The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
New Town, Edinburgh, Scotland
Every year on January 25, Scots (and those who have plaid hearts), come together to celebrate the life and literary works of Scotland’s beloved poet, Robert Burns. Burns Night as it is called, is a night for making merry. Though celebrations vary among its participants, generally it’s a night to gather with family and friends to eat traditional Scottish fare, to be entertained by all things Burns, and of course, to drink whisky! At more formal occasions, the evening commences with the joining of hands as everyone sings ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Mr. C and I celebrate our own version of Burns Night, but to celebrate this event IN Scotland is definitely one of my bucket list dreams.
*You may click on the links embedded above if you are interested in reading my previous posts about Robert Burns.*
The traditional fare on Burns Night is usually some sort of soup (such as cock-a-leekie), haggis, neeps, tatties, and something sweet (like cranachan or clootie dumpling). Today, I would like to share with you my recipe for cock-a-leekie soup. I know it’s a funny sounding name, but really it’s just chicken soup with leeks. 🙂 The addition of allspice really takes the taste up a notch. Enjoy it on Burns Night or on any other occasion. It’s utterly delicious!
Tantallon Castle in East Lothian, Scotland
Do you ever feel like the gears in your brain get stuck? Seriously, I have been trying to put words to paper for four solid days and I haven’t been able to get past ‘hello’! Maybe it has something to do with the elephant sitting on my left sinus cavity. Anyway, if today’s post stinks, you will know why! 😀
Today we’re going to take a quick look at the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. This is St. Margaret’s Chapel, located at Edinburgh Castle.
Inside Dirleton Castle in East Lothian, Scotland
Hello, my friends. A very happy new year to you. I hope your 2019 has gotten off to a jolly good start!
Today I would like to take you to a place in Scotland that is extra special to me. I know, I know…you think that I feel that way about every place in Scotland! Haha, you know me too well, dear reader. And ’tis true, I suppose. But this place really does put a skip in my plaid heart.
Isn’t is lovely? This is Pilrig House, a historic Scottish townhouse located in Edinburgh, next to the burgh of Leith. It is theorized that the name ‘Pilrig’ may have derived from the former ‘Peilrig’ and ‘Pellryge’ (rig=ridge), where a peel tower stood in the 15thcentury. According to pilrighouse.com, “stonework in the basement walls suggests the remains of a peel tower”. For a newby history geek like me, that is fascinating.
Hailes Castle in East Lothian, Scotland
Friends, as we wind down the year, I just want to say a sincere thank you for your ongoing support of my wee blog. You guys are truly awesome. This ride wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without you.
Happy New Year and may 2019 be your best year yet!
“Each age has deemed the new-born year the fittest time for festal cheer.”
˜Scottish author, Walter Scott
The Scottish Crannog Center – Loch Tay, Kenmore
Heap on more wood! – the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.
∼From “Marmion”, by Sir Walter Scott
May your Christmas bring joy to your hearts and happiness to your homes. Love, peace, and God’s blessings to all.
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
∼1 John 5:11
*star photo courtesy of Pexels; popcorn photo courtesy of Pixabay
Hello again, Friends. Guess what…it’s recipe day! Since I haven’t done any holiday baking thus far (cause my thighs are big enough already), today I’m going to do just that. I’ll be trying my hand at Sticky Toffee Pudding, a recipe by my blogging friend and fellow lover of Scotland, Cristine Eastin.
To we Americans, Sticky Toffee Pudding is not a pudding as we know it. It is actually a date cake topped with a delicious toffee sauce.
Cristine is a sweet and talented author who has published two works of fiction as well as a book of Scottish recipes – A Wee Scottish Cookbook (all available on Amazon). It was in her cookbook that I found the recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding. As Cristine points out, this dessert is a relatively new concoction. And although its origination may have been in England, the Scots have embraced it as a holiday tradition as well.
Click on any of the links above and you’ll be redirected to Cristine’s beautiful blog. I hope you’ll check it out!
The North Sea coast in northeast Scotland
Hello my friends! I hope you are having an extraordinary day.
For today’s post, I would like to share with you about a time in Scotland’s history when Christmas was banned. Yes, it really was! And to mix things up a bit, I thought I’d have a little fun and try my hand at writing it as a poem. Perhaps it will sound a bit familiar to you. 🙂 Enjoy.
‘Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the land,
not a creature was stirring,
for Christmas was banned.
“Why?” you might ask,
when in Scotland of old,
the Yule was indeed
important we’re told.
You see, Yule – from the ‘Yuletide’-
was a festival of fun,
a time to laud the solstice
and the return of the sun.
Greenery was hung
as a symbol of life,
and the yule log burned warm,
merry, and bright.
In the year 1560, though,
something new happened.
The Reformation began –
spirits were dampened.
What used to be fun
was now frowned upon.
No more celebrations.
Beloved Yuletide was done.
From there it got worse,
more sadness and gloom.
And in 1640,
the Church lowered the boom.
Too pagan! Too Catholic!
Not biblical they said.
Go to work, eat your supper,
just be quiet instead.
Yuletide was banned,
the festivities finished.
If caught in celebration,
one would certainly be punished!
With no games, no gifts,
no more feasts to be had,
the people of Scotland
must have felt sad.
cooler heads would prevail.
Nearly fifty years later
the act was repealed.
Three centuries more
was the notion suppressed,
though little by little
Christians welcomed the fest.
Old traditions and customs
that once had been barred,
were now part of Christmas,
reclaimed and restored.
Today Yuletide carols
are sung by a choir,
and Christmas trees sparkle
by the light of a star.
This Christmas as you
and your family delight,
I wish a happy Christmas to all
and to all a good night.
*Christmas became a public holiday in Scotland in 1958.
Enjoy your week, everyone and I’ll see you again soon!