Rumbledethumps is a traditional dish from the Scottish Borders.

How can you not like a dish with a name like that?

Rumbledethumps is a quick and easy recipe often compared to “bubble and squeak”.

Supposedly the name of the dish comes from the sound of the wooden spoon thumping on the pan when mixing the potatoes and cabbage.

Serves 4

  • Cooked and mashed potato
  • Cooked and thinly sliced cabbage
  • 50g Butter
  • 125g Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200°C

Cook equal amounts of potato and cabbage.

Combine potatoes and finely chopped cabbage  mix with a wooden spoon to get the thumping sound that names the dish, in a large saucepan in which the butter has been melted while all the ingredients are still hot, and season well.

Transfer everything into a roasting tin.

Scatter over the cheese and bake until the cheese melts and colours.


Scottish Word of the Day!

Haud yer wheesht! – Be quiet. Hush Up. Shut Up.

Some folk don’t know when to haud their wheesht – Some people do not know when to shut up.

Will yer wheesht, you pair! Ma heid’s loupin! – Will you pair keep quiet, my head is throbbing!

Politicians, of course, find it harder than normal people to haud their wheesht.


Mince and Tatties

Mince and Tatties is an extremely popular Scottish dish, consisting of minced beef and potatoes, usually but not always mashed.

It is a staple food in Scotland and is usually served on a very regular basis.

People world wide are often homesick for the memory of their Ma’s or their Grannies Mince and Tatties.

This recipe, like a lot of Scottish food varies throughout Scotland as each region and town all have thier own variation.

Mince and Tatties even has a poem written about it.

mince and tatties

Serve 4

  • 500 G of good beef  mince
  • 1  onion, finely chopped
  • 2 or 3  carrots  diced
  • Dash or two to taste of  Worcester sauce
  • Beef stock or Bisto
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Mashed potatoes to serve

In a large saucepan, brown the mince but do not overcrowd as the the mince will stew instead of brown, best cooked in batches.

Only drain excess fat if you must – or else you will lose flavour and tenderness if you do.

Remove mince when fully browned.

In the same pan, fry off the onion for 3/4 minutes, before returning the mince to the pan.

Add the worcester sauce, and beef stock to cover.

If using Bisto, mix with cold the take pan off heat and stir in thoroughly.

Cover the pan and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

Adjust seasoning if required, then add the carrots.

Bring to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes, leaving the pan uncovered as required to reduce the stock down to a thick sauce.

Serve with your mashed potato.

Essential extras include a big dollop of Broon sauce.

This can be stretched further by adding oatmeal when browning the mince to make a more economical meal.

Mince and Tatties – A Wee Poem
I dinna like hail tatties
Pit on my plate o mince
For when I tak my denner
I eat them baith at yince.

Sae mash and mix the tatties
Wi mince into the mashin,
And sic a tasty denner
Will aye be voted ‘Smashin!’
J. K. Annand

from A Wale o Rhymes (Macdonald Publishers, 1989).

Scottish Word of the Day!

Mince – nonsense, rubbish

Yer no listenin’ tae whit that heid-the-ba tells ye, ur ye?  His heid’s full a’ mince!

You’re talking Mince – You’re talking a load of rubbish

Ma Heid’s full ‘o’ Mince, meaning that you cannot remember things.


The flapjack originated in Britain. It is a dense sweet cookie bar made from oats, butter, golden syrup or honey and sugar. The main ingredient is oatmeal , thus making it a very food popular in Scotland

Shakespeare refers to flapjack in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Act II Scene I, but this is one of the many anachronisms in his historical plays and does not suggest that he thought it was a middle eastern dish, merely a common English dessert of the time:

“Come, thou shan’t go home, and we’ll have flesh for holidays, fish for fasting-days, and moreo’er puddings and flap-jacks, and thou shalt be welcome.”


Serves 12-16 Flapjacks

  • 250 g Rolled oats
  • 150 g Butter
  • 75 g Golden syrup
  • 75 g Light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180C.

Grease and line a shallow 20cm square tin with baking parchment.

Put the butter, sugar & golden syrup in pan and heat gently until completely melted.

Mix the oats into the liquid.

Turn into the tin, level and press the mixture evenly and firmly with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until just golden around the edges.

Place pan on a cooling rack and leave for 15 mins.

Cut into 12 or 16 pieces whilst still warm.

Leave to cool and set.

Flapjacks will keep up to a week in an airtight container.

Scottish Word of the Day!

Jessie – A Jessie is an effeminate, weak, or cowardly man.

Ye’re just a big Jessie!  – You’re a big girl’s blouse!

What are ye greetin for, ye big Jessie?

Shinty is definitely not a game for Jessies!

Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink is a rich thick Scottish soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. An authentic Cullen Skink will use Finnan Haddie, but it can also be prepared with any other undyed smoked haddock.

The name of this rich, tasty soup comes from the fishing village of Cullen, in Morayshire. “Skink” is a soup made originally from a shin of beef. But in this case, the main ingredient is smoked haddock.

cullen skink soup

Serves 4

  • 300g Finnan Haddie
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 20g butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 large leek, trimmed, halved & thinly sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled & cut into 1cm dice
  • 350ml  milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parsley or Chives finely chopped, to serve

Put the fish and bay leaf into a large pan cover with about 250ml cold water

Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, turning once

Remove from the heat and remove the fish with a slotted spoon, keep the poaching liquid.

Remove the skin from the haddock, plus any bones, then gently flake the fish.

Melt butter in another pan over a low heat, and add the onion and the leek.

Cover and allow to sweat, without colouring, for 5 minutes until softened.

Add the potato and stir to coat with butter. Pour in the haddock cooking liquor and bay leaf, and bring to a simmer.

Cook for 5-10 minutes until the potato is tender.

Discard the bay leaf, add the milk, some salt and white pepper to taste and process the soup with a hand blender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Add half of the smoked haddock flakes to the soup and reheat.

Divide the remaining Smoked haddock between warmed bowls and surround with soup, sprinkle with Parsley.

Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Scottish Word of the Day!

Help ma Boab! – “Goodness gracious me!” – Expressing frustration, amazement, etc.

Help ma’ Boab a nearly smacked ma heid off  the lamp post!

The phrase is famously used by Scotland’s One and Only Oor Willie

Help ma Boab! is that the time !


Scottish Oatcakes

Oatcakes are thin savoury oatmeal biscuit, traditionally made in Scotland. Oatcakes are cooked either on a griddle or baked in the oven.

Oatcake variations exist based upon different preparations in various regions and countries.

The health benefits include it helps regulate cholesterol by lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol.

In  Samuel Johnson’s  Johnson Dictionary of the English Language published 1755, he gives a very unusual definition for the word oats:  ‘a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.’

The description reveals his low opinion of the Scots.

Lord Elibank of Scotland was said to retort ”Yes, and where else will you see such horses and such men?”

Scottish Oatcakes

Makes about 20 Oatcakes

225g medium oatmeal
15g  melted fat or butter
1 Teaspoon of salt
100ml hot water
Additional oatmeal for kneading

Preheat oven to 200c

Mix oatmeal and salt

Add melted fat and water

Knead ingredients for a few minutes

Roll out into the required thickness and cut into required shape

Cook in oven for 15 to 20 minutes allow to cool a bit then place on a wire rack to cool completely


Scottish Word of the Day!

Gie it laldy – Give it all you’ve got

I’ve got a sair heid –  Aye were you giving it laldy last night?

Did you hear him singing in the pub last night? He was fair giving it laldy!

Ye should’ve seen big Maggie at the karaoke, she wiz geein it laldy aw night.