Classic Recipes from the British Isles: Rumbledethumps, Colcannon, and Bubble-and-Squeak; Yorkshire Pudding, Toad-in-the-Hole, and Onion Gravy

Scottish Rumbledethumps

Traditional Scottish Rumbledethumps

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Robert “Rabbie” Burns, the Bard of Scotland

With tonight being Burns Night, I thought I’d start with the wonderfully-named Rumbledethumps: a traditional dish of the Scots Borders, from whence he hailed – and from which a good chunk of my father’s family likewise hailed! Indeed, we shared a town – Selkirk – with the Ploughman Poet, and had our own subtly distinct version of the well-known “Selkirk Grace”:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some have nae that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit!

Now for two close cousins of Rumbledethumps: Irish Colcannon, and English Bubble-and-Squeak:

Colcannon recipe

Traditional Irish Colcannon

“Colcannon is a favorite Irish recipe, especially on St Patrick‘s Day. Seriously, what is not to like? Creamy mashed potatoes, fresh, crunchy curly kale, a bit of spring onions, and pats of butter.”

Delicious, and not just for St. Padraig’s! The spring onions and kale give it both a fresh flavor and a health boost. I don’t pulse or chop them mechanically, just give the kale a thin chiffonade, and slice the green onion into 1/8 to 1/4″ rounds. Be sure to include the green tops!

Bubble and Squeak

Traditional Bubble and Squeak

The first specifically British dish I ever made, many years ago (many, many years, now…), Bubble and Squeak is the lovely, quirky, evocative name for what is mostly fried leftover vegetables, usually from Sunday’s roast dinner (sometimes leftover meat, or bacon, is incorporated). The name comes from the sound it makes as it’s frying! It can be breakfast, brunch, lunch, or supper, as circumstances may dictate.

Yorkshire Pudding

Traditional Yorkshire Pudding

In Yorkshire itself, these puffy pastries, baked in oil (yes, you heard that right…), are often served as a starter; in rest of Britain, they’re the classic accompaniment to a Sunday roast (see here for more on the Sunday roast or “Sunday lunch”). In either case, plenty of gravy is an essential accompaniment – see below!

Toad in the Hole

Family-sized Toad in the Hole

Another evocatively-named dish, Toad-in-the-Hole combines “bangers” (sausages) with a Yorkshire-pudding-like pastry batter (in fact, the Yorkshire pudding recipe could be used for this dish, although the one given here is a wee bit different). A classic supper dish, but could also be the centerpiece for a (slightly less traditional) Sunday lunch. The bangers are rather jumbled in the illustration; I like mine arranged a bit more neatly!

Onion Gravy

Rich Onion Gravy

Several – arguably all! – of the above could deliciously benefit from being served with onion gravy, and Yorkshire pudding and Toad-in-the-Hole practically demand it. As the linked recipe notes,

“The ultimate in comfort food must be any meat dish, or meat and creamy mashed potatoes, smothered in a rich onion gravy. The bringing together of sweet onions and a dark rich sauce—which is both sweet and savory—is a classic of both the British and Irish kitchens.”

And darned tasty on this side of “the Pond,” I must say.

Enjoy!

 

Her Majesty is in Scotland for Royal Week

From The British Royalist Society (links added):

Her Majesty The Queen attended the Ceremony of the Keys at Holyroodhouse today.

She is symbolically offered the keys to the city by the Lord Provost and tradition dictates that the Queen then returns them, entrusting their safekeeping to Edinburgh’s elected officials.

The Queen will be residing in Scotland for Royal Week, which kicks off with a garden party at Holyroodhouse Palace.

Prince Charles Is Opening a Bed and Breakfast in Scotland | Martha Stewart

bed and breakfast
Photography by: Andrew Milligan – PA Images / Getty

Prince Charles is opening a bed and breakfast in Scotland. Here are the details.

Source: Prince Charles Is Opening a Bed and Breakfast in Scotland | Martha Stewart

“On May 15, the future King of the United Kingdom will open the doors to his new bed and breakfast, known as Granary Lodge, to the public. The 10-bedroom development overlooks the picturesque North Sea on the grounds of the Castle of Mey in Caithness, Scotland

“Each room is decorated with plush Victorian style, with dark wood furniture, floral drapery, and pastel-colored walls. Basically, it’s everything you’d expect from a royal residence.”

No, HRH The Prince of Wales has not become a member of the bourgeoisie! As are most of his ventures, this one has a more charitable purpose:

“Though it may prove popular, don’t expect the Prince to get rich off this endeavour. As Clarence House said in a statement: ‘The accommodation will be owned and operated by The Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust, and profits raised will go towards maintaining and operating the estate as a tourist destination in the North Highlands of Scotland.'”

I have to confess, I would love to stay here!

 

Consecration of Samuel Seabury, first Anglican Bishop in North America, 1784 | For All the Saints

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Samuel Seabury, the first Bishop in the Protestant Episcopal Church, was consecrated to the episcopate by “Non-Juring” Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1784.

Source: Consecration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1784 | For All the Saints

A most important commemoration for all American Anglicans: the consecration to the episcopate of Samuel Seabury, the first Anglican Bishop not only in the newly-minted United States, but North America! (AFIK, that includes our friends to the north in Canada, but if I am wrong about that, I’m sure someone will correct me.)

“Samuel Seabury, the first bishop in the Protestant Episcopal Church, was born in Groton, Connecticut, on the thirtieth of November 1729. After ordination in England in 1753, he was assigned to Christ Church, New Brunswick, New Jersey as a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel…

“After the War, a number of Connecticut clergymen, meeting in secret on the twenty-fifth of March, 1783, named Seabury or Jeremiah Leaming, whoever would be willing and able, to seek episcopal consecration in England. Leaming declined, while Seabury accepted and set sail for England.

“After a year of negotiation, Seabury found it impossible to obtain episcopal orders from the Church of England because, as an American citizen, he could not swear allegiance to the Crown… Seabury then turned to the Non-Juring bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and on the twenty-fourth of November 1784, in Aberdeen, he was consecrated by the bishop and the bishop coadjutor of Aberdeen and the bishop of Ross and Caithness, in the presence of a number of clergy and laity.”
Continue reading “Consecration of Samuel Seabury, first Anglican Bishop in North America, 1784 | For All the Saints”

The Glories of the West: Scots Highlanders! Royal Regiment of Scotland

After [duty as] the Queen’s honour guard outside Balmoral Castle & Estate this week, the guard from Balaklava Company, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, led by The Highlanders – 4 SCOTS Pipes & Drums, both of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, return to barracks through Ballater in Royal Deeside.