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February 1, 2010 07:15 - February Highland Games & Events

In the U.S., outdoor games are found mostly in southern climes this time of year. Other indoor events also take place. All of these are varied and well attended. There will be plenty to see, lots to learn, good cultural eats, and many tartans swirling as the men walk along.

Get a group of friends together, find a game or festival, and just go!

  • February 5, Seattle, Washington ~ Mastery of Scottish Arts Concert
  • February 5 to 6, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada ~ Mid-Winter Celtic Festival
  • February 8, Berwick Highland Gathering ~ Berwick, Victoria, Australia, including a Flyball Dog Competition, Black Scottish Terriers and West Highland Terriers, and a Obedience and Agility Dog Demonstration
  • February 14, Mt Barker, near Adelaide, South Australia ~ Mt Barker Caledonian Society Highland Games, including Twilight Lawn Bowling
  • February 13 to 14, St. Paul, Minnesota ~ A Scottish Ramble
  • February 13, Paeroa, New Zealand ~ Paeroa Highland Games and Tattoo
  • February 12 to 14, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania ~ Mid-Winter Philadelphia Scottish-Irish Music Festival & Fair
  • February 12 to 14, Savannah, Georgia ~ Savannah Irish Festival, with Na Fidleiri, Charleston's Young Irish Fiddlers, performing

    Na Fidleiri Courtesy Na Fidleiri
  • February 13 to 14, Long Beach, California ~ Queen Mary Scottish Festival
  • February 20, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada ~ Indoor Winter Competition. Here’s a photo from their 1953 games.

    1953 Highland Games courtesy Indoor Winter Competition

  • February 20, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada ~ Winnipeg Scottish Festival
  • February 21 to 22, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania ~ Lewisburg Celtic Days
  • February 24 to 28, Killarney, Ireland ~ The Gathering Festival

    Previous Ceili courtesy The Gathering Festival

  • February 27, Green Cove Springs, Florida ~ Northeast Florida Scottish Highland Games and Celtic Festival, with many demonstrations from falconry to fencing, and a kilted golf tournament.

    Kilted Golf Tournament courtesy Northeast Florida
    Scottish Highland Games and Celtic Festival

  • February 27 to 28, Mesa, Arizona ~ Arizona Highland Games and Celtic Gathering

For more detailed information about the listed events, go to

Coming tomorrow, the Museum of Appalachia, an historic, rural wedding venue…

February 2, 2010 07:30 - Museum of Appalachia ~ an Historic, Rural Wedding Venue

About 30 minutes north of Knoxville, Tennessee, just off I-75, sits a living ‘Mountain Village‘. With open fields, multiple structures, and scenic views, you can bring a piece of Old Appalachia into your wedding.

Musuem of Appalachia Wedding courtesy Museum of Appalachia

There are many sites within the grounds ~

  • A small, woodland chapel
  • Many rustic buildings which include a dirt-floored cabin, schoolhouse, family cabin, and homestead house

    Museum of Appalachia Building courtesy Museum of Appalachia

  • Lawns, from small and intimate to vast expanses

    Museum of Appalachia Lawn Wedding Site courtesy Museum of Appalachia

    Museum of Appalachia Lawn Wedding Site courtesy Museum of Appalachia

  • Gardens

    Museum of Appalachia Spring Gardens courtesy Museum of Appalachia

  • A banquet hall which features a large stone fireplace and seats 225 guests

    Museum of Appalachia Reception Hall Fireplace courtesy Museum of Appalachia

  • Even pastures with sheep grazing

    Museum of Appalachia Sheep courtesy Museum of Appalachia

For many of us with Scottish roots, our ancestors migrated into the Appalachias. Some stayed a short while and moved on. Others stayed, contributing to the unique flavor of the Appalachias.

If you’d like to visit the museum with an eye toward a wedding venue, or just for fun, they have three big events throughout the year…but that‘s for tomorrow.

February 3, 2010 06:33 - Museum of Appalachia Annual Events

Yesterday the Museum of Appalachia was introduced as a unique wedding venue. Are you wondering how Scottish roots and the Appalachias are connected?

Let’s take a slight side-trip, back to the Overmountain Men who contributed so much to our War of Independence while living in the Southern Appalachias.

