A Tartan Picnic
“Ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love
Will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.”
--Old Scottish song, "Loch Lomand"
My love for all things plaid began when I was a small girl, and my Mississippi grandmother told stories about our Scottish roots. “We’re members of Clan Kennedy,” my Mimi said. “Not to be confused with the Irish Kennedys, though we’ve got the luck of the Irish in our family tree.”
She was right about being lucky, because I married a plaid-loving fellow from Clan Maitland. My sweetheart, Will, needed special permission to wear the Maitland tartan.
Photo Credit: Tartanregistry.gov.uk
Every April 1st, we celebrate Tartan Day with a picnic, and the clipped lawn serves as a backdrop for our beloved wool blankets that we bought many years ago in Edinburgh.
I’ve said enough about plaid. The picnic is ready. Won’t you join us?
Fruit and Cheese
Scottish Scones and Highland Shortbread (recipe below)
A tartan picnic calls for savory and sweet dishes, such as tea sandwiches, Scottish pancakes, smoked salmon, scones and double cream; but our menu is lighter this year (because we're heavier!)
At our house, a picnic can be casual, formal, or smack in between. I think of my yard as an outdoor dining room, and I love to use crystal, porcelain, and cloth napkins.
I always remember what my Mimi used to say:
"Don’t let a table or picnic be too uppity.
Mix your china patterns. If things clash, it's a lucky sign."
I inherited Mimi's vintage tomato salt and pepper shakers.
My semi-Scottish sweetheart contributed a knock-out rose.
Faux ants are always welcome to a picnic,
whether they're on the food screens or the tartan dinner plates.
Even the tulips are doing their best to be tartan-like.
Tartan (tärtn): Noun.
1. Wool fabric with a plaid pattern against a solid background;
2. a garment worn by Scottish clansmen;
3. a sure-fire, smile maker.
A tartan picnic wouldn't be the same without our much-loved picnic basket.
I'm not kidding. We are tartan crazy.
If I find a dish or bowl with plaid, chances are it's going home with me.
Highland ShortbreadPrintable Recipe
What You Need:
• 1 cup butter, softened
• ½ cup white granulated sugar
• 2 cups cake flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Pat dough into a baking dish. Bake 25 minutes or until brown. Cool.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons cream
Organic pansiesBeat ingredients until smooth. Ice cooled shortbread squares. Garnish each square with an edible pansy.
Tips for Outdoor Dining
*Use a plastic tub or basket to organize tableware.
*Transport baskets/tubs in a child’s wagon.
*Make your picnic a special event--don’t be afraid to use china and crystal.
*Dish towels make inexpensive napkins.
*Serve easily transportable food. To prevent spoilage and melty-messes, avoid frozen concoctions.
Happy Tartan Day
from Mlee and Will at...
I'm thrilled to participate in the Tartan Parade at The Polo House, Hyacinths for the Soul, Vignette Design, and Upstairs Downstairs.
I'm happy to participate in On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.