Holidays

Before coming back to you I am off for a well earned break, we are off to Cycle the lovely coastline of Belgium yes I picked it because its flat!! however the luggage paniers for the bike are slightly heavier than I thought, Ewan has the two kids attached to the back of his bike on a tandem tag a long bike yes they do pedal… & I have the clothes for the 2 weeks I think my bike is heavier there is a dispute though as Ewan begs to differ however in Belgium there are no hills like the crazy ones up to Balquidder so it will be a skoosh for them…. leaving the car at Hull is how this adventure will begin, however we threw a spanner in the works last night as our friend has just started hiring as well as refurbishing VW campervans and he has a splitty for us when we get back so straight back home and off on a West Coast adventure up Scotland for some smashing good food & the excitement of being at last in a camper van, I have wanted a pink one with a Tartan pop up for years now so this is the closest I am getting as David from www.cutstrawcampers.co.uk is apprehensive about my colour choice.Who says “Summer holidays are boring!”

One Week to go

Well with exactly one week to go until the Scottish Spina Bifida Fundraising ball, www.ssba.org.uk its just all go, everything that myself & girls have been talking about has finally came to, ok we better start ordering the food, having said that the Prime Scotch Beef Aberdeen Angus fillet has been in for a few weeks just having and extra few weeks hanging time to make sure that its even more tasty Yvonne Noon from http://www.29glasgow.com/ is the girl behind doing the steaks I cant wait to go there for a perfect steak after all this when I only have enjoying my tea on my mind. All of the lucky guests who will be attending Mar Hall next Thursday www.marhall.com . it has been challenging to say to least, I now know the amp capacity of a generator and that Sheila from http://www.88eventscompany.com although a fantastic lady and the one to phone if you want an event to impress ….will not share a generator with me!! here was me thinking “Sharing is Caring” So now have our own seperate generators I’m sure there will be enough energy to power that wee airport a few miles away! equipment wise thats right we had to build a kitchen too, Multi tasking I tell you!! my man Gary Gallacher 01698 327467 Electrical Catering services & Stephen from http://www.catering-world.co.uk/ have made this pop up kitchen happen although Gary was intially delighted that I asked him and his wife Elaine to come as my guests he was none too pleased yesterday when she handed over just one of the receipts for the new frock…come on Gary you should know by now, Ewan(my husband) is delighted this time as all I need is a new Chef Jacket!! Don’t get me started on the table decorations I am so excited, It is officially a Scottish Garden Party and we do obviously have them indoors in Scotland!( so we are bringing in the garden and thats all you are getting on that folks!) Beside all that the Scottish Lobsters are being landed on Monday night down at Ayr and will have a wee settling in few days at the tanks down there before coming up to us at www.braeheadfoods.co.uk/CookSchool/ where all of the food is coming from, Mark & Maggie from www.summerharvestoils.co.uk have donated all my oil for the salads Yes I have managed quite easily to convince 3 Michelin star Claire Smyth, Gordons Head Chef at Royal Hospital Road to use the best Scottish rapeseed oil for the dish she knows how caring I am about making sure this is all about Scottish produce, she doesn’t have to pay for carriage now everything is just up the road!! As I type the Tulameen raspberries are being gently picked for the sorbet www.albert-bartlett.co.uk/scotty these fantastic Scotty soft fruits will make all the difference I will be delivering them down to http://www.equi-icecream.co.uk/ as they have very kindly offered to churn our sorbet for us with these tasty Scottish raspberries which will be part of an amazing Scottish soft fruit pudding although not giving too much away you know I like my puddings and this is a good one I promise not a glimmer of Puff Candy in sight!!I’ll maybe I’ll make GR a wee bag to take away with him… sweeten him up a bit! I will report after the event to let you all into the kitchen secrets No Nightmares here I hope!

What is behind every good jar of Jam?

