleman who keeps a few bees and when he has an excess of honey (didn’t happen for him last year but this year has been a bumper one apparently) he packages up a few sections of honeycomb and sells it for a fiver from his house. Continue reading “Stumbling across some local honeycomb”

Food and drink

Homemade Butteries

I don’t normally do requests but on this occasion I’ll make an exception. An expat friend of mine demanded that I post a recipe for butteries after my snapshot post on them last week. The sight of Aitken’s finest produce on my frontpage reminded him how much he missed them for breakfast. I can’t blame him really.

Butteries or rowies are a speciality of north-east Scotland. Similar to a flat croissant, they’re high in fat and salt with a large amount of butter and lard in the recipe. This isn’t health food! They were originally developed as food that would keep for a few days on a fishing boat; hence the high salt content. Don’t be put off by their unhealthy reputation though. As an occasional treat they’re delicious. As long as they’re fresh then I’ll eat them plain but most people like them lightly toasted with butter and jam.
Continue reading “Homemade Butteries”

Food and drink

Homemade Tablet

Tablet is a traditional Scottish treat which might seem similar to fudge but it’s harder, crumbly and sweeter. You can usually find it at tea mornings, jumble sales and summer galas as it’s long been a mainstay of the home bakes tables that appear in those locations.

I’ve got fond memories of my Mum making it when we were little and I’ve tried it before in the past with little success. My last attempt ended with a baking tray full of sugary mush that was barely edible. But it’s worth persevering to get it right so I thought I’d give it another go. Continue reading “Homemade Tablet”


Haggis, neeps and barley risotto – when good ideas go bad

It all started because Oliver at Salad Days, Offal Nights made a St George risotto using English ingredients (which seemed to contain mostly leeks!?). That’s a good idea I thought so I started thinking about a St Andrews version.

Neeps (swedes) would work quite well with the barley and my first thought was to roast some small joint of lamb or venison to go with the risotto. Then I remembered about the haggis in the freezer. Continue reading “Haggis, neeps and barley risotto – when good ideas go bad”

Food and drink

Winter Stew

As we’re in the merciless grip of the worst snow for 45 years it’s definitely time to break out the big guns. Winter stews, casseroles, anything that takes a few hours of cooking with lots of big flavours, root vegetables and plenty of leftovers. Continue reading “Winter Stew”

Food and drink


My brother has a plan he mentions occasionally, to open a late night food cart selling stovies to drunk people. He thinks he’d make a fortune. Around here he probably would as well.

Stovies are another one of those dishes, like mince and tatties, which seems to define Scottish food for some people. They originated as a way of using up leftovers and making the most of what you had. The classic version that you find most often consists of tatties, onions and beef (usually boiled or leftover roast). There are of course regional and generational variations and you can swap the beef for lamb, mince, pork, even duck on one Aberdeen restaurant menu. Never corned beef though. That’s just wrong. Continue reading “Stovies”


Cairn O Mohr – Autumn Oak

While we were in Pitlochry we visited a little whisky shop on the high street. If you happen to visit this shop DO NOT ask the guy with a beard if he’s got any good bargains! At least not if you want to leave quickly. Christ that guy can haver on.

Anyway I resisted the excellent selection of whisky they had but did get drawn to a display of wine bottles. I’d heard of Cairn O Mohr’s range of fruit wine and seen the van driving around occasionally but never had the opportunity to try any. Well as it’s made locally this place obviously decided it deserved some attention, they had a large display with the full range of fruit wine from Cairn O Mohr. We had a good browse and chose 3 bottles to try. Continue reading “Cairn O Mohr – Autumn Oak”