Mrs. Macnab’s Scones

This recipe was collected by Scottish folklorist F. Marian McNeill and published in her 1929 book, The Scots Kitchen. She writes, “Mrs. Macnab was the wife of a farmer who lived near Ballater. Such was her reputation as a baker that King Frederick of Prussia and other distinguished guests at Balmoral used frequently to go over and have tea with her. It is not possible to impart Mrs. Macnab’s lightness of touch, nor the wine-like air of these regions, which doubtless contributed to her visitors’ enjoyment; but here, at least, is the recipe for her celebrated scones.”

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Broonie

Broonie is a traditional oatmeal gingerbread from the Orkney Islands in Scotland. This particular recipe comes from the folklorist F. Marian McNeill, who collected traditional recipes for her 1929 book The Scots Kitchen. Although she collected recipes from all over Scotland (I made another of her gingerbread recipes in this post), she was born and raised in Orkney, so broonie may have been familiar to her from her childhood.

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Sour Milk Ginger Bread

This gingerbread comes from Foods That Will Win the War, a pamphlet and recipe book instructing cooks how to save food during World War I. Although the United States never had official rationing during the first World War, the U.S. Food Administration ran an aggressive propaganda campaign urging Americans not to waste food, especially wheat, meat, fats, and sugar. Gingerbread was perfect for this, since the use of molasses as a sweetener means that it can be made without any added sugar at all.

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Will Rogers’ Chili and Beans

Will Rogers, the “cowboy philosopher,” was a man of many talents: actor, cowboy, newspaper columnist, and humorist. After settling his family on a ranch in California, he also became a beloved local figure in Beverly Hills; in 1926, he was briefly declared the honorary mayor. Naturally, when the Beverly Hills Woman’s Club produced a community cookbook, they asked him to contribute an introduction. He did – along with two recipes of his own.

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