Above: Unknown artist, Robert Burns in a Drawing Room

Supper

 

Enjoy a wonderful repast of traditional Burns' Night and other classic Scottish sweets and savories below, all in Scottish Dance form!

 

Toast the lads and lassies, and see if you can identify the food items on the table  before "mousing-over" the item with your cursor for its name Or use the dance "menus" at the bottom of the page for hints.   

Gaelic Ballad from Cape Breton for Mandolin - Andrei Krylov
00:00 / 00:00
Shortbread Fingers
Tipsy Laird
Bannocks
Black Bun
Highland Heather Honey
Atholl Brose
Clootie Dumpling
Golden Oatcakes
Haggis
Tatties and Neeps
Rumbledethumps
Traditional Cullen Skink
Oxtail Soup
Cock-a-Leekie Soup
Scotch Broth
Finnan Haddies

Selected Dances

(click for more holiday folklore and background information)

Helen's Shortbread

Helen's Shortbread

Shortbread Day

Shortbread originated in Scotland, with the first printed recipe appearing in 1736, from a Scotswoman named Mrs. McLintock. Shortbread was so popular, early Scottish bakers fought to prevent shortbread from being classified as a biscuit to avoid paying a government biscuit tax! Do you have a family or favourite shortbread recipe with just the right proportions of butter, sugar, and flour (and maybe some salt to enhance the flavour)? Or maybe you fancy the occasional addition of chai, rosemary, lemon, or chocolate - flavours compatible with a sweet biscuit. Some recent shortbread trends may not be for everyone. One trendy addition is adding the flavour of Katsuobushi, a smoked, aged and dried skipjack tuna, which gives an unusual umami character! Hmmm ... you have to draw a line in the flour somewhere. Although we have not found the namesake recipe referenced by the dance, included are traditional regional variations such as: Pitcaithly Bannock (almonds, caraway seeds, crystallized orange) and Yetholm Bannock (chopped ginger)! 🧈

The Foula Reel

The Foula Reel

Bird Day

The island of Foula, part of the Shetland archipelago of islands, is one of the United Kingdom’s most remote permanently inhabited islands and named from the Old Norse Fugla-ey, meaning "Bird island." Seabirds and moorland birds, including 'Bonxies' – the Shetland dialect name for the Great Skua – as well as Puffins, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Arctic terns, red-throated divers, Fulmars, amongst others, inhabit the sandstone cliffs and open moorland. Foula remained on the Julian calendar when the rest of the Kingdom of Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, keeping 1800 as a leap year, but not observing leap year in 1900. As a result, Foula is now one day ahead of the Julian calendar and 12 days behind the Gregorian, observing Christmas Day on the 6th of January and New Year's Day on the 13th! The traditional fishing grounds for fishermen from the isle of Papa Stour (lying roughly a mile off the west coast of Shetland) lay way off into the Atlantic. The fishermen would row west to the point where the cliffs of Foula would disappear into the horizon . This was "Rowing Foula down." 🦅 🦆 🐦

Atholl Brose

Atholl Brose

Liqueur Day

The brew is first recorded in 1475 during the campaign of the Earl of Atholl to capture Iain MacDonald, Lord of the Isles who was leading a rebellion against the king. Hearing that MacDonald drank from a small well, the Earl ordered it to be filled with honey, whisky and oatmeal. Allegedly, MacDonald stayed sampling the delicious concoction and was captured!

Mrs. Lambert's Black Bun

Mrs. Lambert's Black Bun

Hogmanay

Originally enjoyed on Christmas and Twelfth Night, Black Bun is now consumed year round, but most traditionally on Hogmanay Night. The great Scottish folklorist F. Marian McNeill writes: “Black bun is the old Scottish Twelfth Night Cake which was transferred to Hogmanay after the banning of Christmas and its subsidiary festival, Uphalieday, or Twelfth Night, by the Reformers.” So, enjoy your fierce raisin devils and gay currant sprites with impunity - recipe included!

Petticoat Tails

Petticoat Tails

Shortbread Day

Shortbread was an expensive luxury in times past and for ordinary people, usually reserved for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year celebrations. In Shetland it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home! Although shortbread fingers and petticoat tails are the most common baking shapes, Walker's Shortbread, one of the most easily recognizable brands, sometimes creates special edition shapes, such as camels!

Bannocks and Brose

Bannocks and Brose

Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday (known in some countries as Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday) and in Scotland as Bannock Night, is a moveable feast day in February or March preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes!

Hielan Brochan

Hielan Brochan

World Porridge Day

Legend has it that when Samuel Johnson boasted to his friend James Boswell that in England “we wouldn’t think of eating oats. We only feed them to horses,” Boswell retorted “Well, maybe that’s why in England you have better horses, and in Scotland we have better men.”

Shortbread Fingers

Shortbread Fingers

Shortbread Day

Regardless of shape, some traditional Scottish variations on shortbread are Pitcaithly Bannock (made with almonds, caraway seeds, crystallized orange) and Yetholm Bannock (which includes chopped ginger)!

Sandy's Scotch Broth

Sandy's Scotch Broth

Homemade Soup Day

A traditional farmhouse soup, Scotch Broth gained extra notoriety in the early phases of the Pop Art movement though American artist Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup can series. Scotch Broth is featured in the second portfolio of soup can prints from 1968-69. He rendered each label by hand, including all the lettering, aiming to mimic the everyday commercial item as closely as possible! Lamb, barley, and root vegetables .... ‘Mmm, mmm, good!’ 🍲

Archie's Clootie Dumpling

Archie's Clootie Dumpling

Figgy & Plum Pudding Day

A "Clootie/Cloutie Dumpling" is the Scottish version of a Christmas pudding. Firstly and most importantly, it is a pudding boiled in a "clout," a cloth. The tradition comes from the days before people had ovens and so cooked much of their food by boiling ingredients in huge pots. Although flour, suet, dried fruit and spices always feature, regional variations, like the addition of treacle, feature in Fife and other areas. And like all traditional puddings, clootie dumplings come with their own set of traditions. When it's being made everyone in the household should give it a good skelp – or smack – to make sure it has a nice round shape! Serve with custard. 🎄 🥮

Traditional Sweets & Puddings & Porridges Index of Dances

(click for dance description or cribs)

Traditional Savouries & Sides Index of Dances

(click for dance description or cribs)

Traditional Toasts - Index of Dances

(click for dance description or cribs)

Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 

 

Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

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