As many Scotsmen fled their homeland during the Clearances, many entered the U.S. in Philadelphia. They found the surrounding land already occupied by others. Two choices faced them ~ the wilderness to the west or the semi-wilderness to the south. Those who chose to go south followed the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road which led them through the Appalachia Mountains. Many went as far south as Georgia and the Carolinas.

During the War of Independence, many of these men became guerilla fighters. After defeating a sizable British force in 1780, these men came to be called the ‘Overmountain Men’. The Overmountain tartan commemorates these backwoodsmen and their contribution to our independence.

Overmountain Men Tartan WR2448

Now that we’ve established a connection to the Appalachia, let’s see what other events the museum offers each year.

Tennessee Fall Homecoming
Festivities are held the second full weekend in October, Thursday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. until dark each day, regardless of weather. Events include daily hymn sing in the log church, or some of the Southeast's finest music, ranging from gospel to bluegrass, along with buck dancing and clogging.

Sourghum Grinder courtesy Museum of Appalachia

Dozens of local cooks serve country food, some of it prepared on woodburning stoves and in iron kettles. More than 175 artisans demonstrate old-time mountain activities, including quilting, basket weaving, splitting cedar rails, spinning and weaving, whittling, caning chairs, making lye soap, and constructing old-time instruments. And, of course, thousands of handcrafted items are available for purchase.

Fourth of July Celebration and Anvil Shoot

Liberty Pole Raising courtesy Museum of Appalachia

As well as mountain skills being demonstrated, a replica of the Liberty Bell is rung precisely at 2 p.m. in conjunction with the National Bell Ringing Ceremony. The Sons of the Revolution raise the Liberty Pole, commemorating the colonial spirit that protested British rule. Throughout the day, the anvil is rung. Incidentally, it can be heard through the hills as far as 15 miles away.

Tasty summertime treats are available, including Tennessee barbeque and hot fruit cobblers baked over the coals in Dutch ovens, homemade ice cream, sassafras tea freshly brewed over a fire, and freshly squeezed lemonade.

Christmas in Old Appalachia
Everything is decorated, in the spirit of Christmas, including and there’s caroling by the big fireplace in the main hall. Many of the buildings are adorned with ‘old-time’ decorations, including sweet gum and sycamore garlands, strings of cotton bolls, and, of course, popcorn strings.

You can also shop for hand-crafted ornaments, locally made muscadine and moonshine jellies, and other Appalachian specialties.

Sheep Shearing

Spinning Wool courtesy Museum of Appalachia

Held in April, this event features shearing, spinning, and quilting. In the Appalachia homesteads, a few sheep were common, with the wool being used for quilt batting, yarn, and cloth. The museum also has chickens, guineas, wild turkeys, peafowl, mules, Highland cattle, and fainting goats.

Even if you’re not looking for a wedding venue. Even if you don’t think you have Scottish ancestry. Even if you don’t have a connection with the Appalachias. Go to one of these events and have a ‘whoop-de-do’ good time.

Dogwood and Sheep courtesy Museum of Appalachia

For more information the Museum of Appalachia home page links to these events.

Coming tomorrow, bee boles at the Museum of Appalachia and in Scotland…

February 4, 2010 07:18 - The Bee Boles of Scotland

Museum of Appalachia
Bee Bole courtesy Museum of Appalachia

You might not have noticed, but in the February 2 blog about the Museum of Appalachia as a wedding venue, where the couple are kissing, there’s what I mistakenly took to be a bee bole in the background. I really don’t know what the structure is.

Before the mass production of sugar, honey was vital as a sweetener. Bees were kept in a cavity or alcove in a wall, or as a free standing structure set against a wall. In Scots bole means a recess in a wall.

The bees were kept in skeps, which were baskets made of coiled grass or straw. While many beekeepers kept their skeps, or boxes for bees, out in the open. A bole helped keep out the wind and rain.

Because harvesting honey was destructive to the skep and to the bees, an extension for breeding purposes was added below the skep. In Scots this is called a nadder.

In heraldry, the beehive is a symbol of industry. Beeswax was also used for candle wax, particularly in churches, cathedrals, and abbeys. Tithes and rents were often paid with honey, beeswax, or even swarms of bees.

The ‘honey’moon is a spin off from the importance of honey in the Middle Ages. You can read more about it at Scottish Wedding Dreams Honeymoon Traditions.

