"We'll Take A Cup O' Kindness"
Scotch Tea 1.
To give an odd function that is not a complete fizzle is a fine art. Easy enough it is for the hostess to plan an out-of-the-ordinary affair, but to have the party turn out a success is, as the Kiplingites are eternally quoted as saying, "quite another story."
For music have the Highlander's bag-pipe, the door opened by a man in the striking garb of Scotland. For decoration use white heather and primroses.
In the dining-room have the words "We'll take a cup o' kindness yet" in large letters and conspicuously framed in pine. Presiding at the table have young girls in Scottish costume who dispense the "cup o' kindness" from a silver teapot nestling in a "cosey"; (a padded cloth cover) to keep hot the favorite feminine beverage.
The delectable dishes dear to the Highlander's heart are passed for the approval of feminine palates. These viands include scones, a sort of muffin made with flour, soda, sugar and water. These are split and filled with orange marmalade straight from Dundee and, as everybody knows, the best in the whole culinary world. Scones are baked on gridles, and are especially popular in the country houses of Scotland.
Then there is a rich pastry called shortbread, made of butter, sugar and flour -- no water -- and beaten up; rolled out about an inch thick and baked in sheets.
Shortbread is a great delicacy in Scotland. There are oat cakes also, a biscuit made of oatmeal, shortening and water. Two kinds of cake -- black fruit cake and sultana cake, which is a pound cake containing sultana raisins -- complete the course of Highland dainties.
On the walls drape the striking plaids of Scotland, worked with the names of the different clans.
In the reception-room have the words, "a wee drappie," framed in pine. The inscription should be over a table on which is served mulled wine from a silver pitcher kept in hot water. Even a white-ribboner would call mulled claret delicious or get a black mark from the recording angel for prevarication.
Better lo'ed ye canna be,
Scotch Tea 2.
Followed by Supper. A Scotch day, modeled after a genuine party in "Bonnie Scotland," is a pleasing idea for the entertainment of a Lenten house party. From twelve to twenty-four guests are entertained, the ladies being asked to come at three o'clock and the gentlemen at half past six. As every woman, no matter what her condition in life, works industriously knitting or crocheting lace or embroidering, each guest brings her bit of handwork and the afternoon is spent in chatting while fair fingers ply the needles. At five o'clock the guests are invited to the dining-room where they are seated at a large table.
At a typical Scotch tea the centerpiece is an oblong piece of satin in any preferred color edged with a ruffle of white lace. In the center of this is a tall vase holding a miscellaneous bouquet, and at the corners of the centerpiece are small vases of similar design holding similar bouquets. All edibles are on the table at once, there is no removing of courses. The teacups, silver teapot with satin cosey, silver or china hot water pitcher and sugar and cream are placed in front of the hostess. The hostess asks the taste of the guest as to sugar and cream and fixes the tea herself. The maid passes the tea and then retires, and the service becomes informal, the guests assisting. At each place is a small tea plate, knife and spoon, but no napkins and none of the numberless dishes generally seen on American tables. No water glasses are placed on the table. Instead there is a pitcher, carafe or siphon on the sideboard or serving table, which is passed to the guest should he ask for water. The table is nicely balanced by dishes in pairs, there are two plates of butter, one fresh and one salted at either end of the table, two plates of bread, two plates of fancy cakes, two dishes of of bread, two plates of fancy cakes, two dishes of jelly, etc. The menu for the tea is white and graham bread and fresh and salted butter, tea, scones, strawberry jam, orange marmalade, fancy cakes, including macaroons, jelly cake made in two layers and called jelly sandwiches and sometimes tiny cold pancakes. The last course is fresh strawberries served on the stem with powdered sugar.
The men arrive at half past six o'clock and are served tea in the library, smoking room or den. Preceding the supper which is served at half past nine o'clock, the guests talk, play cards or have music. The supper table is arranged much as the tea-table save between the small vases are small candleholders with lighted candles. The host and hostess are at either end of the table and each serves a meat, the plates being passed by a maid and by the guests. There is a vegetable dish at each end of the table. The meats and vegetables are served on one plate, the only extra plate being the small bread and butter plate with the bread and butter knife laid across it.
The maid removes the first course dishes and places a large bowl of strawberries and dessert saucers before the hostess who serves strawberries, the maid and the guests passing the saucers. The guests hand the nuts, cheese, fresh fruits and other edibles about, doing away with the services of the maid.
The supper menu includes a hot beef-steak and onion or other meat pie, cut by the hostess, hot fish, *Finnan Haddie being a great favorite, cold tongue, mashed potatoes, cauliflower, celery, cheese, bottled pop, lemonade, white bread, graham bread, scones, fresh and salted butter, jellies and jams, marmalade. The second course is fresh strawberries, oranges, bananas, English walnuts.
After supper, cards, music and chatting fill in the hours until midnight and sometimes longer for the bonnie Scots are typical night owls.
*Finnan haddie, also known as Finnan haddock and Finnan or Findrum speldings, is cold smoked haddock, representative of a regional method of smoking with green wood and peat in north-east Scotland. Its origin is the subject of a debate, as some sources attribute the origin to the hamlet of Findon, Aberdeenshire, (also sometimes called Finnan) near Aberdeen, while others insist that the name is a corruption of the village name of Findhorn at the mouth of the River Findhorn in Moray. It may have been a popular dish in Aberdeenshire since at least as early as the 1640s. The "dispute" goes back to the eighteenth century, although it is hard to trace, as adherents fail to acknowledge even the possibility of the alternative view (except for the etymology note in the Oxford English Dictionary).Wikipedia
Breakfasts and Teas; Compiled by Paul Pierce