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Neep Bree

Since earliest times Scots have roamed - as traders, scholars and soldiers - they were known all over Europe. The desire to travel and explore continued as European horizons widened and new continents opened up. Either voluntarily or through forced emigration many Scots crossed the Atlantic to find a new home in America and Canada or south to Australia and New Zealand. Those of Scottish descent, by now, far outnumber the 5 million home-based Scots. In his present American and Canadian travels our skielie webmaster, Alastair McIntyre, continually comes across folk with Scottish ancestry.
Among those of Scots descent is 'The King' himself, Elvis Presley. It has been thought that he was descended from a Paisley blacksmith but recent research shows that his roots lay in the small Buchan village of Lonmay. The 300-strong village lies six miles from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, and Lonmay now hopes to become a 'shrine' for Elvis fans.Elvis Presley's great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather Andrew Presley married Elspeth Leg in Lonmay on 27 April 1713. Their son, also Andrew Presley, emigrated to North Carolina in 1745. Possibly the same Presley as described as coming from Paisley. The Presley line then descends directly to 1933 when Vernon Elvis Presley married Gladys Love Smith. Two years later their son Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupela, Mississippi, on 8 January 1935. The rest as they would say is history, as Elvis shot to international stardom. Elvie Presley only paid one visit to the land of his fathers, a stop-off for one hour at Prestwick in August 1960, during his service in the US army.
Records show a number of Presleys in Scotland during the 18th and 19th centuries and with few exceptions, they lived in Lonmay or the nearby villages of New Deer, Old Deer and Tarves. Lonmay's claim to Elvis Presley looks very sound - just imagine if the 32 year-old Andrew Presley had never left Scotland in 1745,thus missing the 45 Jacobite Rising, Elvis might have been King of the Bothy Ballad singers instead of Rock 'n' Roll.
In honour of Elvis Presley's North-East roots we go to Aberdeenshire for this week's recipe but how would he have got on with Neep Bree!
Neep Bree
Ingredients : 1 1/2 lb (3/4 kg) turnips (large yellow turnips - neeps in Scotland, commonly known as swedes); 1 medium onion, finely chopped; 2 oz (50 g) butter;1/2 pint (250 ml) milk; pinch of ginger; salt and pepper
Garnish : chopped chives and 1 tbsp cream per person
Peel and chop the turnip roughly and blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Pour off water. Melt butter in a large pot and add onions and turnip. Season with salt and pepper and add ginger. Cover and cook very gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes when the turnip should be tender. Liquidise till it is a very fine puree or pass twice through a fine sieve. Adjust consistency with milk and check seasoning. Serve hot, garnished with chopped chives and cream in each bowl.

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