A Scottish Breakfast Kicks The Day Off Right

June 29, 2011
Written by Randi McCreary in
The Welcoming Table
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Tradition takes many forms, but Scottish oatmeal is a favorite in many of Scottish families.

There is something wonderfully nostalgic about breakfast. The simple pleasures of waking up to
the smell of freshly brewed coffee, or sitting down to a giant stack of pancakes are some of the things we overlook. In a bustling society where so many of us rarely take the time to sit down and unwind, breakfast begins to sound like a much-needed tradition.

When I was young, it was my own daily tradition to sit down in front of the television with a bowl of cereal to watch Tom and Jerry. In college, my roommates and I had the tradition of joining each other in the dining hall to make giant Belgian waffles with floods of syrup.

These days, my favorite tradition is sitting across from my daughter, watching her enjoy her favorite breakfast as we talk about last night’s dreams and our plans for the new day.

Every person has a way of embracing the simplest traditions, even if it centers on what is being served in the morning. For those living in Scotland, it is a traditional Scottish breakfast that seems to infuse comfort, and that meal consists of putting all your favorites on the plate. Scottish breakfast favorites include haggis, oatcakes, porridge, eggs, and tomatoes, potatoes of varying types, sausage or bacon, scones, and/or toast with marmalade.

Natives of Scotland consider porridge, marmalades, and haggies a staple of Scottish cuisine; and just as any good meal, it usually comes with a wonderful story. The explanation behind some of Scotland’s most renowned breakfast items allude to the country’s history and heritage. Scotland boasts itself as the home of marmalades with fresh pieces of oranges and lemons infused into the preserves as early as the 1700s.

Oatmeal is considered the heart of the Scottish breakfast, and haggies are a testament to Scotland natives who use the resources of the land for nourishment.

Tradition takes on many different forms. It does not have to fall on religious holidays or take place in a family gathering, but simply something we are used to that brings comfort. After all, tradition is synonymous with celebration, and being proud of your culture is definitely something worth celebrating.

Scottish Oatmeal

Teacup of medium oatmeal
Teacup of plain flour
Half teacup of milk
Tablespoon of soft brown sugar
3 oz butter or margarine
Level teaspoon salt
Level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

Sieve the flour, salt, and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, add the oatmeal and mix. Cut the butter or margarine into small portions and rub into the mixture with your fingers. Add the sugar and mix well. Pour in the milk and mix until you have stiff but workable dough.

Shake some flour on a worktop, turn the dough onto it, and shake a little flour on the top. Roll out thinly (about half an inch thick) and prick over with a fork. Cut into rounds with a scone cutter and place on an oiled baking tray. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 15/20 minutes. Use a palette knife to lift the biscuits onto a wire coming rack. Store in an airtight tin.


The Welcoming Table