What is behind every good jar of Jam? A couple of pound of East Perthshire raspberries! Jamtastic day yesterday I attended the World premier of Love to Eat Perthshire Jampionships a day at the amazing dreels jam… packed with superb Scottish raspberries oh yes and there was pieces in jam too!! I’m always being biased to Scottish soft fruits but why shouldn’t we be? They are obviously the best in the world!! Perthshire quality is second to none. we patiently wait every year growers, chefs & shop owners it’s a fantastic time of year.However it should become more, why are we not popping up to the farms at the weekend. Picking berries can be a lot more fun & a healthier way to spend time with the family
I bet even the elder members of the family(I’ll leave the age group blank!!) would come along too, even just to have a wee scone or dare i say PIECE in the tearoom whilst they watch the youngsters do all the work!
Then once back home they can teach us how it’s done…
Up there alone they offer excellent service, locally-sourced food, quality producers and produce, and not to mention the eating establishments in Blairgowrie and East Perthshire”
That’s just the tip of of this Jam jar!!
I love jam always have always will, my wee sister loved it more, all too often getting caught having jam on just too many things ….we used to watch both our Grannie & Nana both making it differently same excitement waiting on it!!

Jam is cool & soo tasty. it reminds us of our childhoods, playing out in the sunshine with a piece in jam and mucky elbows.You give any one a piece and Jam & watch their face it went into the first cakes we made with our grannies, however the first cake i ever made (6yrs) i grilled my sponge instead of baked it that did not matter a jot as a massive dollop of homemade Jam nobody really cared I still get reminded of the grilled sponge now quite a few years on!!
Now that we’re older, we realise now that jam is fantastic with lots of things; cheese, ice cream, croissants, fish, brioche, meat, scones, pate, pancakes, waffles…
Can you imagine saying to your grandparents we shall have some of the spiced raspberry jam on the cheeseboard or the chilli laced strawberry jam served with some pate? I think not, but that’s how we roll nowadays
We are of course talking about ‘proper homemade jam’, not the cheap, junk that seems to fill the shelves nowadays. where you can really taste the Scottish fruit.
lets encourage everyone the length & breadth of the country to Invest a little more in a jar of ‘proper jam’ and they will not regret it!
.
Lets make jam cool again!
To establish today as an annual, JAMPIONSHIP event, celebrating the rich history of ‘jam’ and the important role it plays in our culture.
Lets ask everyone to dig out the Jam pans and enter for old time sake getting the Berry juices flowing get down loading this entry form and enter everyone you know that can make a right good jar of Raspberry jam there is no better smell than Scotch raspberries bubbling on a stove couple with with a slice of bread and you have a “Jeely piece of Heaven” Lets Pump up the Jam start rattling those jam pans and get entering into the World Jampionships go here for details
www.worldjamawards.co.uk whilst you are there pop on this site
http://www.lovetoeatperthshire.co.uk/ and STOP the bus on the way and discover what makes Blairgowrie & East Perthshire so special ask the family about stories from “The Berries” you’ll be ther a while mind you!

BBC radio Scotland and Lenny Henry

I was in the studio at BBC radio Scotland this morning and Lenny Henry was also there a funny off mic comment….. well so he thought! as Lenny was leaving he shouted “Alwight ma love forgot to say you should’nt have washed your red pants with that” however Mic was still on you could see the look on the production teams face, leaving Fred to explain when back on air after a link “for any listeners that didnt quite get that Jak wears a pink chef jacket!” one of those funny mental images with words moment, I believe he is on STV The Hour this evening at 5pm. hope he doesnt go saying it on tv this time I am on cooking after him….

