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
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!
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.