ALL THINGS SCOTTISH
Now, the title alone evokes a lot of things – bucolic countrysides, fields and fields of purple and white heather, bagpipes and pipers, kilts (and what’s worn under them) and all sorts of castles and battles.
Ah, but you ask, what’s the real story behind the country and its peoples? Well, I’m not going to delve too deep into the country’s history, but I will share with you some of its beauty, and culinary wonders.
Names (Celtic) and recipes are astounding in their meanings and richness.
For instance, my name is Susan, and the Gaelic spelling of it is Siùsaidh and my husband’s name, Robert, is Raibeart. Our last name, MacKenzie is spelled MacCoinnich.
You can usually look up your name (first and last) and see how it’s spelled in Gaelic, too – here’s a website to do so:
This is a totally Gaelic site for names, although it’s mostly in Gaelic, there is a translation into English for you. Have FUN with this!
And, if you’d like to learn the language, it’s rich in history – in fact, there’s a website called Save Gaelic because it’s becoming less popular with the young folk who are losing the wonderfulness of their own native language. It’s such a shame, too – go to the site to learn more. http://www.savegaelic.org/
On another note – perhaps you’ve heard of Robbie Burns, the famous Scottish poet, or perhaps not. However, you have heard his songs. He lived from January 25, 1759 to July 21, 1796 and is tremendously famous in Scotland and around the world. He wrote 368 songs in total - such favorites as Auld Lang Syne (popularly sung every New Year’s Eve), and Charlie He’s My Darling (sung by a young Uhura in one of the early Star Treks), and Flow Gently Sweet Afton (about the Afton river that was gurgling too loudly, and Robbie wanted it to be quiet while his love slept).
Robbie was quite the lady’s man, but that’s another story.
Every January, there are several “dinners” celebrating Robbie Burns, the famous Scottish poet, all around the world.
In Calgary, as close to January 25th as possible, there are so many, it’s almost a day’s holiday and I’m sure it really IS in Scotland. Should you be so lucky as to go to a Robbie Burns dinner run entirely by the Scots (in whatever country), you’d be treated to a menu of “neeps and tatties”, Haggis, scones, roast beef, and plenty of ale.
As well you’d hear, in true Gaelic, his Toast To The Haggis, a poem about the warm, and lovely haggis (a native dish of Scotland) which was made of ground meats, spices and, of course, porridge! Robbie loved his Haggis! There is a traditional march of a kilt-wearing Scot bearing the haggis in proudly on a silver platter, and being piped in by a bagpiper. It’s a stirring ceremony followed by the ceremonial cutting of the Haggis while all watch.
After the cutting of the Haggis comes the prayer before dinner, and then the Laddies toast to the Ladies, followed by the “Reply To The Laddies”. Several joyous jokes and banters are exchanged in these two “toasts”.
You can research Robbie Burns by going to this site: http://www.robertburns.org/works/
Now, as to Kilts and the beauty of the country…… I’ll cover these topics in my next article. In the meantime join me over at the Yum Yum Divas cubit in my new forum, Scottish Cuisine With Susan. Watch for new recipes and Scottish information I will add, and enjoy!
Click this Link:
Siùsaidh MacCoinnich (aka Susan MacKenzie)