Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Farm Life on the Lovat Estate (3 of 20)
EXTERNAL ID
KIGHF_COLIN_MACRAE_03
PLACENAME
Hughton
DISTRICT
Aird
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Kiltarlity and Convinth
DATE OF RECORDING
9 March 1982
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Colin Macrae
SOURCE
Highland Folk Museum
ASSET ID
41209
KEYWORDS
audios
estates
farms

Get Adobe Flash player

Colin Macrae was born and brought up on the Lovat Estate, at Hughton, Eilean Aigas, near Beauly. His family were farmers for the Lovat Estate.

In this audio extract Colin talks about food including local names and food purchases,

Interviewer: Now, were there any local names for types of food or any local special recipes, special ways of cooking?

Colin: Well, ach well there was, yes, there used to be a gruel, you wouldcall it a 'brochan'. My mother used to make 'sowans'. That was of the husk of the corn. She could either make it as a drink, you know, in the warmer, or she could let it steep and drain it off and make a kind of a porridge of it, like a baby's pudding, very, very, fine but I can't, never remember of liking it - it had a very sour taste - but the older people they used to like it, but I think the younger with the sweeter taste, they didn't appreciate it very much. But I remember well all the old folk loving it and sometimes they would take it down - be working in the fields - take it down as a, a drink, just, you know, have a big bowl, a big jar of it to take it down and drink that, you know?

Interviewer: Where was food that had to be bought in, bought from?

Colin: Well, most of the, all those grocers came round, you know. There was a grocer's van came round and a baker came round and, well, I know they took in a lot of food at that time that would do you for long enough, like. Well, like we'd our own butter mostly, but like sugar and tea and things like that. In fact, it was tea, I think, I mind my mother getting it from some traveller that came round; you'd take a big order perhaps of twenty or thirty pounds of tea at a time, that was kept in. And the bakers came round, and the grocers' vans came round, and there was always fish men coming round, selling fish, you know, and occasionally, we would go to, perhaps, Beauly and get something.

Interviewer: What did your mother cook on? Did she cook over the open fire?

Colin: Oh, just an open fire, yes, yes, just an open fire and all fire wood. No, we didn't, we never bought coal at home. It was rather difficult. Now, we didn't have water, no running water in the house, you know. All the water had to be carried down and as my mother used to say, the biggest problem was carrying it out again, after you did all the washing and things. And then in the summer time the well probably went dry and we had to go dashed near a mile to get, to get water, you see? Fortunately the river ran by the place and that did alright for the cattle beasts and things, you know; there was plenty water for them, you see, but the river water we never used it for cooking or anything like that, you know, didn't consider it clean enough.

Cooking was all done in pots over the - we had what we called a swivel which was a, sort of like a right angle iron hooked onto the wall which would swing out and in and then it would, we'd put the crooks would put these in it and hang the pots on it, you know, and did all our cooking on that. Then, of course, the baking was done also at the girdle, you know? And then there used to be, like, oatcakes which was a, we didn't use white bread so much, perhaps very seldom. Earlier on perhaps once a week, even, the baker would come and you'd get two or three rolls. Mostly scones, pancakes, oatcakes, and so forth like that, you know?

(Image - A Stretch of the River Beauly with Eilean Aigas on the Left © Copyright Stanley Howe, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence 2.0)

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Farm Life on the Lovat Estate (3 of 20)

INVERNESS: Kiltarlity and Convinth

1980s

audios; estates; farms;

Highland Folk Museum

Highland Folk Museum: Farming at Eilean Aigas

Colin Macrae was born and brought up on the Lovat Estate, at Hughton, Eilean Aigas, near Beauly. His family were farmers for the Lovat Estate.<br /> <br /> In this audio extract Colin talks about food including local names and food purchases, <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Now, were there any local names for types of food or any local special recipes, special ways of cooking?<br /> <br /> Colin: Well, ach well there was, yes, there used to be a gruel, you wouldcall it a 'brochan'. My mother used to make 'sowans'. That was of the husk of the corn. She could either make it as a drink, you know, in the warmer, or she could let it steep and drain it off and make a kind of a porridge of it, like a baby's pudding, very, very, fine but I can't, never remember of liking it - it had a very sour taste - but the older people they used to like it, but I think the younger with the sweeter taste, they didn't appreciate it very much. But I remember well all the old folk loving it and sometimes they would take it down - be working in the fields - take it down as a, a drink, just, you know, have a big bowl, a big jar of it to take it down and drink that, you know?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Where was food that had to be bought in, bought from?<br /> <br /> Colin: Well, most of the, all those grocers came round, you know. There was a grocer's van came round and a baker came round and, well, I know they took in a lot of food at that time that would do you for long enough, like. Well, like we'd our own butter mostly, but like sugar and tea and things like that. In fact, it was tea, I think, I mind my mother getting it from some traveller that came round; you'd take a big order perhaps of twenty or thirty pounds of tea at a time, that was kept in. And the bakers came round, and the grocers' vans came round, and there was always fish men coming round, selling fish, you know, and occasionally, we would go to, perhaps, Beauly and get something.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What did your mother cook on? Did she cook over the open fire?<br /> <br /> Colin: Oh, just an open fire, yes, yes, just an open fire and all fire wood. No, we didn't, we never bought coal at home. It was rather difficult. Now, we didn't have water, no running water in the house, you know. All the water had to be carried down and as my mother used to say, the biggest problem was carrying it out again, after you did all the washing and things. And then in the summer time the well probably went dry and we had to go dashed near a mile to get, to get water, you see? Fortunately the river ran by the place and that did alright for the cattle beasts and things, you know; there was plenty water for them, you see, but the river water we never used it for cooking or anything like that, you know, didn't consider it clean enough. <br /> <br /> Cooking was all done in pots over the - we had what we called a swivel which was a, sort of like a right angle iron hooked onto the wall which would swing out and in and then it would, we'd put the crooks would put these in it and hang the pots on it, you know, and did all our cooking on that. Then, of course, the baking was done also at the girdle, you know? And then there used to be, like, oatcakes which was a, we didn't use white bread so much, perhaps very seldom. Earlier on perhaps once a week, even, the baker would come and you'd get two or three rolls. Mostly scones, pancakes, oatcakes, and so forth like that, you know?<br /> <br /> (Image - A Stretch of the River Beauly with Eilean Aigas on the Left © Copyright Stanley Howe, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence 2.0)