A RETIRED teacher and lecturer is turning up the heat on established authors with her new book combining recipes with whimsical Scottish memories of years gone by.

Largs lady Margaret McLean will launch the title, called 'Food from the Heart' at a specially arranged event in Largs Library tomorrow (Thursday) at 2.30pm.

The work reveals all the secrets on how to create Margaret's own recipes alongside entertaining tales about life on the coast and around the country.

She said: "I love being by the sea so it was an inspiration for the book.

"I used to be a member of a writers' group and have cooked all my life so it was a natural combination to bring both together.

"I think traditional food and baking skills are being eroded in society and maybe we can bring some of that back. I hate processed food so I thought why not celebrate preparing good grub and came up with the idea to write my own take on things.

"Rather than having pictures of scones and bowls of soup, I've included archive photos from around Scotland with silly captions which feature real people and Scottish things. I all has a humorous slant."

Margaret draws on her own experiences and life stories for the content - including her Aunt Alice's legendary tablet.

She added: "The recipe was supposed to be top secret but she couldn't resist telling people about it as it was so good! As such she simply had to feature in the book."

While Largs as such don't feature, places like The Wee Hurrie takeaway in Troon do appear.

Margaret said that she is looking forward to reading some snippets to guests at the launch night.

She added: "I taught English in schools and lectured in Support for Learning at Reid Kerr College in Paisley. I loved my 30 years in education.

"I learned to cook with my mother who was an excellent baker and several real good family recipes are in the book, such as bramble jelly and her empire biscuits."

Margaret says people can learn lots of life lessons from time spent in the kitchen.

She added: "When I was a lecturer we used to take over a big house in Skelmorlie with our students for a few days residential. We would cook with them to help build their social skills and confidence. Food can work wonders!"

"It's a paperback full of recipes, all easy and totally delicious, and will hopefully stir a few memories about growing up around food. "

The book will be available to buy for a special price at £5 at the event.