Tomorrow, more about bee boles

February 5, 2010 08:16 - Bee Boles & Their Purpose

Bee boles were often built close to the home. There were multiple reasons for this ~
  • if the bees swarmed it could be detected and the bees captured quickly
  • the bees became used to humans and their activities
  • theft was fairly common and the closeness of the home deterred thieves
  • often placed in the walled garden or orchard, the fruits were more readily pollinated

Particularly on the east coast of Scotland, bee boles were needed to keep the skeps dry and well aired. An example is this wall at Tolquhon Castle.

Tolquhon Castle Bee Boles courtesy Wikipedia

Brodick Castle on Arran has fine examples of bee boles and skeps in its walled garden. An ornate example set into a wall at Kersland House in Stewarton, Ayrshire, was an alcove with carved decorations.

Sometimes larger bee boles, or 'bee alcoves' are found, which would take several skeps, such as at Craufurdland Castle in Ayrshire.

Craufurdland Castle Bee Boles courtesy Wikipedia

At Ladyland Castle in North Ayrshire the bee bole recesses are square and set into the north facing surviving wall of the building, now a walled garden.

Coming Monday, a list of castles with bee boles and bee boles that are open to the public…

February 8, 2010 06:46 - Bee Bole Castles & Public Sites

Continuing with bee boles, of the 250 registered in Scotland, 12 are listed on castle grounds ~

  • Balbegno Castle, located in Aberdeenshire, built in the 18th century
  • Blair Castle, located in Fife, built in the 19th century
  • Brodick Castle, located on the Isle of Arran, Ayrshire, built in the 19th century
  • Cathcart Castle, located in Glasgow, date of construction unknown
  • Craufurdland Castle, located in Ayrshire, date of construction unknown
  • Ethie Castle, located in Arbroath, Angus, built in the 19th century
  • Fordyce Castle, located in Aberdeenshire, built in the 17th century
  • Hatton Castle, located in Aberdeenshire, date of construction unknown
  • Kellie Castle, located in Fife, built in the 17th century
  • Kilravock Castle, located in Inverness-shire, built in the 18th century
  • Pollok Castle, located in Glasgow, date of construction unknown
  • Tolquhon Castle, located in Aberdeenshire, built in the 17th century

Some of these castles and their bee boles are open to the public, while several private locations are also open to the public ~

  • Abbey Street, St Andrews, Fife, date of construction unknown
  • Angus and Stanley Smith Houses Park, located in St Andrews, Fife, built in the 18th century
  • Brodick Castle, located on the Isle of Arran, Ayrshire, built in the 18th century
  • Cammo Estate, located in Edinburgh, built in the 17th century
  • Cathedral Cloister, located in St Andrews, Fife, built in the 19th century
  • Fordyce Castle, located in Aberdeenshire, built in the 16th century
  • Garvald Village Hall (once a church), located in East Lothian, date of construction unknown
  • Griselda Hill Pottery, located in Fife, date of construction unknown
  • Kellie Castle, located in Fife, built in the 17th century
  • Law Close Property, located in Kirkcaldy, Fife, date of construction unknown
  • Churchyard, located in Ochiltree, East Ayrshire, date of construction unknown
  • Churchyard of Old Parish Church, located in South Queensferry, Edinburgh, built in the 18th century
  • Pitmedden House, located in Aberdeenshire, built in the 17th century
  • St Andrews Cathedral, located in St Andrews, Fife, date of construction unknown
  • St Andrews Churchyard, located in Peeblesshire, built in 18th century
  • St Salvator's College, located in Fife, built in the 16th century
  • Strathendry House, located in Glenrothes, Fife, date of construction unknown
  • Tolquhon Castle, located in Aberdeenshire, built in the 17th century
  • The Weaver's Cottage, Renfrewshire, built in the 18th century

Coming tomorrow, bees and beehives in heraldry…

February 9, 2010 07:50 - Why Bee Boles?

Why all this time spent on bee boles? What’s their significance and meaning?

As an heraldic symbol, bees and honeycombs can both be found in ancient heraldry. The bees are always shown flying with their wings extended. They usually face upwards, that is, flying away from the viewer.

The bee represents efficient industry or well-governed industry, as in the Utah State Seal and Motto, Industry.

