Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Kids’ Kitchen: Teach the bairns to cook with Scottish food writer Liz Ashworth

Post Thumbnail

Liz Ashworth is passionate about teaching children to cook, and each month, presents some simple recipes to make at home, served alongside a slice of history about Scotland’s foodie past…

Hello, my name is Liz Ashworth, from Moray, and I invite you to come with me each month on a food journey through Scotland’s kitchens of the past and present.

I often imagine what it was like to live then because it helps everything come alive in my mind. Try it as we explore how life was before cooking as we know it today.

Our time travels begin back in the “dark ages” when our ancestors sat round a stone edged fire which gave them light and heat.

Liz Ashworth.

The flat stones surrounding the fire became very hot so, to make their food taste better and easier to eat, they cooked fish, meat and even a primitive flat bread (called a bannock) on them as they sat there keeping warm.


A circle of stones named “Greadeal’ gives us a clue to the origin and name of the famous Scottish flat metal baking plate called, a ‘girdle’.

This flat plate was originally hung on a hook called a swee and placed over the fire until hot, then used to bake daily bannocks and oatcakes.

Today metal girdles are made for us to bake in a similar way on modern cookers. To produce enough flour to bake the daily bread they had to grind grain by rubbing it between two hard stones; a large base stone and a small upper rubbing stone.

This primitive “flour mill” was called a quern and from this modern flour mills developed.

Back then, it was someone’s job to rub grain in the quern to gather meal to bake bread. Think how you might have felt doing that boring job. It hurt your back, knees and hands because you had to kneel for a long time, adding grain, then rubbing it between the stones back and forwards.

It took ages to collect enough ‘flour’, then you had to light a fire, mix and bake bread – every day – which is where the saying ‘daily grind’ comes from.

Here are some old Scottish recipes, ideal for enjoying with toast. Each month I will give away a copy of one of my cook books.

This time it is, Teach the Bairns to Cook, which is packed full of easy-to-make old favourite recipes from the past.

Please send me your contact details and one of your own recipes. I will send a copy of the book to the person whose recipe catches my imagination.

Remember there is always next month’s book to look forward to so keep cooking, baking and sending me recipes.

Carrot and cheese toast

(Serves 2) 

Carrot and cheese toast.


  • 1 medium carrot (or apple), peeled and grated
  • 1 dsp  (10mls) water
  • 15g butter
  • 60g grated hard cheese
  • ¼ tsp mustard or 1 tsp chutney
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. Put the grated carrot and water into a pan, heat and simmer slowly for three minutes to soften.
  2. Add the butter, cheese, mustard or chutney and cook, stirring all the time for a few minutes till the cheese melts and the mix thickens.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide between two slices of hot buttered toast and enjoy.

Finnan toasts

(Serves 4) 

Finnan toasts.


  • 60g butter
  • 185g un-dyed smoked haddock fillet
  • 30g cream cheese
  • Ground black pepper


  1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the haddock.
  2. Cook the haddock in the butter breaking it into flakes with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Turn off the heat then add the cream cheese and a good grinding of black pepper. Stir well and put into ramekins or other small dishes.
  4. Chill in the fridge to set, keeps for up to four days.
  5. Enjoy spread on toast, Melba toast, fairy toast or oatcakes.

Potted cheese

(Serves 4)

Potted cheese.


  • 115g leftover cheese
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 30g cream cheese or cream
  • 1 tsp mustard or chutney


  1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and beat together.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Butterscotch apple toasts

(Serves 4)

Butterscotch apple toasts.


  • 30g butter
  • 250g eating apples/pears or peaches – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar


  1. Melt the butter in a deep pan and add the apples to sizzle a little.
  2. Add 1 tbsp sugar, stir together and reduce the heat. Cover the pan and steam the apples for about three or four minutes till softened.
  3. Divide evenly between four slices of hot buttered toast, sprinkle with the remaining sugar and enjoy hot with yoghurt or ice cream.

More in this series…

Kids’ Kitchen: Terrific tiffin the whole family can enjoy

Kids’ Kitchen: Animated food that’ll be a hit with the young ones

Already a subscriber? Sign in