3rd May 2013

Carol Smillie Visits Butchers and Farmers in Perthshire and Fife

Scottish TV personality Carol Smillie has visited butchers and farmers in Perthshire and Fife this week as part of a programme of visits to meet people working at the heart of the Scottish red meat industry.

Ms Smillie learned more about the craft of butchery and the welcome increased interest from consumers in the provenance of meat during visits to Simon Howie Butchers in Perth and Hunters of Kinross. As well as meeting staff and customers Ms Smillie enjoyed some experience at the other side of the counter during her spells in the two busy butchers shops.

She also travelled to Madderty, near Crieff to meet the Mackie family at The Ross farm where she was given a tour of the cattle enterprise by farmer Ronnie Mackie and his daughter-in-law Rebecca, along with Ronnie’s grand-children Wallace and Catrina.

This week’s visits were part of a campaign Carol is working on with Quality Meat Scotland to encourage people to rediscover the benefits of taking time to eat together and value the quality and provenance of meat from Scotland.

A new charity cookbook featuring recipes from Scottish stars has been launched as part of the campaign which highlights the value of friends and families making time to prepare good quality meals and sit down together, away from TV and mobile phones.

Ms Smillie is one of a host of Scottish celebrities who provided recipes for the “Round the Table” cookbook which features simple, delicious, family favourite beef, lamb and pork recipes from the likes of actor Ewan McGregor, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and football legend Sir Alex Ferguson. The inspiring collection of easy-to-cook dishes has been published by QMS and the profits from the sale of the book will go to raise funds for children’s charities CHAS and CHILDREN 1ST.

A YouGov study of over 1000 Scottish adults commissioned by QMS found that, worryingly, over one-third (37%) of people questioned never sit around a table to eat a meal together as a family. The study also revealed that 31% of adults choose to eat seven evening meals in a typical week in front of the TV.

The research also revealed that in a typical week six in ten (58%) of parents who eat meals with their family, say that their children never help to set the table.  Just under two-thirds (58%) say their kids never do the washing up or help load the dishwasher after a meal.

Jim McLaren, Chairman of QMS, said: “Scotland produces some of the best food in the world including, of course, our wonderful Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork!

“Scottish farmers, and others involved in the production of our meat, work hard and take a great deal of pride in what they produce and this campaign aims to encourage people to appreciate eating great food together.

“The good news is interest in the provenance of meat continues to grow and we hope this cookbook will also help to improve understanding of the quality assurance and traceability behind these famous brands.”

From Lorraine Kelly’s delicious “Beef Stew” and Ewan McGregor’s mum’s “Hearty Carbonnade of Beef” to Hardeep Singh Kohli’s “Pork Vindaloo” and Clare Grogan’s exotic “Moroccan Lamb with Apricots”, the cookbook is packed full of tasty, easy to cook family recipes made using Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb or Specially Selected Pork.

Maria McGill, CHAS chief executive, said: “Happy family mealtimes are a great way of creating lasting memories.  Everyone buying this fantastic cookbook will not only get inspiration for tasty family meals, they’ll be playing a valuable part in helping us run our care services across Scotland, helping families and children who are less fortunate.”

Anne Houston, chief executive of CHILDREN 1ST, added: “We are delighted that Quality Meat Scotland has chosen CHILDREN 1ST as one of the charities to benefit from its new cookbook and that so many Scottish celebrities have donated their favourite recipe.

“The theme of Round the Table fits well with our work supporting vulnerable families and children throughout Scotland. It is a great way to encourage families to get together, enjoy healthy meals and talk to each other about the day’s events – and hopefully improve their family relationships as a result.”

With an RRP of £10.00, the hardback book is available at selected Waterstones stores and by contacting the QMS office on 0131 472 4040 or info@qmscotland.co.uk. Some butchers who are members of the Scotch Butchers Club will also be supplying the cookbook along with some farm shops.

Caption: Carol visited Ronnie Mackie and family who farm at The Ross, Madderty, Perthshire. She’s pictured learning about cattle production with Ronnie, his daughter-in-law Rebecca and grandchildren, Wallace and Catrina.

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