Just incase anyone out there would like to join the Sisters kelvingrove team I am looking for a new member to assist me in the kitchen must have experience pop me a cv over and we can have a chat. Jak x

I was lucky enough to be asked this week by the BBC radio Scotland team to present the Cookery Zones introducing some great archive Food & Cooking chats from Angela Harnett, Nick Nairn, Tony Singh & Rick Stein the bit I loved most was getting to say “Your listening to me, Jacqueline O’Donnell on BBC radio Scotland’s Culture zone” definitely happier on radio…. well I’ve got the face for it!!! log on www.bbc.co.uk/radioscotland/zones

A fantastic date for my diary 25th February its a Fundraiser for my son’s nursery the local and fantastic nursery that belongs to Carmunnock its going to be a great night TICKETS SOLD OUT! and there is still 2 weeks to go!
Saturday the 12th March very busy demonstration day 1st half of the day in Sisters Kelvingrove for a private party dem then hot footing up to Sisters Jordanhill for the 2nd one phew!!

At The Cook School Scotland 25th march I have another great day at one of Scotlands best Cookery School come on down to Kilmarnock at Braehead Foods to have a fantastic day in the kitchen 21st century home economics I tell ye!! http://www.braeheadfoods.co.uk/CookSchool/ I won’t shout as much as your Home Economics teachers did though!! sorry Mrs Donald but you did shout not at me obviously “Star pupil” hehe

February

Just a few days in February and the diary getting well stocked, Firstly my date for Scottish Spina bifida has been confirmed well it better be, Thinking it was October as it has been for the past 3 years I thought I had plenty time to worry about finding my all female team, however since the charming Chef Ramsay decided to turn the heat up for the girls and its now getting held in the summer, unfortunately for me I had my family holiday booked!! Yip my long suffering/supporting husband and the 2 kids, 6 & 4 decided we would like to cycle this summer hopefully were its warmer, so we are heading to Belgium a wee trek first to Hull then boat trip and cycling down the coast of Flanders and staying there thankfully they were all very understanding and we have moved all the reservations on a few weeks I’m not sure I’ll be fit for such a long cycle after the run up to The Spina Bifida Ball??

Last November at The wonderful Country Living show 2010 I met up with a wonderful girl I used to work for oh dear maybe lets just say 20ish years ago Shiela from The Strathaven Hotel, http://www.bw-strathavenhotel.co.uk I did quite a bit of pastry work for this great Family run hotel in Strathaven Sheila got me at the end of my demonstration and asked to see if I would be interested in a demonstration for a Ladies Lunch, so it got finalised last night 27th & 28th March all in aid of Leukemia I’m sure I will have a great day entertaining the ladies at this event.

Prior to that we have several more demonstrations at The Sisters

Mothers day. Do you want a wee day out with your mum or special friend? get her a wee voucher for my demonstration on the 21st May we will do a personilsed voucher just to make her day & don’t worry she won’t feel you are giving her a hint, its for a relaxing day with someone else cooking & washing up oh and pouring the wine!! book now at www.thesisters.co.uk

Start of the year

Well i have had a great busy start to the year, and hello to eveyone who has came along to the demonstrations or indeed the Cook School Scotland you can usually catch me on Fred MacAulay BBC radio Scotland every Foodie Tuesday filling a 3 minute gap on an item of food of the week then every 3rd Tuesday and Thursday with Michelle & Stephen on STV “The Hour” having a wee cookery slot for family & budget cooking, so far no other big food shows coming up however plenty demonstrations at the Restaurants eith St Patricks night or Saturday lunch/Demonstration days there is always something on the website so keep a wee eye on www.thesisters.co.uk for up and coming events & offers speak to you soon.

Hello am just about to do a wee interview on Glasgow/Scotlands food culture & revolution I remebered i got half way through a story as I often do at my cookery demonstrations, on saturday at Sisters Jordanhill or maybe there was a few stories…
I was giving the chat on Scotlands fabulous shellfish the story was about scallops and their differences when trying to explain, with actions! how the scallops moved through the water and there was amazing piece of footage on HFW programme Gone Fishing which was one of these fantastic late night viewing after a hard day in the kicthen…. yes i do go home and watch cookery/food shows Well especially when its in Scotland. Hugh was diving for scallops and they filmed the scallops moving just amazing and then they produced a both cooked and raw dish with the said scallops mouth watering and so proud to have this so close to home, however my elation on our wonderful larder was very much short lived as later on in the show after trying to convince the locals in Broadfoot Isle of Skye to chose Pollock over Haddock he proceeded to say “do you know what else they do in this country ?” have pudding from the chippy either it was my late night or the bottom of my wee glass of wine, I had no idea After that pause he went to the confectioner shelf of the chip shop opened the said chocolate & deep fried it, So back to my interview on revolution/culture we have an amazing reputation for growing rearing and producing the finest from the land sea & air so why oh why do we have the worst reputation for what we consume?