Utah State Seal courtesy Wikipedia

Families with bee symbols in their crests include Bye, Sewell, de Verthon, Butterfield, Campbell, Bollard, Sir Robert Peel, and Sir Richard Arkwright, and the Bole family.

Bole family heraldry symbol courtesy James Parker

Others have the bee-hive as an heraldic symbol. Known to have first been granted to the Rowe family of Cheshire, it was also granted to several other families. Including Treweek of Cornwall, Fraye, and Sandellayer of Stafford.

Rowe family crest courtesy James Parker

Within heraldry, there are cants, which are a play on words, such as the Beeston family, of Edinburgh ~

Beeston Family Cant courtesy Cheshire Heraldry

Coming tomorrow, bees and bee hives as insignia and relevant tartans…

February 10, 2010 06:46 - Bees & Hives as Insignia & Relevant Tartans

Several U.S. states have the European Honey Bee as their state insect, including Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

European Honeybee State Symbol courtesy Wikipedia

Even Jibbitz has a honeybee doodad for Croc shoes ~

Honeybee courtesy Jibbitz

The military also enjoy bees and beehives on their insignia ~

139th Regiment

139th Regimental Insignia courtesy Wikipedia

North Carolina National Guard

North Carolina National Guard insignia courtesy Wikipedia

There aren’t any actual tartans by the names of bee or honey, but the Honeyman family wear the Fife District Tartans.

Fife District Tartan WR2503

Fife District Tartan WR2503

Duke of Fife Wedding Tartan WR790

Duke of Fife Wedding Tartan WR790

Duchess of Fife Wedding Tartan WR781

Duchess of Fife Wedding Tartan WR781

The Bee family wear the Angus District tartans ~

Angus District Tartan WR1179

Angus District Tartan WR1179

Angus District Dress Tartan WR2473

Angus District Dress Tartan WR2473

Coming tomorrow, honey and mead and weddings…

February 11, 2010 05:59 - Honey & Mead & Weddings ~ Part I

As a wedding gift, the bride and groom often received a month’s worth of the special honey brew, along with beautiful goblets. The couple spent a month alone, in their new home. Honey was believed to increase fertility, so for one cycle of the moon, the couple was expected to stay home and drink Mead, a honey wine ~ thus the name Honey Moon.

But the history of mead goes back beyond known history.

Mead can be a mild ale, a strong wine, or any point between. It can be carbonated or sparkling as well as a dry, semi-sweet, or sweet wine.

Hromcikova Horka Czech
Medovina courtesy Wikipedia

Brewing with spices, fruits, or grain mash produces a variety of effects. A multi-cultural drink, it’s known throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Mead was the preferred drink in Ancient Greece. In Russia, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy wrote of Sbiten and Medovukha, which are mead.

Mead containing spices or herbs is called Metheglin. One containing berries is called Melomel, while mead fermented with grape juice is known as Pyment.

Distilled to brandy or liqueur strength, the Poles call it Krupnik.

Vcelolvina Slovak Mead courtesy Wikipedia

The Welsh word for mead is Medd, derived from meddyglyn, which means healing liquor. In Wales, mead is also called Braggot which has evolved into Bracket.

Edward Spencer wrote the following recipe in his work, The Flowing Bowl. This is an 1891 Beverage Recipe book and it’s still available at

Take of spring water what quantity you please, and make it more than blood-warm, and dissolve honey in it till 'tis strong enough to bear an egg, the breadth of a shilliing; then boil it gently near an hour, taking off the scum as it rises; then put to about nine or ten gallons seven or eight large blades of mace, three nutmegs quartered, twenty cloves, three or four sticks of cinnamon, two or three roots of ginger, and a quarter of an ounce of Jamaica pepper; put these spices into the kettle to the honey and water, a whole lemon, with a sprig of sweet-briar and a sprig of rosemary; tie the briar and rosemary together, and when they have boiled a little while take them out and throw them away; but let your liquor stand on the spice in a clean earthen pot till the next day; then strain it into a vessel that is fit for it; put the spice in a bag, and hang it in the vessel, stop it, and at three months draw it into bottles. Be sure that 'tis fine when 'tis bottled; after 'tis bottled six weeks 'tis fit to drink

Tomorrow, honey and mead and weddings continues…

February 12, 2010 07:19 - Honey & Mead & Weddings ~ Part II

Honey & Mead & Weddings ~ Part II

EM Gold Beekeepers has published recipes from the National Honey Board. These include both Spa Recipes and Food Recipes.

