If all things Scottish hadn’t already taken over much of my brain, I’ve got a growing list of websites in my favorites that have to do with Scotland and travel and fundraising. In my web
surfing and blog reading research, I learned that in Scotland, Hogmanay is the word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with a celebration of the new year. During Hogmanay, it is traditional to go first-footing, which, like a lot of Scottish things, sounds like an excuse to go out visiting friends and, I dare say, an excuse to drink! First footing is literally, the first foot in the house after midnight. According to tradition, in order to ensure good luck for the house, the owner of the first foot should be a tall, dark, handsome male. Apparently this stems from the days when the Vikings invaded Scotland. Of course then, if a blonde stranger came to your door it was probably trouble. Here in Lutheran Scandahooviaville, we are hard pressed to find anything but blondes. So anyway, this antithesis of a Viking, must be a male and must come bearing gifts, and these symbolic gifts are coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and whisky. Symbolising, I guess, warmth, sweets, spice in your life and… uh, an excuse to drink!
Since we’ll be spending New Year’s Eve tonight with one or more sets of “Scotland Bound” parents like ourselves, I decided to try out this old new tradition – heck, we can all use a little luck right? I did a little more
time wasting blog surfing research and I found a recipe for Black Bun, which is pretty much a deep dish raisin and currant and brandy pie. So I made that, and some shortbread, got some sea salt – coz its prettier, and more earthy looking than table salt. I couldn’t find any coal, so I got some briquettes, and I found out that real Scottish whisky is spelled without the e in front of the y, and never says Scottish on the label, but rather Scotch.
I doubt that I’ll find a non-blonde male to be our first footer among the Larsons, Hansons, and Andersons tonight, but it will be fun to do something new! And as they say in Scotland: A good New Year to one and all, and many may ye see!