Welcome to Foodie Friday.
The end of summer always catches me by surprise. I know it's coming, but a secret, girlish part of my soul wants the slow, light-filled days to continue. When I was a child, I wasn't ready to face school and homework;
I clung to summer like a sloth, begging it to stay.
Don't leave, I'd think. Stick around. I don't want to wear knee socks and sweaters.
Summer is a season and a concept. A time to play and stay cool and piddle.
This past summer, and the summers before it, have been hectic. Lots of writing and revising. Like my husband says, maybe it's time to think about retiring.
Summer can stick around a bit longer, even if it's only in my mind's eye.
For this Foodie Friday, I'm leaving you with one of my favorite posts from the spring of 2012, from Tartan Day. Plaid and picnics seem to go together like pumpkins and Fall--and that season is on the way. I can't see it, not yet, but it's almost here, creeping around the edges, eating up the daylight, sending a nippy, warning breeze.
Hope you have a happy, food-filled Labor Day.
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. 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.
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 Labor Day
from Mlee and Will at...
Thanks for stopping by!