The Spa Recipes with honey, could be the basis for a fun time with friends, the bridal party, or your extended family ~ as a time to make wedding favors or gifts, similar in style to the Hen Parties in Scotland.

The spa recipes are ~

  • Lavender Honey Milk Bath
  • Cucumber Honey Toner
  • Honey Almond Scrub
  • Honey Kissed Lip Balm

These could be used as gifts fro the bridal party, while the lip balm in pretty little boutique jars could be a wedding favor.


  • Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
  • Honey Citrus Tea
  • Honey Morning Muffins
  • Honey Hazelnut Spread
  • Honey Marinated Tofu
  • Honey Ginger Drizzle
  • Honey Fruit Plate [named Honey of a Lunch]
  • Honey Roasted Garlic Canapes
  • Honey Sesame Salad

If you’re considering honey laced foods or favors for your wedding, the National Honey Board has even more recipes.

As wedding favors or gifts for special attendees, small jars of honey and other honey products are available.

Honey jars courtesy Accent the Party

Now knowing more about honey and it’s significance, you could even order bulk beeswax shaped like a bee on a honeycomb as part of your reception decorations.

Queen Bee Honeycomb courtesy E M Gold Beekeepers

The honeycomb could be embellished with honeybees and used as a centerpiece on tables. The honeybees could also be spread down the center of the guest tables, along with some large glitter. They could also be attached to the front of the gift table or the bridal couples table.

Honeybees courtesy A Wedding of a Lifetime

Other ideas for wedding favors ~

Beeswax hearts

Beeswax Hearts courtesy E M Gold Beekeepers

Honey dippers

Honey dippers courtesy A Wedding of a Lifetime

Ceramic honey pots shaped like the skeps once used in Scotland

Ceramic Honey Pots courtesy A Wedding of a LIfetime

Honey soap

Honey Soap courtesy E M Gold Honeykeepers

If the price per bar is over your budget for favors, consider buying or making pretty little organza bags, cutting the soap bar into 4ths or 6ths, and adding a decorative, descriptive tag to each bag.

Thus ends our foray into the wild kingdom of bees. But one last thought. All this would gain even more significance, if your name is Melissa, which means bee.

Monday, in honor of Valentine’s Day, Sweetheart Abbey will be presented…

February 15, 2010 06:47 - Sweetheart Abbey

Somehow, when Valentine’s Day rolls around, many of us become more romantic. But it strikes me that Spring time is the time of romance, as reflected in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem Locksley Hall

In the Spring a young man's fancy
lightly turns to thoughts of love…

Spring as the time of love being set aside, yesterday millions celebrated their love with special treats, both edible and emotional. And here’s a tale from the 13th century that’s worth the telling.

Dervorguilla of Galloway married John de Balliol. Both seem to have been of a generous spirit and very much in love.

Around 1260, he bought up apartments in the vicinity of Oxford College for poor students. After John’s death, his widow, Dervorguilla, endowed the quarters, formulated statutes, and gave the college it’s first seal. Oxford still has the seal. The union of John and Dervorguilla is commemorated in the arms of Baliol College, Oxford.

On a more personal level, their love must have been true, for when John died, Devorguilla had his heart embalmed and placed in an ivory and silver shrine. At meals, with the shrine placed before her, she would give his portion of every dish to the poor. When Dervorguilla died, she was buried in an abbey near Dumfries, with the ivory shrine encasing John’s heart placed in her arms.

Sweetheart Abbey courtesy Wikipedia

The abbey had been founded in 1275 by Dervorguilla, and upon her death, the monks renamed the abbey in honor of their love. It became Sweetheart Abbey as a tribute to her and their love.

Sweetheart Abbey East Nave courtesy Wikipedia

Due to upheaval and depredations of the abbey, the location of their graves is lost. The town, which grew nearby is now known as New Abbey.

Coming tomorrow, Valentine sugary sweets for wedding favors…

February 16, 2010 06:22 - Wedding Sweets

If that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet, what about sweets?