Oh here i go again

Hello there Oh here i go again its been a busy one I have been at the Retirment show last weekend and then The Amazing Country Living fair this weekend I have posted all my recipes ont he next page that i had prepared on stage if anyone happened to be there and witnessed the on going catastrophies i am surprised you still feel the need to want to cook with my recipes auch you know It’ll be alright on the night if your christmas day dinner goes down half as well as my christmas day make it easy it’ll go down a storm!!

Watch THE HOUR this week i am working with a family to give them lots of hints & tips at LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE I was cooking with a brilliant family Paula & Neal and their two smashing boys Zak & Harrison they get the pleasure of being on the couch with Michelle & Stephen You will need to let me know if the enjoyed their week with me as I wont see the show off to a family renunion in Salamanca this week so i will miss their report on how they got on so tune in from Monday the 22nd Novemebr. The next show is Foodies Christmas in Edinburgh drop me a line for some tickets if you want a wonderful kick start to your december x
There has been so much happening over the past month it was an amazing time up in Dundee for the Flower & Food festival then straight to London for the Speciality Fine Food show
A few weeks break then full steam ahead October week rest…well off cycling first leg here to Loch Lomond yip on the bike I will keep you posted on the great food stops along the way then second leg up to Ardishaig and cycling to Crinan then home to prepare for the Gordon Ramsay Gala Dinner Monday morning at The Science centre for Scottish Spina Bifida Association we will be working all week on that I have just not mentioned to Gordon that I need away on the tuesday morning to go next door to the BBC for Fred’s show then a quick jaunt to STV to film The Hour then straight back into the kitchen Chef!
I’m sure he’ll be fine…
Then straight into friday morning after the dinner on thursday night hosting all weekend & cooking at The Love Food hate Waste Cookery Theatre

Hopefully we will catch up soon x

Foodies Festival

That is the Foodies Festival all finished for another year it was a fantastic weekend great weather although not that I left the cookery theatre that often so many chefs all showcasing thet best dish that they cook and a wee bit of chat going on too all in good humour I met a few new suppliers from the many food & Drink stalls I am definitely taking the train next year as I discovered new Edinburgh Gin this weekend along with my new recipe idea Hand dived Islay scallops cured in Edinburgh Gin with a splash of lime(no stove required) its also is gorgeous with Tonic! mmm what to have first?
This weekend Friday 20th August I am cooking at Braehead Cook School full hands on class no slacking no sitting back enjoying wine(not til lunch anyway) a full day of cooking my style of food and a few extra bits thrown in for good measure.
Saturday 21st well now you can sit back & drink wine Sisters Jordanhill 12-3.30pm food wine and good old tips tricks from Big Sis hopefully see you there.
Next week Tuesday & Thursday filming The Hour STV
Wenesday Festival in the sky 25th August
Taste of Scotland Tesco roadshow at Silverburn shopping centre Friday 27th August
Allander Chalet Cooking with children

iT IS NEARLY AUGUST ALREADY THAT WORKS OUT TO BE A BUSY ONE FOR ME

First date 3rd August filming on STV “The Hour” great family feasts stay tuned at 5pm stv to see whats cooking.

2nd date 4th August @ www.festivalinthesky.com where big sis will be cooking 100ft in the air its ok the panic is over apparently I also have a safety harness i though it was just the guests…

3rd date 13th-15th August www.foodiesfestival.com I will be compering all weekend for the best of Scotlands chefs using the best of Scotlands Larder you can even get a wee discount by going online and using code 241 for a free ticket or if your lucky enough to have my number I have some free tickets….

