Another Thistle Ha’ favourite, these scones (rhymes with lawns) were usually served as a dessert biscuit. Extra special when made with chopped dates.

Elsie Miller’s Scotch Scones

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup of butter and/or lard
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped dates
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 heaping tsps. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • milk

Sift the dry ingredients and rub in the lard. Mix in the raisins. Beat an egg lightly in a cup and fill it with milk. Mix this into the dry ingredients to forma soft dough. Roll to 1 inch thick and cut in triangles. Brush these with milk. Bake in a hot oven.

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Thistle Ha’ is a farm located in Pickering Township, Ontario, Canada. It was settled by Scottish immigrant John Miller in 1839.

John Miller of Thistle Ha' John Miller (pictured) and his descendants had a tremendous influence on the purebred livestock industry in Canada and the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Millers were renowned innovators, importers, breeders, exhibitors, judges and promoters of Shorthorn cattle, Clydesdale horses, Berkshire and Yorkshire pigs, and Shropshire, Leicester and Cotswold sheep.

In recognition of the contributions of the Millers to Canadian agriculture, Thistle Ha’ farm was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1973 and a Province of Ontario Heritage Property in 1977. The honours awarded to individual family members – including those related to the Millers by marriage – for their contributions to the purebred livestock industry are too numerous to list here.

Thistle Ha’ is currently owned and operated by the fourth generation of Millers in Canada.



A staple at Thistle Ha’ for decades, enjoyed by young and old, this cookie has a biscuit-like crunch and nutty flavour. The dough can also be prepared in a food processor, but the texture of the biscuit will be finer since the oats will be ground. A cookie sandwich with the date filling is optional but very tasty.

Elsie Miller’s Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 6-7 dozen 2″ cookies.

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup total of butter and lard
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsps. baking powder
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 T. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cream the sugar into the shortenings, then rub in the flour mixture and oats. Add eggs, milk and almond extract. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into 2 inch rounds. Bake at 325°F. for 8 minutes.

Date Filling

  • 3 cups dates
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the first 3 ingredients and stir over low heat until a paste of spreading consistency is achieved. Cool slightly and add the vanilla. Allow the filling to cool completely before using. You may want to roll the cookies out a bit thinner if you are going to fill them, and bake them for a little less time.

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