I wish I could find out more about Janet Murray who shared recipes on a BBC Scotland Home Service programme called ‘Morning Call’. In fact I can’t find out much about Morning Call either; Janet Murray is not an unusual name, and when I search there are so many other Janets whose surname is Murray. The little booklet which was produced with her recipes must have been taken almost directly from her broadcast, because her voice is so clear, although the words are written. Here’s a bunny story from Janet:
You have heard someone say, ‘I just had to laugh’. Well, I had to laugh the other day. I was in a shop in Aberdeen buying groceries when the customer beside me said hesitantly, ‘Haven’t we met somewhere before?’ I looked at her and was sure I had never seen her before and I said, ‘No-o, I don’t think so’, to her obvious embarrassment. I went on with my order and she turned to me suddenly and said, ‘I know, it’s your voice I know; you broadcast the Scots recipes.’
So we had, for me, a profitable chat, for she told me about sugary orange buns her mother used to make as a great treat, and she gave me the recipe.
Now I have a friend who acts as a guinea-pig and tastes as I try, and I made the buns for her to sample. They came out of the oven so brown and sugary and good that I knew she would want the recipe so I wrote it out there and then. When she arrived she brought me an old cookery book – she said she would not like to say how long it had been in her family – and she was scarcely out of the door with her buns and the recipe when I had my nose in the book. Believe it or not, the very first recipe I saw was the one I had just given her. Here it is:
½ lb plain flour; 2 oz. sugar; 2 oz lard (or 2½ oz. butter or margarine if you prefer it); juice of 1 orange; 1 teaspoonful finely grated orange rind; 3 tablespoonfuls (neither heaped nor level) baking powder; pinch of salt; milk to mix.
Put the flour into a bowl, add sugar and rub in the lard. Add the slat, orange rind and baking powder, and make into a soft, scone-like dough with milk.
Roll out the dough, cut it into rounds or squares and put these on a floured baking sheet. Now dip sugar cubes into orange juice and press four cubes on to the centre of each bun. Then bake them in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
Janet was shopping at a time when you went into a shop, stood at the counter and asked the assistant for the items you wanted. You did not wander around picking things up, you were served. It’s a long time since I’ve seen sugar cubes, but I’m sure they must be bigger than the four Janet wants us to press into each scone. She doesn’t say how big the scones are – not massive, just scone sized, I guess! They sound intriguing enough that I’m going to try and buy sugar cubes and make some!