Saturday, 22 September 2012

Scottish Celebrations Alive And Well In Richmond County

Scottish Country Dancing
The 11th year of Scottish Country Dance Lessons with instructors Stan and Joyce Richards will commence on  November 4 to November 25th and on Jan 6th, 13th and 27th and then every Sunday from February 2rd to April 28th, for a total of 20 weeks. The dance sessions will run from 2-4pm at the St. Peter’s Fire Hall on Toulouse Street in St. Peter’s. Fee $20.00 for the 20 weeks or $2.00 per drop in fee.

A Scottish Country dance is a form of social dance, unlike the highland dance which involves an individual dancer, in Scottish Country Dancing. The dances are made up of sets or patterns of moves that can vary for groups of 4 to 8 couples of dancers. Scottish country dances are categorised as reels (including hornpipes), jigs, and strathspeys, according to the type of music to which they are danced. Although considered by many a type of folk dancing, when this form of dance originated, the traditional group of dancers would have been from the more educated and wealthy classes of the Renaissance.

The 11th Annual Robbie Burns Dinner and Dance will take place at 6pm at the Lions Hall in St. Peter's.  For tickets ($20.00) or more information contact Stan or Joyce Richards at 902-345-0741.

Robbie Burns Day is celebrated in most Scottish communities in which citizens immigrated from Scotland and where their Scottish traditions are held near and dear and close to their heart. Robbie Burns Day is celebrated on January 25th, because that is the day Burns was born on in 1759. Burns was known as the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire or in Scotland simply The Bard. He was Scotland’s the greatest poet and although he died over 200 years ago he is still thought of as their Greatest Scot.
Although there are many different types of choices for Robbie Burns Dinners today, the one staple is the Haggis.  Haggis is mainly a pudding containing sheep's heart, liver and lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal's stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. The commercial haggis these days is prepared in a sausage casing rather than an actual stomach to the appreciation of most folk. The traditional Burns menu would have include “Cock-a-leekie” Soup, an old Scottish recipe, the main course of “Haggis wi bashit neeps an’ champit tatties”, which in plain English is, Haggis, mashed turnip and mashed potatoes, the dessert would be “Clootie Dumplin”, dumpling pudding prepared in a linen cloth or Scottish trifle, and lastly “Bannock and Cheese” finishing off with Coffee or Tea.

Receipe: “Cock-a-leekie” or Chicken and Leek Soup

Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Step 1: You will need- •25 g butter •6 chicken drumsticks •6 leeks, washed, cut lengthways, chopped •4 bacon rashers, chopped •2lt chicken stock •1 bouquet garni, comprised of thyme, a bay leaf, and parsley • salt and pepper, to taste•8 prunes •some fresh parsley, for garnish •1 large saucepan •1 wooden bowl •1 small sieve •1 ladle •4 soup bowls. Step 2: To begin, put the butter into a large saucepan and place over a moderate heat to melt. Step 3: Now add the chicken drumsticks and fry them until they begin to brown. Step 4: Next, in goes the bacon which is fried for a couple of minutes, followed by the leeks. Step 5: When the leeks have softened, pour in the chicken stock and bring the broth to a boil. Step 6: When the broth has boiled, turn the heat down to simmer for a few minutes. Skim the surface with a small sieve to remove any scum that may have risen to the top. Step 7: Now add the bouquet garni, the prunes, and finally season with salt and pepper.  Give the soup about one hour to simmer, checking it and occasionally stirring. Step 8: When the hour has passed, return to the soup to remove the chicken drumsticks. Next, spoon out the bouquet garni and the prunes. Step 9: Separate the chicken meat from the drumsticks. When you have finished all 6 drumsticks, put the meat back into the soup and stir it in well. Step 10: Serve and eat immediately.

“Clootie Dumplin”

180 minutes to make Serves 12

Clootie refers to the cloth that this fruit pudding is traditionally made in. Delicious served hot with jam and/or cream or custard or ice-cream. Leftovers can be fried in a wee bit of butter to re-heat. Normally served on Xmas day but still many Scots have this treat a few times a year. Read more

Ingredients:  125g suet *250g (8oz) plain flour (or self- raising without the baking powder *125g (4oz) oatmeal OR breadcrumbs *250g (8oz) mixed sultanas and currants *1 tablespoon of golden syrup *75g (2-3oz) soft brown sugar (or mollasses for stronger taste) *2 lightly beaten eggs *1 teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon & nutmeg *1 teaspoon of baking powder *4 tablespoons of milk (but only use enough to soften the mix) * 3 tablespoons of flour for the cloth. Use the traditional cloth (cloot) method, cut up and use an old white pillow case or buy a cheap one from a store. You can wash and reuse the cloth for other puddings or use it as a strainer for jellies and jams.

Directions: 1. Rub the suet into the flour and add oatmeal, baking powder, sugar, sultanas and currants and the ginger and cinnamon. Blend together and add the eggs and syrup. Stir well and add just enough milk to firm (not too goey or sloppy). 2. If you are using a cloth (cloot), put it into boiling water first then spread onto your table and sprinkle a liberal amount of flour over the inside. Put the mixture into the middle and tie up, leaving a wee bit of space for the mixture to expand. 3. Place an upside-down saucer at the bottom of a deep pan and put the tied cloot in and cover with boiling water and hard simmer for about 3 to 4 hours, this is not too scientific this part. I usually go for 3.5 hrs. 4. If you'd rather use a heatproof bowl it will need to be greased before adding the mixture. Leave an inch space at the top for the pudding to expand. Cover with greaseproof paper and tie. 5. Remove from pan and dip into bowl of cold water to halt the cooking process. You can dry and heat in the oven (medium hot), if you plan to eat it straight away. Alternatively, store in the fridge until it is needed and then microwave it to reheat. It cuts easily into slices and that is how it is served.

Prep Time: 10 Min *Cook Time: 30 Min. Original Recipe Yield1 loaf

 Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour * 1 teaspoon salt *2 tablespoons baking powder *1/4 cup butter, melted *1 1/2 cups water *

 Directions: 1. Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball. 2. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4 to 1 inch thick. 3. Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning. May also be baked on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.

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