  • In Britain and Ireland, sweets or sweeties indicate a confection
  • The British also use spogs, spice, joy joy, and goodies for confections
  • In Lancashire, toffees is a generic term for all confections
  • In Australia and New Zealand, confections are called Lollies
  • In North America, candy is used for confections, as are sweets and treat
  • Along the Scottish Borders, ket indicates a confection
  • In Scottish Gaelic, suiteis are sweets, or confections/UL>

    Whatever the dialect, sweets are sweet, and they are a common favor at wedding receptions. Jordan almonds are traditional, both in Europe and North America. Originally known as confetti, they originated in Sulmona, Italy.

    When presented as wedding favors, tradition says the bitter almond and the sweet sugar represent the bittersweet aspect of married life. Over time 5 candies per guest became the norm, with a poem being attached to the number

    Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat
    To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet.
    Five wishes for the new husband and wife --
    Health, wealth, happiness, children, and long life!

    Commonly sold in Spring’s pastel colors of lilac, pale yellow, light blue, light green, and white. Each color likely has a specific meaning. I was given a wedding favor from Scotland. It was the five Jordan almonds in an tiny, artificial bird‘s nest.

    Beginning tomorrow, there’s lots of Scottish sweets you could use for your reception favors…

February 17, 2010 07:56 - Sweets at Your ScottishWedding

Using sweets that originated or were produced in Scotland is just one more way to speak out about your Scottish roots.

With small decorative information cards tucked in with the favor sweets, you can tell why you selected specific varieties. Or, depending on the size of your Wedding Program, a page or the back page could be dedicated to the confections.

If you’re not sure what colors you want for your wedding theme, or just for the sweets, using the traditional rhyme about wedding dress colors might help you solve your dilemma.

Married in White, you have chosen right,
Married in Blue, your love will always be true,
Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,
Married in Brown, you will live in town,
Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,
Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,
Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,
Married in Pink, your spirit will sink,
Married in Grey, you will go far away,
Married in Black, you will wish yourself back.

Whatever your wedding theme color, or colors, there’s probably a candy to match. Some are clan plants, like the acorn. Others are town specialties, such as Berwick Cockles, Edinburgh Rock, or Hawick Balls. Some just are.

Another idea I’ve seen recently at a reception, was a candy bar. This was a table set aside just for sweets of all kinds and colors. They were decorative bowls and small serving spoons. Each guest could select the ones they liked. And there were enough left over for everyone to take some home. It was a big hit with people of all ages.

Starting tomorrow, a listing of candies made or popular in Scotland…

February 18, 2010 07:37 - Scottish Sweets ~ Acorns to Buchanan’s Italian Creams

The varieties of Scottish Sweets is so vast, they are listed alphabetically, and will take several days to present. Today will begin with acorn candy. Then the listing will complete with Vimto’s Bon Bons and a source list so you can order your favorite sweets.

Acorns ~ though not a Scottish sweet, the acorn is a clan plant badge and is used in throughout heraldry

Candy Acorns courtesy Vermont Country Store

Berwick Cockles though originally from Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, the Scots have adopted them as their own. Traditionally the cockles are sold in quarter pound paper bags called quarters.

Berwick Cockles courtesy Sweetie World

Black-strippit Ba’s ~ a hard toffee with a strong mint flavor. This was a favorite in church, where three balls would last through the 40 minute sermon. For a bit of humor, you could make them available before guests are seated at your wedding, or pass them in something similar to a collection plate, with an explanation of their being a favorite in church and why.

Black Striped Balls courtesy Burns Sweet Shop

Buchanan’s Italian Creams ~ again, an Italian treat favored by the Scots. Notice the field division, like heraldic shields.

Buchanan’s Chocolate Italian Creams courtesy Sweetie World

Tomorrow, Butternuts and more…

February 19, 2010 06:11 - Scottish Sweets ~ Butternuts to Cinnamon Balls

Continuing the variety of Scottish Sweets you could have at your Scottish Theme Wedding…

Butternuts ~ just the sweet for an orange themed wedding

Ross Butternuts courtesy Sweetie World

Three orange tartan themes have been developed at Scottish Wedding Dreams ~ Drumlanrig Tartan Wedding Theme, Orange Tartans Wedding Themes, and Orange Sherbet Tartans Wedding Theme.

