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1 hour, 30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 09 December 2013

It's what you're talking about before you're talking about it. Join Fred and Co as they try to make some crazy sense out of modern day Scotland.

  • Christmas Gifts by Karon H Grieve, Author of 'So Easy Christmas'


    2 cups of grated soap from unscented bars (about 2 bars)

    ¼ cup boiling water

    1 tablespoon dried herbs

    5-6 drops of matching essential oil (optional)


    Grate the soap using the wide holes on your kitchen grater.

    Pour boiling water over the dried herbs and let them soak for 15 minutes.

    Reheat the water and herb mix till bubbling and pour over the grated soap.

    Mix well with an old spoon and shape into balls about the size of a golf ball.

    Polish the soap balls with a few drops of essential oils on palms of your hands.

    Set aside on greaseproof paper in warm place to dry out for 3-4 days.

    Try these herbs; chamomile for delicate skin

    Sage for oily skin

    Rosemary as an astringent

    Peppermint for refreshing

    Thyme as antiseptic

    Lavender for antiseptic and beautiful smell




    900ml water

    350g sugar

    4 ½ tablespoons instant coffee

    900ml vodka

    2 vanilla pods


    Mix water sugar and coffee in pot and bring to high simmer but do not boil. Just want to see tiny bubbles popping on surface. Cover and simmer 1 hour

    Cool completely and add vodka stirring well.

    Pour into sterilised bottle and pop in vanilla pods.

    Leave 2 weeks then take out pods.




    3 lemons

    500ml vodka

    100g sugar


    Scrub lemons well and pat dry to remove preservative wax. Peel off the rind avoiding bitter white pith.

    Mix lemon peel juice and vodka in large jar with 1 litre water.

    Mix the sugar with 125ml water in a small pan bring to boil to dissolve sugar, allow to cool slightly and then add to the vodka jar.

    Cover and set aside for 24 hours in a cool place.

    Strain through muslin/cheesecloth or kitchen paper and pour into sterilised bottle.




    Mini wreath made with wire, tissue and scraps of fabric to hang on tree, doorknob or drawer pull.


    10” piece of garden wire or from florists

    1 sheet tissue paper or kitchen roll

    20 10 x 2cm strips of scrap fabric.


    Make a loop with wire and bend over ends to form a closed ring.

    Press the tissue against ring and tie fabric scraps at 4 points to hold paper in place.

    Fill with remaining scraps and have all knots (single knots) facing forwards.

    Trim ends

    Add hanger and drops of essential oil to fragrance




    star anise

    Cinnamon sticks

    Dried orange peel

    Dried apple peel


    Allspice berries

    Dried rosemary

    Dried bay leaves


    Put all ingredients in a jar and add a lid.

    Label saying use 2 tablespoons in a pan with about 500ml water leave uncovered and bring to boil, reduce to simmer and leave bubbling away to make the house smell fabulously festive and fragrant.




    100g white chocolate

    100g black chocolate

    100g milk chocolate

    Small packets of dried fruits


    Glace cherries

    Mini marshmallows


    Melt the chocolate in separate bowls either in microwave or in glass bowl over bubbling water.

    Pour chocolate on to lined baking try

    While chocolate soft chop nuts and fruit and scatter over, add mini marshmallows for kids

    Leave somewhere cool to set, not fridge as chocolate will go cloudy

    Break into shards and pack in cellophane bags to give.




    1 small tin green olives

    1 small tin black olives

    1 sprig rosemary

    1 small dried red chilli pepper or ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes

    6 black peppercorns

    2 cloves garlic peeled

    Olive oil to fill jar


    Drain the olives from their brine and rinse. Pat dry.

    Pack olives into a wide mouthed sterilised jar

    Add the chilli, peppercorns and rosemary and the garlic cloves

    Pour over enough olive oil to fill the jar covering everything.

    Pop on a lid. Keep in fridge, use after 24 hours. Will keep for 2 weeks.

    Christmas Gifts by Karon H Grieve, Author of 'A Wee Taste Of Scotland', 'Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes', 'So Easy Herbal' & 'So Easy Christmas'



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