Monday, November 30, 2015

St. Andrew’s Day Dinner (1929).

Today is the national day of Scotland – the feast day of the patron saint of the country, St. Andrew the apostle. The day is celebrated around the world by those with Scottish heritage, including the good folk of Dunedin at the south-east tip of the South Island of New Zealand.  In 1929 the good men of the Dunedin Burns Club enjoyed a fine dinner which was reported in great (if somewhat inscrutable) detail in an Australian newspaper, The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld.):-

St.Andrew’s Day Dinner
Dunedin Burns Club Menu
At the St. Andrew’s Day dinner held on November 30 under the auspices of the Dunedin Burns Club, the following menu card was placed before the members:

“Some hae meat and canna’eas,
An’ some wud eat than want it,
But we hae meat an’ we can eat –
So let the Lord be thankit.”


Soups: Sheep’s heid kail, cockie-leekie, hen bree. An’ a dram.
Fish: [unreadable word] saumon, troots, tawties an’ herrin’. Another dram.
Haggis, wi’ a’ the honours:

“Fair fa’ your honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ he puddin’ race!’
Si a gran’ nicht we’re haein’. We’ll hae anither mouthfu’.

Joints: Sautit soo’s leg biled, giggots o’ mutton roastit, peas, ingans, tawties biled an’ champit, bashed neeps, an’ ither orra vegetables. Anither dram.
Entrees and Orra Dishes: Roast bubbly jocks, stuffed, roastit jucks, stooed hens, doo pie, trum in tam. Hech! Anither tastin’.
Dessert and Siclike: Grozzel tairt, aiple tairt, rhubarb tairt, baps, ait caik in farls, bakes, parleys, curran’ laif wi’ raisins intilt, scones, snaps, short-breed wi’ sweeties on’t, curds an’ cream, Glescae jeelie, an’ ither trifles. (My certie we’ll he anither dram) kebbucks green an’ mitey.
Wines: Toddy, Scotch toddy, Hielan’ toddy, Athol brose, strong yill, barley bree frae weel kent Scottish vineyards. We’re no’ that fou. An’ we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet.
P.S.: For teetotal folk an’ sic like, we’ll hae claret (which some folk ca’ sourdook), cuddle my dearie, skelchan, treacle yill, &c., &c.

Naturally, it was difficult to choose one of these dishes for the recipe for the day, in part because I have featured quite a number of them in the past. If I get time in the next couple of days I will put links into the menu. In the meanwhile, please enjoy a glass of the traditional winter medicinal beverage called Athol Brose. This is, at its most elemental, a simple mixture of whisky and honey, which makes it, I guess, a sort of liquid alcoholic confectionery. Other ingredients are occasionally added to this basic mix, as in the following version which appears in the British Bee Journal of 1888:

            Athol Brose: Equal parts of Scotch whiskey, honey, and cream.

I suppose this is the style for you if you prefer your beverages to err on the custard-side – a conceit which would be further enhanced if you add an egg yolk, as I have seen in some recipes. If however you prefer your beverages porridge-style, you can include oatmeal as a thickener, and thus justify it as a breakfast dish.

Being one-quarter Mackenzie, I plan to have a dram this evening myself – although it will be more likely of the white bubbly variety, as I do not have any treacle ale at hand. Please join me in spirit, if you can.


Shay said...

I think it was Dorothy Hartley who wrote "nothing is served with haggis, except bagpipes and whiskey."

SometimesKate said...

I have to ask. What is a 'roast bubbly jock'? I'm fairly sure no one is cooking giggly high school male athletes with attitude issues.

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Shay - I love Dorothy Hartley!
Sometimes Kate: I meant to include a "translation" but did not have enough time. I just found out that a "jock" is a male turkey! So, a version of a male with attitude! Some interesting etymology there!