Happy St Andrews Day, the Patron day of Scotland (and a few other countries) celebrated on 30th November in Bonnie Scotland.
The Saltire is the national flag of Scotland and today is National Flag day, allowing the all buildings with Flag Poles to fly the Saltire today.
Reading up on the details behind the day, it states on Wikipedia that the day is thought to date back to the reign of Malcolm III, (1034- 1093). Its thought that in order to ensure there was enough meat for the winter, the ritual day of animal slaughter was moved to 30th November.
We celebrate in various ways food, dancing and music, you may be lucky enough to find yourself invited to a Ceilidh, a fantastic celebration of Scottish dancing, with folk music, bagpipes and of course fantastic food.
I know a lot of people may think otherwise, but what could be better on a cold November day that a big bowl of hot steaming Cock-a-leekie soup, Chicken and leek soup for those who prefer…..
Haggis with tatties and neeps and Cloutie dumping or Cranachan and of course the wonders of the Scotch Whiskey.
Of course in days gone by it was all about cooking the cock, a tough old bird for a long time to soften and tenderise the meat so that it would fall off the bone and into the soup, add some lovely fresh leeks and then to sweet up and add a little surprise there would be the addition of dried prunes.
I do still add the prunes, but not to the main batch of soup, but I take out some soup into a small pot and add the prunes to warm them through, and then once you have ladled the soup into the bowls add a couple of prunes to the centre of the soup, that way you can enjoy the soup and all its wonderful flavours rather than a bowl of sweet soup.
Haggis I know is an acquired taste, you either love or hate it, I find that for those who say they don’t like Haggis, its usually due to the fact that they have not had the pleasure of enjoying a truly GOOD Haggis, the best advice I can provide is to go and buy a Haggis from a good butcher they will have their own recipe.
As an alternative, then opt for a Stovies a dish loaded with potatoes and onions and cooked lamb meat or Steak Pie, loaded with succulent pieces of beef a rich delicious gravy and the odd carrot all topped with an all butter puff pastry, oh I can smell it now.
Then for dessert, you can head for the Cloutie Dumpling a boiled pudding rich in dried fruits and served with custard or cream, or on a different vein, head for the Cranachan a traditional Scottish dessert, with whipped cream, whisky, honey, raspberries and oatmeal a slightly lighter dessert (only slightly), I have a couple of variations, baked Cranachan Cheesecake, or Cranachan Roulade, a light meringue filled with whipped cream laced with honey and whisky soaked oats and some lovely plump raspberries dotted over the cream mixture and then rolled into a roulade.
Divine….. I am off to prepare the Cock-a-leekie soup for this evening and a few other dishes, I will update with the details and pictures as soon as they are finished.
Happy St Andrews Day.