4th date 20th Augus www.braheadfoods.co.uk/cookschool I will be cooking up a storm for the day Tomato & seafood broth herby soda bread Duo of Heather fed Lamb & Ginger nut icecream with poached homegrown rhubarb.

5th date Saturday 21st Demo & Dig in at Sisters Jordanhill £25/hd wine & food
call 0141 434 1179 to book

6th date 22nd August now this time it is not me just my better half don’t worry he will not be cooking for anyone he is doing a zip slide across the Clyde in aid of Scottish Spina Bifida Association

7th date 24th August STV “the Hour” cooking some fantastic family fayre tune in

8th date 28th August Cooking healthy choices for Kids at Auengillan Allander Chalet outdoor centre

9th date 2nd September Demonstration evening with Big Sis at Jordanhill School in aid of Breast Cancer a whole evening of my merry banter & lots of tasters … & wine I told!!

10th date 3rd-5th September The Dundee Food & Flower festival mostly compering with the brilliant Hairy Bikers and being allowed a few cooking slots when they are resting their weiry legs.

sounds very showbiz however from Delightful Dundee to the airport flying to London for the Fine Food Fair 5th-7th September
Then home for a G & T I did say it was a busy schedule !!

SISTERS SATURDAY KITCHEN

A bit wet & driech this morning at Mansefield Park Particks Farmers market, that was just the weather. the produce was out standing, I ran round did a wee shop when I got there, arriving only with a few store cupboard ingredients we had a fabulous 3 courser …
Fencebay Fisherman Home smoked single sided haddock smoked over beechwood chippings even opening the packet was a pleasure I love the smell of quality smoked fish then to that we added Scotch tatties & onions and some blue cap milk salt pepper & sprinkling of chopped chives voila Cullen Skink in 10 minutes on a camping stove in the pouring rain at Partick on a Saturday morning
Then Neil Caskie kindly gave me some Superb Heather fed Black faced lamb which I braised then served with crisp organic green vegetables scattered fresh mint over the top and some lovely Lamb gravy. As a wee extra main course in the hope that the sun would show us its smiley face I seared fabulous Kezies Ostrich Fillet and served it with Perthshire Strawberry & Raspberry with some young rhubarb salsa mixed with chives mint thyme & basil the sun did’nt pop out but the dish farely brightened the place up!! For pudding well obviously I had some brilliant Scottish berries for garnish however the main event was how to do puff candy & butterscotch sauce in under 8 minutes a great mornings work hopefully they will have me back to do Sisters Saturday Kitchen in Partick, what more do you need the best produce around & how to serve it simply……
Hope to see you there soon
Big Sis
x

The Fishing Exibition in Glasgow 2010

I had a great day at The Fishing Exibition in Glasgow 2010 although the fisherman did not appear to find my Big Fish joke as funny as I thought it would be!! I was delighted to meet John Buchan from Trawlermen and he thoroughly enjoyed my modern Herring in Oatmeal, I will never take fo rgranted the availability of Herring again these boys work hard at it.
Next demonstrations are in Sisters Jordanhill April 24th & May 22nd Big sis will take you through a day of cooking from simple soups & sauces to the more detailed tricks of the trade. call 0141 434 1179 to book
Just round the corner its St Patrick’s day I will be hosting a great demonstration evening in the Emerald Isles honour, 4hrs jam packed with fantastic Irish food tips great Irish Whiskey from the fabulous Connemara distillery a few wee Galway Oysters for good measure not to mention the 5 courses of amazing food like home from Cork to Donegal we will skipping round the Island to have a taste of it all I will be heading North this weekend for the excellent Film on Food Fetsival in Kingussie hopefully the weather is kinder this year a fantastic event with all sort of great producers from the cairngorms I will be using Local Brown trout, Beer from The Cairngorm brewery especially with the name that I wont print…
Then its into March with a spring in my step heading to some great cookery demonstration dates this year so watch this column