The following recipes can be found in all eras of Scottish History
Mashlum, Mashlam, Maslin?
Depending on where you lived in Scotland, depends on what word above you would use but they all mean the same and that is - a mix of grains and legumes such as oats, rye, bere, peas and beans.
They were ground together to make a flour mix for baking.
It was used mostly by the poorer members of society as the well off could afford bread and goods made with the expensive white wheat flour, which had been processed to remove any nutritional bran.
We now know of course, that grain bread is better for us but back then , the white your bread then the richer you were.
If you were not rich enough to have white flour then you used whatever flour you could to bake with and if you had a little bit of different flours left , then you mixed them altogether and used that mix.
We have a recipe below for Mashlum Scones, which are basically fluffy Bannocks!
Bannocks have always been made in scotland. In their most basic form it is flour and water. Some use oats, some add butter and some may add honey.
This particular recipe from Mull uses Bicarbonate of Soda to give a rise to the bannocks. That means it is probably a recipe from the late 1800s as Bicarb did not really exist before then.
Enjoy your fluffy bannocks with some butter and jam or even some nice cheese
125 g Flour ( we used, a mix of Plain white and Bere flour from Orkney)
125 g fine ground oatmeal
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 tsp of cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1 tsp of sugar
25 g butter
milk for mixing
Mix all the dry ingredients together, rub in the butter.
make a well in the centre and add milk bit by bit to make a soft dough.
Heat your griddle and sprinkle a little flour onto the griddle.
Spread the dough mixture onto the griddle ( we divided our mix into four and made four small batches)
Divide into four triangles.
Cook until golden on each side
Serve hot with jam, butter or cheese
Cheese making has been going on for 1000s of years. It was a way to store milk, use up milk that was going sour and provide the ultimate snack food!
Cheese comes in many forms but the one we make the most is a very easy soft cheese, that most people would have made regularly.
Milk was not really safe to drink, even if you had a cow right outside the door. There was no pasteurisation and certainly no fridges, but it was too good a food source to ignore or throw away.
Many recipes, up until the late 1300s/1400s at the earliest,were not written down and even after that very few had measurements.
After talking to a food journalist today and having a conversation in how much "a bit of" actually is, we came up with rough measurements for this simple cheese.
3 pints of Milk
Approx 200 mls lemon juice
Salt to taste
Warm the milk, taking care not to burn. We decided the right temp was "blood warm"
Take off the heat and slowly, while stirring, add the lemon juice.
You will see the milk start to curdle, but at this point it still looks like milk
As you add more lemon juice the curds and whey appear. Now you may need less or more lemon juice for this to happen.
Add salt to taste. If you have some herbs you can add them now too.
Take a large piece of muslin and lay it in a bowl. Scoop the curd into the muslin.
Gather up the muslin, tie the top with string and then hang the cheese ball over a basin.
I hung the cheese for approx 5 hours but I have left it for 24 hours before .
And thats it! The easiest cheese you'll ever make!
This cheese was served at a medieval Buffet yesterday.
"Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St Clements"
Oranges can be found in royal kitchens since medieval times, but they were quite bitter and you certainly wouldn't be just peeling and eating!By the time of Mary Queen of Scots sweet oranges, from ceylon,were being imported through Europe by the Portuguese and were making their way into Royal kitchens.(I have an ancestor , a privateer, that caused a bit of a problem for the Portuguese transport ships...but thats a different story!)Caramelized oranges were one way that they were eaten. It looked good and was an excellent way to make the fruit last longer.Sugar was a kind of wonder food in the 1500s and 1600s and was used in great amounts by Royalty, Nobility and those showing off. In fact Henry VIII nearly bankrupt England by spending over half the countries money on sugar!The recipe below is from 1600s and is exactly the same as one from the Victorian era.!
Boil the oranges 3 times, changing the water each time, until the oranges are tender. ( this just means that when the water comes to boil, leave for a few mins, drain then add more water and boil again)In another pot make a syrup with the sugar and water.Drain oranges and add to syrup. Boil oranges in syrup until syrup is almost gonePlace each slice to drain and dry for 1/2 hour. Toss each slice in sugar.
And thats it, a recipe that hasn't changed in hundreds of years
Walk into any baker nowadays and you will be able to buy a sourdough loaf. Sourdough may be new to some people but it is in fact one of the oldest ways to make bread and is also quite easy! Most countries had and still have, flat breads which is THE easiest way to make a type of bread and also easy to make for most people, especially in rural areas, who didn't all have ovens.
But nothing can beat a good old loaf of bread and in fact in medieval scotland bread was a staple of the diet for rich and poor alike.
So to make a nice risen loaf you needed a raising agent and that of course was yeast.
Now I can buy dried or fresh yeast at most supermarkets but in medieval scotland (an long before and long after) You had to make your own.
When brewing ale there is "large yeast" at the bottom of the barrel that can be used to make bread
If you didn't have that then you could use a sourdough starter.
It is incredibly easy to make.... Flour and water, thats it!
I use a rye flour as in Scotland it would have been used the most as wheat does not grow well here.
Start with a half bowl of water and add enough flour to make a thick batter. Now cover and wait for a couple of days.
If possible leave it somewhere warm but not too hot or cold.
In a couple of days there should be plenty of bubbles on top and a "vinegar" smell. This is now a living organism, so it needs fed. Add the same amount water to flour (about half a cup each), gently stir in and then cover and leave for another 2 days. For about 10 days keep adding water and flour. You can take out some of the dough if you need room in the bowl.
After 10 days your dough can be used. Always leave some in the original bowl and keep feeding the same way to ensure you always have a supply.
Extra fact: if you take your sourdough starter to another house, even just a few miles away, you may find you dough will die. That is because yeast is a natural organism and it can be different type from area to area.