Chocolate Lime Satins ~ for any tartan with a lime green colorway

Gibbs Chocolate Lime Satins courtesy Sweetie World

Cheugh Jeans ~ no longer sold, but described as "Luscious lumps of sweetness that yield themselves into a liquid satisfaction in the warmth of the mouth." Sold by ‘Ball Allan‘, the candy king of Glasgow, around the end of the 1800’s. Cheugh means tough. The meaning of Jean is unknown. The flavors were clove, cinnamon, peppermint, and ginger.

Cinnamon Balls

Cinnamon Balls courtesy Sweet Shop Online

Cinnamon Balls courtesy Sweet Shop Online

Coming Monday, the Scottish sweets continue with Clove Rock…

February 22, 2010 07:37 - Scottish Sweets ~ Clove Rock to Curly-Andras

The listing of Sweets for Wedding treats continues with Clove Rock and more ~

Clove Rock

Clove Rock courtesy Sweetie World

Coconut Mushrooms

Coconut Mushrooms courtesy Sweet Junkie

Coulter’s Candy, Coltart's Candy, pronounced Coolter, is a boiled sweet originally hawked around southern Scotland by John Coulthart. Elsewhere, it’s known as Bonfire Toffee, due to it’s slight burnt sugar taste. Originally made in various flavors, aniseed flavor is the best known. John would announce his arrival, with his candies, with his own, special vendor’s call. From this, his candies came to be called "Ally Bally", which in turn evolved into a Scottish folk song.

Coulters Candy courtesy Sweet Shop Online

Generations of Scottish mothers have sung their wee ones to sleep with this lullaby, which was also sung by children playing in schoolyards.

Ally, bally, ally bally bee,
Sittin’ on yer mammy’s knee
Greetin’ for anither bawbee
Tae buy mair Coulter’s candy

Curly-andras ~ a white, coral-like sweet with a coriander seed in the centre. The name derives from Curryander, a Scottish form of coriander.

Coming tomorrow, Scottish Sweets ~ Dandelion and Burdock???…

February 23, 2010 06:46 - Scottish Sweets ~ Dandelion and Burdock to Giant Strawberries

Continuing the list of Scottish sweets, they seem to go on forever. I now understand the inspiration for J.K. Rowlings and all the oddly named sweets in the Harry Potter series.

Dandelion and Burdock
As a refreshing drink, dandelion and burdock has been around since 1254. To still be in existence, it must be good. To have evolved into a candy, it must be even better.

Barnett’s Dandelion and Burdock Pips courtesy Sweetie World

Barnett’s Dandelion and Burdock courtesy Sweetie World

The Newsroom has a series on other Dandelion and Burdock products, published October 28th, 29th, and 30th, 2009.

Edinburgh Rock or Edinburgh Castle Rock is distinct from conventional rock candy. With a soft, crumbly texture, it’s formed into sticks.

Edinburgh Rock courtesy Wikipedia

Even the packaging is distinctive.

Edinburgh Rock packaging courtesy Wikipedia

Fried Eggs
If this candy really appeals to you, with some thought you could find a way to incorporate it into your wedding plans. Or bluntly decide it’s just for fun!

Fried Egg Candies courtesy Mrs. O’Malley’s

Friendship Rings are popular as a wedding candy in Europe, including Scotland.

Gummy Friendship Rings courtesy Sweetie World

Though Haribo is a German candy company (aka Gummy Bears), their candies are sold by many Scottish Sweets stores. The Gummy Friendship Rings are popular in many countries, as a fun wedding favor. They're also the makers of Fried Eggs, Giant Apples, Giant Strawberries, Heart Throbs, and Milk Shakes.

Fruit Rounders

Fruit Rounders courtesy Sweetie World

Giant Apples

Giant Apples courtesy Sweetie World

Giant Strawberries

Giant Strawberries courtesy Mrs. O’Malley’s

Tomorrow, Giant Mice and more…

February 24, 2010 05:20 - Scottish Sweets ~ Giant Mice to Hawick Balls

As if dandelion and burdock anything didn’t sound bad enough, though very pretty colors, now it’s giant mice…

Giant Pink and White Mice

Giant Mice courtesy Sweetie World

Granny Sookers, with an apple flavor

Granny Sookers courtesy Sweet Shop Online

Hawick Balls originated in Hawick. They are a buttery mint, sold in a purple and green argyle tin with the golden silhouette of a Hawick horseman.

