You’ll have had yer tea?!

Residents of Dumfries & Galloway are being urged to share recipes passed down through their families, giving them a chance to potentially see these published as well as enter a special prize draw.

The call for recipes is part of a nationwide appeal launched by Scottish chef and food enthusiast Shirley Spear and VisitScotland to find Scotland’s most treasured tastes.

Whether it’s a plate of Granny Mary’s mince and tatties devoured after a game of hide-and- seek in her Thornhill garden or a comforting bowl of Uncle Jim’s Scotch broth following a bracing walk over the shells at Rockcliffe beach - the national tourism organisation wants to highlight the places and people behind the country’s favourite family meals and recipes handed-down through the generations.

As a lasting legacy of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, a special number of the delicious memories will be compiled into a unique one-off recipe book entitled - You’ll have had yer tea? - Treasured tastes of Scotland. The book, due to be published later in year, will take readers on a culinary journey from the shores of Shetland all the way down to the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders.

As well as showcasing traditional food and drink, the book will help shine a light on the personal stories behind family recipes, inspiring readers to revive some great home-cooking as well as encouraging them to come and sample Scotland’s wonderful natural larder.

The nationwide appeal was officially launched at the Taste Our Best accredited Willow Tearooms in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street 5th May by Shirley Spear, owner of the renowned restaurant, The Three Chimneys in Skye, and Chair of the Scottish Food Commission alongside Chief Executive of VisitScotland, Malcolm Roughead.

The Year of Food and Drink – and recipe book project – present a perfect opportunity to highlight the fantastic range of food and drink available in Dumfries & Galloway and regional specialties from Galloway beef to Moffat tart.

Food and drink is a vital contributor to the region’s economy, sustaining jobs at producers’ and suppliers’ businesses, hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and shops and playing a key part in a wide range of local events and festivals.

Recent GB Tourism Survey figures also revealed that an estimated *£26.03m is spent on food and drink every year by visitors from Great Britain staying overnight in Dumfries & Galloway.

Shirley Spear said: “It’s such a pleasure to be involved in this delightful project. I’ve long been an ambassador of family cooking. Some of my most cherished memories are of spending time with my Mum, baking jam tarts and fairy cakes, followed years later with teaching my own children how to cook simple, basic things at home and making the most of seasonal ingredients such as gooseberries and rhubarb from the garden and turning them into delicious treats. And now I hope to pass on stories about where our all our delicious ingredients come from to my gorgeous grandchildren.

“We all have these food memories that instantly transport us back to a precious time in our lives. ‘Treasured Tastes of Scotland’ will provide a voice for these recipes and the stories behind them from all over the country so that people both now and in the future are inspired to visit Scotland and sample its amazing local produce. I‘m very much looking forward to reading the entries and hope that as many people as possible will take part in this nationwide search.”

Paula McDonald, Regional Director of VisitScotland, said: “Everyone has a favourite foodie memory and this is a great chance for us to share the very best family recipes from Dumfries & Galloway. My own memory is of Thursday afternoons at our house in Paisley when my mum used to spend that day baking fairy cakes, scones, pancakes and a coffee and walnut cake - this was normally in preparation of her sisters coming to visit and have a cup of tea on the Friday. The smell of warm pancakes with homemade bramble jelly and rhubarb jam can still make my heart sing. It’s only ever beaten when I get to sit down and enjoy them with my own sisters!

“The Year of Food and Drink is a celebration of our natural larder and delicious dining experiences but we want people to continue sampling our famous fare long after 2015 is over. The recipe book idea is a way for us to inspire people across Scotland to discover more about the culinary offering that is on their doorstep and be proud of the traditional tastes created in their hometowns or family holiday destinations”.

Recipes must be submitted along with a treasured story about the location or circumstances behind the meal. Entries can be sent either online on the dedicated webpage or by post.

All entries will be placed in a prize draw to win a one-night B&B stay for two at the Three Chimneys and The House Over-By in Skye. This unique prize includes dinner at the Kitchen Table at the award-winning restaurant – a not-to-be-missed experience which sees diners become immersed in the whole tableau of the kitchen, watching the chefs at work during a busy night’s service.

For more information and to submit Treasured Taste recipe entries by 3 July 2015, visit: www.visitscotland.org/Treasured-Taste.aspx (Full terms and conditions are available on the VisitScotland website.)

*GB Tourism Survey – based on expenditure on food and drink by GB Resident Overnight Trips to Scottish Local Authority Area (based on three year annual average 2011-13) and assumed proportion spend on food and drink of 19%.