The Scots Kitchen

 
Traditional foods for  holidays and every day.  See what's inside the Scottish Country Dance "Cookbook" and perhaps make or "dance" one of these recipes today!

Selected Dances

(click for more holiday folklore and background information)

Helen's Shortbread

Many have a traditional family or favorite shortbread recipe with classic ingredients that never fail to please. Interesting artisan recipes may include chai, rosemary, lemon, chocolate, etc ... , expected flavours compatible with a sweet biscuit. However, one of the more surprising shortbread trends is adding the flavour of Katsuobushi, a smoked, aged and dried skipjack tuna, which gives an unusual umami character.Many have a traditional family or favorite shortbread recipe with classic ingredients that never fail to please. Modern artisan recipes may include trendy flavors of chai, rosemary, lemon, or chocolate, flavours compatible with a sweet biscuit. However, one of the more surprising shortbread trends is adding the flavour of Katsuobushi, a smoked, aged and dried skipjack tuna, for an unusual umami character!

Helen's Shortbread

Shortbread Day

The Haggis Thrash

Suet, spices, onions, oatmeal and a sheep's pluck - heart, liver and lights - boiled in a sheep's stomach, the haggis is a dish whose origins have been hotly disputed by food historians over the last decade. Regardless, this humble food is distinctly and de facto Scottish, no less for the regional ingredients than for the general reverence and good humour associated with this humblest of peasant foods. Similar but less celebrated variations include the Pölsa (Sweden), Hakkemat (Norway), Niania (Russia), and Chireta (Aragon).

The Haggis Thrash

Burns Night

Atholl Brose

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!

Atholl Brose

Liqueur Day

Archie's Clootie Dumpling

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.  Although flour, suet, dried fruit and spices always feature, regional variations, like the addition of treacle, feature in Fife and other areas. Like all traditional puddings, clootie dumplings come with their own set of traditions. When it's being made everyone should give it a good skelp – or smack – to make sure it has a nice round shape!

Archie's Clootie Dumpling

Figgy & Plum Pudding Day

Petticoat Tails

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!

Petticoat Tails

Shortbread Day

Sandy's Scotch Broth

A traditional farmhouse soup, Scotch Broth gained extra notoriety in the early phases of the Pop Art movement though Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup can series. Scotch Broth is featured in the second portfolio of soup can prints Warhol made in 1968-69. He rendered each label by hand, including all the lettering, aiming to mimic the everyday commercial item as closely as possible.

Sandy's Scotch Broth

Homemade Soup Day

Hielan Brochan

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.”

Hielan Brochan

World Porridge Day

Mrs. Lambert's Black Bun

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!

Mrs. Lambert's Black Bun

Hogmanay

Shortbread Fingers

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)!

Shortbread Fingers

Shortbread Day

Bannocks and Brose

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!

Bannocks and Brose

Pancake Day

Haggis Hunters

It's Open Season for all Haggis Hunters! Whether you are an old hand at trapping this wily beast or this is your first attempt, remember that you have until Burns Night, January 25th to bag your haggis. Also note that although it is legal to catch and eat most types of haggis including the Hebridean Haggis and the Lewis Haggis, the "Shaggy Lowlands Haggis" and the "Urban Striped Haggis" are protected by law. If your sympathies lie with the poor beasties or if your diet requires a meatless option, there are now vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options for a mock-haggis! Also, for Californians, a recent law was passed now making it legal to eat road-kill haggis. What's your fancy?

Haggis Hunters

Haggis Hunting Season

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)

Chieftain of the Pudding Race 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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