Hill’s Hawick Balls courtesy Sweetie World

Hills Hawick Balls Tin courtesy Scottish Gourmet USA

The horseman became a symbol of bravery for the young men of Hawick after the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. After the battle, the Scottish army was basically destroyed, leaving many towns, including Hawick, defenseless.

The English army was plundering every town they entered. Learning of the forthcoming attack, the callants, or young men of Hawick, went out to meet the English troops. Though extremely outnumbered, the youths were victorious, returning from the skirmish with the English flag as their trophy. Even today, in early June, several hundred horsemen gather, then ride the boundaries of Hawick, carrying the flag, marking the territory.

Beginning in Medieval times, the Hawick Baw Game was once played on the first Monday after the new moon in the month of February. The competitors were the ‘uppies’ and the doonies. The annual game is now played at Jedburgh, which is nearby, and the home of Jethart Snails sweets, which just happens to be in tomorrow‘s sweets list…

February 25, 2010 06:25 - Scottish Sweets ~ Heart Throbs to Milk Shakes

While heart throbs just sound like wedding theme material, snails are another matter, unless you happen to come from Jedburgh.

Heart Throbs

Haribo Heart Throbs courtesy Mrs. O’Malley’s

Jethart Snails are a local specialty from Jedburgh, Scotland. Originally French prisoners for the Napoleonic Wars shared their recipe with residents of Jedburgh. They are a brown mint-flavored boiled sweet.

Jethart Snails courtesy Ebay UK

Just a little aside, on Shrove Tuesday each year, Jedburgh continues a custom begun in Hawick in Medieval times. A game of handball is played in the streets. The two teams 'Uppies', who were born above the Mercat Cross, and the 'Doonies', who were born below the cross. The Mercat cross is a topic for another day.

Lemon Rock

Lemon Rock courtesy Sweetie World

Licorice Satins

Licorice Satins courtesy Sweetie World

Love Hearts ~ Keep It Sweet offers small favor packages shaped like pyramids

Love Heart pyramids courtesy Keep It Sweet

Lucky Tatties are a steamed candy, flavored with cassia, and covered with cinnamon powder. They once had a small toy inside, thus being considered lucky.

Lucky Tatties courtesy Sweetie World

Milk Shakes

Haribo Milk Shakes courtesy Mrs. O’Malley’s

Tomorrow, the list continues with Mixed Boilings which sound awful, but look wonderful…

February 26, 2010 06:20 - Scottish Sweets ~ Mixed Boilings to Petticoat Tails

Hard candies and shortbread may not a wedding make, but all look and taste terrific.

Mixed Bolilings ~ for a striking combination of blacks and whites, with some browns added, these could really stand out for a black and white wedding theme.

Mixed Boilings courtesy Sweetie World

Moffat Toffee isn’t even toffee, it’s a boiled sweet made in Moffat, Scotland from on old Blacklock family recipe. The Blacklocks still own the confectionary. The toffees are sold in packages and tins. The distinctive flavor is from a tangy, sweet center.

Moffat Toffee courtesy Wikipedia

Oddfellows ~ a lozenge flavored with cinnamon, clove, or rose, made by a Wishaw Firm for over 100 years. Speaking of enigmas, does mixed odd fellows make them un-odd?

Ross Mixed Oddfellows courtesy Sweetie World

Pan Drops

Small Pan Drops courtesy Sweetie World

Petticoat Tails, though not a confection, shortbread needs to be included. When a shortbread is baked in one large circle and divided into segments right after being removed from the oven, you get Petticoat Tails.

From the French petits cotes, which was a pointed biscuit eaten with wine. Mary, Queen of Scots, has also been given credit for shortbread. When you consider her French upbringing, it wouldn’t be surprising. Another sources for the name is a corruption of petites gatelles, which means little cakes.

Though considered commoner‘s food today, shortbread was once a luxury, reserved for special occasions, such as weddings, Christmas, and Hogmanay.

In Shetland it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home. In other areas, bannocks were used in this At The New Home Scottish wedding tradition.

Coming Monday, March Highland Games and Events…

January 2010 «  » March 2010


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