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> Scottish Mums Can't Cook, ... so says American talk show host!
post 9th Aug 2010, 12:04am
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America's so-called Mr Nice Guy, television presenter Jay Leno, is cooking up a bit of a storm after claiming that Scottish mums lack basic skills in the kitchen. The star of chat television, and friend of the rich and famous, made the astonishing claim while interviewing Scots-born chef Gordon Ramsay on the Tonight Show, an American talk show viewed by millions of every night.

Appearing on the show last week, Mr Ramsay suggested that the 60-year-old show host should be naturally gifted in the kitchen because his mum came from Greenock. However, a buoyant Leno responded to the words of encouragement by claiming that "Scottish mums can't cook."

Mr Leno also insisted that his mother Catherine, who married the son of Italian immigrants, was only allowed to marry the talk show host's father after she was compelled to learn how to prepare Italian food.

Reinforcing his apparent disdain for Scottish cuisine, Mr Leno told the celebrity chef: "I mean, you've had Scottish food, oh my God."

Commenting on Mr Leno's claims, Scottish cookery writer and Scottish mum, Sue Lawrence, defended the cooking skills of Scots' mothers by saying:

"It's a very old-fashioned attitude and it's simply not true. The two things Scottish mothers are particularly good at are home baking and soups. Many people say their mums make the best of whatever dish and are still very proud of it. My mum makes the best soup, my cousin's mother makes the best clootie dumpling, and so it goes on."

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Gordon Ramsay and Jay Leno on the Tonight Show


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post 9th Aug 2010, 01:02am
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My mother made fabulous shortbread, but she was not the best cook overall. Her heart just wasn't in it. My gran on the other hand, Oh My! That woman could cook!

I haven't had a real clootie dumpling since she passed. sad.gif
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post 9th Aug 2010, 01:44am
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My mum was a great cook, she had to feed 8 off us on next to nothing and managed to come up with good wholesome dishes. Her soups are still famous even though she is no longer with us.

When we came to Australia in the late 60's she was in her element with food being plentiful and cheap. She could make a T bone, fillet, rump etc. steak that melted in your mouth, not even in a restaurant have I ever had steak of any cut to beat mums.

Lots of mums in Scotland were great cooks they just didn't have the money to experiment with recipes that very often do not live up to expectations.

Maybe if we stopped putting so much emphasis on food and got back to good wholesome dishes we would have less obesity in the world. I don't remember too many overweight people when I was growing up.
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post 9th Aug 2010, 01:57am
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My mum and my granny were great cooks. My granny was a fantaastic baker and my mum's soups were the best.
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Rob Rattray
post 9th Aug 2010, 02:03am
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Mr Leno, bag your head! Scotia helped to build America with tons of home cooking and those recipes are still the ones you use today, so keep your opinions to yourself - Stateside!

God Bless

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post 9th Aug 2010, 02:11am
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My mother was a good cook although she was working she had things prepared.
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*Chas McMillan*
post 9th Aug 2010, 02:32am
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How dare this American say scots mums (& dads) can't cook. I loved my parents cooking so much I sat for an "O" Level Grade at 5th year school because of both my parents great cooking & I don't mean potatoes & steak. My mum cooked up mouth watering minced beef with peppers, tomatoes, corn, mushrooms, with jacket potatoes & mixed Roast potatoes, with mouth watering mix in minced beef (highest quality), with onions, red onions, halfed tomatoes, mushrooms, corn, in a mouth watering sauce made up of beef stock,& finished off with a mixed herb topping & boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, peas in pod,or cauliflower florets. And after this, a sweet that we drooled over, homemade chocolate fudge, with either a delicious chocolate sauces ice cream, or a custard with mixed fruits & fresh cream. Put in a carnation milk mix.

My dad cooked chops or steak with lots of mixed herbs & spices, lots of fried onions, mushrooms, & either brussel sprouts or green beans, soft & succulent with a mix of mashed potatoes, lightly fried potato squares, with green peppers or red onions, served perfectly.

Americans are famous for pizzas, burgers,chilli dogs, borritos, or Chinese noodle boxes with favourite limited flavours. Or BBQ burnt beef & chicken thrown into a type of chapati or a hot dig roll.

My mum & dad could cook!!! & it got me into it with secondary school subject choices & mines included Cookery, I gained an "O" grade with the varied dishes I could cook, Thanks to my mums cooking & my dad's who learned a lot of savoury dishes during the war in Malaisia (he wasnt a cook in Malaisia, he was a top front line gunner/sniper. But when quiet, he told his unit not to open tins or packs of food & would get fish, chicken,& more & treat his squad to a mouth watering meal as often as he could. Even meats from unsavoury thinking animals ,or snake, etc etc that we in this day would shun as YUK, was delicacies that his unit loved.

My mum cooked up non basic mince & spuds or fish & chips. She made foods that had us like Oliver, "can inhave some more Pease"!!

In an ending? Scottish mums knew their foods & additives to make them a clock watch for 5pm to eat better than takeaway places of today. I miss it all so much, as both parents are gone now. But when I married, I cooked up a storm for my wife & kid, & I still cook great meals today for myself, as I'm divorced & live Alone now. But boy do I enjoy my meals. So this American guy needs a lesson on Scottish meals (he probably thinks of maybe haggis or our traditional Sunday fry up & prefers to go to a deli for a burito or chilli dog). Make way for the toilet seat!!!! Haha!!
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post 9th Aug 2010, 02:44am
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As it so happens Tarbet, my mother made the best clootie dumpling ever, smile.gif and I make a pretty good shortbread myself, however it did take me to leave Scotland and settle here in Canada before I learned that I knew so little regarding my family's nutritional needs, there was more to feeding them than just home made soup ,steak pie ,liver n onions, mince n totties and fish,all of which was cooked or boiled into submission," absolutely no nutrition left.".

