Oor Andrew – celebration and hospitality
Cooking is love made visible
There are several theories as to how Andrew, a fisherman from Copernicum, came to be associated with Scotland. And like many things that are good about Scotland, it’s surrounded by legend and a little romance. One story goes that his relics were brought from Constantinople to what is now St. Andrews in the Kingdom of Fife, and presented to a Pictish king, Angus. Angus vowed that if granted victory over the Angles in battle he would appoint Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. And as clouds formed a white saltire against the blue sky over the battlefield the outnumbered army of Scots and Picts was victorious and Angus kept his word. Whatever the truth is, Andrew was known as a man with a simple philosophy, share what you have with those who have not. It’s a philanthropic view which still lives on in Scots hospitality today.
To eat in the company of others is a strong expression of trust and togetherness of a much higher order than just being together
There is something truly wonderful about sharing your table with friends, with family, those whom you love, or even with strangers. For me there’s no better feeling than extending hospitality to visitors, feeding them, topping up glasses, and sharing great conversation into the small hours (even if my neighbours are less enthusiastic). Celebrating St Andrew’s Day has long been one of those times, to come together and share what you have, rejoice in the company of kindred spirits. The tradition of celebrating St Andrews Day was actually started in the United States where Scots expats would meet to hold true to the philanthropic values on Andrew himself. Almost three hundred years later it’s worthwhile to cast an eye to the man we celebrate and not only the nation, to reflect on the synergy between the philanthropy of St Andrew, and the tradition of Scots hospitality.
My seasonal St Andrew’s Day menu – simple one pot sharing
Featured image by Stuart McKenzie