Her early years on the islands helped to shape her life-long fascination and pride in Scottish history and cultural traditions.
Later in her life she produced a four-volume history of Scottish customs, folklore and ancient festivals called evokes the era before the forced pace of social change brought about by industrialization, and conjures the image of the self-sufficient farmstead, and within, the capable mistress at the helm of her bubbling cauldrons and sizzling “girdles” over the peat fire.
That is why so many children do not enjoy the porridge as their parents did. .” “The best oatmeal is well-ripened on the stalk, dried by sunshine and, if necessary, in the gentle warmth of a small kiln, and ground between two honest mill-stones.
Some sort of virtue disappears with rapid drying, while high-speed milling between opposed surfaces of steel may possibly add a trace of iron to our diet, but cannot achieve the effect of a little fine sandstone dust.” Before, during and after the advent of the water-driven mill, with which the Scots had experimented perhaps as early as 700 AD, farmwives milled their oats by hand with the use of a quern, “a hand-mill composed of two circular stones with a hole in the centre of the upper one, through which it is fed corn [grain], and a wooden handle.
Oats are the most nutritious of cereals, being richer than any other in fats, organic phosphorus and lecithins. With the introduction of machinery, this has been changed. The method of kilndrying is somewhat more arduous than the modern method of mechanical drying, but it is to the kiln that we owe the delectable flavor of the best oatmeal.” At one time, water-driven oat mills with stone grinders dotted the Scottish landscape at intervals of about every eight miles.
Mc Neill continues, “In meal from the local mills, as in château wines, there are constant minor differences in taste, due in part to the quality and age of the grain, and in part to the temperature and time taken in the kiln.
Hopefully you will all have fun meeting singles and try out this online dating thing... i cant think of owt else to prattle on about ,but certain parties tell me messages this short cannot be posted so i'm afraid you will have to suffer until it gets posted. Mc Neill comments that this sediment “contains practically all the nutritious properties of the oatmeal in its most easily digested form.When required for use, pour off all of the clear liquid (swats) and put some of the sediment (sowans) into a saucepan, allowing a gill [five ounces] for each person, with two gills of water and salt to taste.“The ancient way of dressing corn [grain],” writes Martin Martin circa 1695 in , “which is yet used in several Isles is called Graddan, from the Irish word Grad, which signifies quick. The Oatbread dressed as above is Loosening, and that dressed in the Kiln is Astringent, and of greater strength for laborers: but they love the Graddan, as being more agreeable to their taste.” “As oats and barley were the staple grains,” Mc Neill explains, “so kail [kale] was long the staple vegetable. The vogue of kail, however, was originally confined to the Lowlands.His kail-yard was, in fact, to the old Scots crofter what his potato plot was to the Irish peasant. The Highlander preferred the common nettle in his broth, and appears to have regarded the use of kail as a symptom of effeminacy.” Kail was so ubiquitous a vegetable that it lent its name to the vegetable garden in general (the kail-yard) as well as to the evening meal, regardless of what else might be served (“Will you come and tak’ your kail wi’ me?