When we came here and I went grocery shopping I saw such wonderful sights, vegetables that I never knew existed and had'nt a clue as to how they should be cooked, I was in awe of this but needless to say I soon learned.

I do think that being a good cook nowadays has absolutely nothing to do with your nationality you either enjoy cooking or you don't and people who are good bakers are not always necessarily good cooks, just my spiel on this matter. smile.gif

donate to your local food bank .
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post 9th Aug 2010, 02:56am
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Unfortunately my mum was one of the ones who only cooked basic food, (mince & tatties, and stovies) pretty much what we lived on sad.gif I suppose working full time all her life she didn't have time for anything else .....!
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post 9th Aug 2010, 04:09am
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I don't care what Jay Leno has to say, I just don't like the guy, he's not funny, & most of his monologue is written for him each night on his show, he gets his laughs at the expense of others.

My Mother was a great "Homestyle" cook, nothing fancy, but made great soup, great gravy for the stew, made the clooty dumplin' in our wash boiler with a pillow slip, & when it was down to the last few slices, she would fry them for breakfast.

I noticed one of the previous responses from the lady in Canada who said that the Scottish diet was not worthy of nutritional value, I disagree completely with her, I too live in Canada, & have lived here now for 48 years, & I certainly wasn't impressed with the Canadian diet when I arrived here, most people were living on "Junk" food & still are, like the States, where we hear everyday on the news about the overweight problems both in Canada & the U.S. some people are getting so big, they've had to re-calculate the payload on the aircraft, which I believe was the cause of a tragic accident because the plane was overloaded with big fat overweight people.

When I lived in Scotland, there weren't many overweight people, which I definately attribute to the great nourishing food our Mothers lovingly made for us growing up through good & bad times including WW2.

I still miss the Scottish steak pie, the great cakes & pastry, tizer & irn-bru. Luckily there is a Scottish bakery about 20 miles away called "The But'Ben" where I go occasionally when my craven gets the better of me. God Bless My Mother & Her Cooking, I love You Mum, Always.
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post 9th Aug 2010, 04:19am
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Not fair Jay... many Scots Mothers were good cooks and Scottish cooking has a lot of influence from the French as you would learn if you read Scottish recipes. Considering the time you speak of food was not as plentiful as it is today yet I can remember delicious meals from whatever my Mother found available. When spices were used they were used to enhance the food...not kill the taste. Oh what I would give for a delicious slice of apple pie that required no spices and was as good without ice cream as it was with. You can't tar all Mothers with the same brush.
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*john fegan*
post 9th Aug 2010, 04:22am
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Jay Leno... half italian? That must be the half that made him fat.

American mothers invented obesity, the yanks eat french fries for afters. I've been to the US many times and I can say that they have perfected the art (?) of producing quantity over quality. If San Francisco eventually slips into the pacific Ocean it will be in no small way due to the pressure put on the San Andreas fault by its grossly overweight inhabitants. We seem to be going the same way and this is due to the influence of American fast food outlets and micro waves but this is no reflection on our mothers, more a reflection on the present generation.

Our Scottish mothers were the best in the world.
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post 9th Aug 2010, 04:48am
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If I am honest, my Mum wasn't the greatest cook in the world but she made great soup and was a wonderful baker. My father would say that he could have been on a desert island for years, rescued, come home and know what day of the week it was by what my Mum was cooking that day!! However, given the very limited range of foodstuffs back then, she (and most Mums) did the best they could and after I left home and was traveling, I was more than happy to come back and have a plate of mince and tatties.

Today though, the idea that Scots Mums are lousy cooks is pure nonsense. Some of the best meals I've had lately were in Scottish homes. The variety in supermarkets is phenomenal now. When I first came to the US, my eyeballs almost popped out of my head on entering the supermarket but it's the other way round these days. If nothing else, entering the EU has given us foods that we as kids had never heard about, let alone eaten. Also, the many cooking shows have certainly piqued the interest of the younger generation both male and female.

Oh by the way, my Grandfather was the one who made the clootie dumpling, with the silver thruppences. I've tried to make them but never quite right. My American husband loved visiting Scotland and especially loved "dumplin".

Jay Leno's heid is oot the windda!!!!
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post 9th Aug 2010, 05:02am
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Like Oldsmiddy, I to have never liked the Jay Leno show, and it doesnt say much for his mother subjecting herself to learn Italian cookery or else the father wouldnt marry her so much for love.Anyway my Mum was a brilliant wee cook her stews were full of nutrition her mince was excellent my dad wouldnt eat anyone elses[including mine and mine is really good tongue.gif ] and she done something fantastic with Gigot chops in the oven mine have never tasted as good and when we were young her Roast dinners were to die for,her scotch broth Ham &Lentil fab, and she was also a brilliant baker her scones and pastry were excellent another favourite of ours was her Irish soda bread and like Angel when I went to live in Malaya my eyes were opened to different fruit veg fish and quickly adapted to using them, My granny also made the best clootie dumpling in Maryhill, , so Jay Leno away and Bile yer heid rolleyes.gif

ps my other granny couldnt cook to save herself but did make great girdle scones

pps am pretty good myself

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post 9th Aug 2010, 05:53am
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My mum could cook anything. My dad's speciality was soup.

Yup, go stick you head in bag Leno.
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