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Scottish Food Quotations

We lay upon the bare top of rock, like scones upon a girdle.
Robert Louis Stevenson.

‘Do you like your Scots broth, Dr Johnson?’
‘Ah! Very good for hogs, I believe.’
‘Then let me help you to a little more.’

J Boswell.

If manipulation, delicate and deft, be one of the secrets of good, or fine cooking, there should be many good, or fine cooks among Scots housewives. So many of them can turn out scones and paste that are gossamer.

A huge pot hung over the fire which leapt in a shining black-and-steel range. A black kettle stood on one hob, a brown teapot on the other. Steam rose gently from the kettle and thickly from the great black pot, whence also came a continuous ‘purring’ noise and the wonderful smell of Scottish Cooking.

If every Frenchwoman is born with a wooden spoon in her
hand. every Scotswoman is born with a rolling-pin under her arm. There may be a divergence of opinion as to her skill in cooking, but it is certain that she has developed a remarkable technique in baking not only in bannocks, scones and oatcakes, but also in the finer manipulations of wheat, in cakes, pastry and shortbread.
F. Marian McNell.

Oatmeal with milk, which they cook in different ways, is
their constant food, three times a day, throughout the year, Sundays and holidays included.
Anon.

Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
Scottish Grace.

That most wonderful object of domestic art called Scottish trifle with its charming confusion of cream and cake and almonds and jam and jelly and wine and cinnamon and froth.
Oliver W. Holmes.

When death’s dark stream I’ll ferry over
A time that surely shall come
In heaven itself I’ll ask no more
Than just a Highland welcome.

It was quite a pantry: oatcakes, barley scones. flour scones. butter. honey. sweetmeats, cheese. and wine, and spiced whisky. all came out of the deep shelves of this agreeable recess. as did the great key of the dairy: this was often given to one of us to carry to old Mary the cook. with leave to see her skim and whip the fine rich cream, which Mrs Grant would afterwards pour on a whole pot of jam and give us for luncheon. This dish. under the name of ‘bainne briste’. or broken milk, is a great favourite wherever it has been introduced.
Elizabeth Grant.

Grace be here, and grace be there,
And grace be round the table;
Let ilka ane take up their spoon
And eat as muckle’s they’re able.
Scottish Grace.

Of all the fish that swim in the sea.
The herring is the fish for roe.
Anon.

In the barracks the food is of the plainest and coarsest
description: oatmeal forms its staple, with milk, when milk can be had. which is not always so: and as the men have to cook by turns, with only half an hour or so given them in which to light a fire, and prepare the meal for a dozen or twenty men. The cooking is invariably an exceedingly rough and simple affair. I have known mason-parties engaged in the central Highlands in building bridges, not unfrequently reduced by a tract of wet weather. that soaked their only fuel the local turf and rendered it incombustible, to the extremity of eating their oatmeal raw. and merely moistened by a little water, scooped by the hand from a neighbouring brook.
Hugh Miller.

For Breakfast, the cheese was set out as before, with plenty of butter and barley cakes, and fresh baked oaten cakes, which no doubt were made for us: they were kneaded with cream and were excellent.
Dorothy Wordsworth.

They make a kind of bread, not unpleasant to the taste, of oats and barley, the only grain cultivated in these regions, and, from long practice, they have attained considerable skill in moulding the cakes. Of this they
eat a little in the morning, and then contentedly go out a hunting, or engage in some other occupation, frequently remaining without any other food till evening.
G. Buchanan.

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