Scones and shortbread honor Scotland's great poet
In Scotland and throughout the world, wherever there are Scots they will congregate to celebrate their common heritage and honor the poet, Robert Burns, on the 222nd anniversary of his birth at Ayr, Scotland, on Jan. 25, 1759.Skip to next paragraph
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There are many people of Scottish descent living in Maine. Among them is Jean Armour Hunt of Newcastle, a descendant of Burn's wife, Jean Armour. Mrs. Hunt was instrumental in organizing the St. Andrews Society which holds an annual dinner of authentic Scottish foods to mark the poet's birthday.
That first dinner started with hors d'oeuvres of Rob Roy herring and Brigadoon bridies which are sausage rolls followed by cock-a-leekie soup.
Cornish game hen with a sauce was substituted for Isle of Skye grouse. There were bashed neeps or mashed turnips; potatoes called tatties, and Ayr string beans, as well as oatcakes and scones. Dessert was whipped syllabub and shortbread.
Whether or not your roots are in Scotland, you may still want to prepare a dinner of some Scottish foods. Cock-a-leekie soup would be most welcome on a cold winter night. Its curious name derives from the fact that originally the broth was made with a tough old fowl or rooster, requiring long cooking.
For your main dish, a steak and kidney pie, boiled lamb or mutton, sole or finnan haddie would be appropriate. Cock-a-leekie Soup 1 chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds 6 cups rich chicken broth 1 cup water 4 large, firm leeks 1/2 cup uncooked rice 1/2 cup chopped parsley Salt to taste
Place chicken in a casserole, add broth, water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until chicken is extremely tender. Transfer chicken to another dish, letting the broth continue to simmer.
Trim off root ends of leeks and 4 to 6 inches of the green bottoms. Split and wash them. Drain well and cut crosswise into very thin shreds. Add to broth with rice. Cover and cook until rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Add parsley and salt to taste. Serves 12.
The chicken is generally not served with the soup, but used later for salads, sandwiches, or other dishes.
Finnan Haddie would also be appropriate to serve at the St Andrews dinner. This fish takes its name from the small fishing village of Findon, 6 miles south of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Finnan Haddie is delicious baked or broiled and the leftover flaked cooked fish is often used for creamed finnan haddie or a finnan haddie casserole which sometimes includes potatoes and hard-broiled eggs. For a dinner group, Bakes Finnan Haddie is an easy and tasty dish. Baked Finnan Haddie
Allowing about 1/2 pound smoked fillets per person soak fillets in warm water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in pan, cover with milk and bake in a 400 degree F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
The following potato-cabbage dish is a Scottish specialty which sounds similar to the Irish Colcannon. It has the unusual name of Rumbledethumps! Rumbledethumps (Potatoes, Cabbage and Scallions) 2 pounds potatoes Boiling water 3 teaspoons salt 4 cups coarsely shredded green cabage 3/4 cups sliced scallions 1/3 cup milk 1/2 cup butter or margarine 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pare potatoes and cut each in quarters. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan in 1/2 inch of boiling water to which 1 teaspoon salt has been added. Cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes until fork-tender. Drain. Return pan to low heat, shaking to dry potatoes. Meanwhile, place shredded cabbage in a medium saucepan in 1/2 inch of boiling water to which 1/2 teaspoon salt has been added. Cook, covered, 8 to 10 minutes, or just until tender. Drain well.
Heat scallions with milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt.Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes. In saucepan, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat potatoes with a 4 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.