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Leviticus 193/84: St Andrew & Full Moon heralds early of Christmas

Lockdown is finding work for idle hands … decorations going up outdoors all over town … The reindeer are back this year and the snow fall at the BIG House next door …

.. and up country in Ilkley they've been working "at pace" with more colours.

… that outdoors scene with the barbecue transformed looking in to the previous tree is pretty good camera work! And below right we've got the Family Portraits … click all to enlarge …

Not up to speed let alone pace at The Lodge! We went Walkabout as we say in Australia yesterday since we were stir crazy and getting set for our third incarnation of Thanksgiving Turkey. It came creatively as ever as Constantinople Hotpot … with cranberries, residual tikka masala curry and onions sliced/ diced thanks to a Canadian Tire Slicing Accessory from Bryan … all warmly settled beneath browned sliced potatoes … get the picture? We didn't take one and now it's too late. I'd already had Sunday Brunch of delightful Manx kipper ….
St Andrew's Day and Saltire Festival in the snow in Scotland … … with a Full Moon today too if you can see it under heavy cloud. Seemed worth contemplating something to follow the Turkey Trilogy and we do have a haggis I purchased last week … but I can dream of Cullen Skink Risotto by Chef Craig Wilson. [We did go to Cullen once and drank and ate the Skink.] The Risotto has these ingredients. 1 large natural smoked haddock; 2 large rooster potatoes, peeled; 1 shallot; 1 small leek; 1 clove of garlic; 500ml milk; Sprig thyme; 50g butter; 25g créme fraîche and Chervil to garnish. And this is what happens next - start by finely dicing the shallot and leek. Place them into a pan and gently sweat in the butter without colouring for about 15 minutes. While waiting cook the fish in simmering milk for 10 minutes and allow to cool slightly. Dice the potato as small and as finely as possible as this will replace the rice normally in a risotto. Add the crushed garlic and thyme to the onion mix then add the potato and stir thoroughly to ensure all is covered in the butter mix. Now start adding the milk one ladle at a time, stirring continuously to allow the potato to absorb the milk; the milk should get quite thick just before the potato is fully cooked. At this point, flake the cooked fish into the potato; add the créme fraîche and season with Chervil garnish.
St. Andrew’s Day is a national holiday in Scotland. It is also Scotland’s National Day marking the beginning of Scotland as a nation after Victory at Athelstaneford in AD832. Variations of the holiday are also celebrated in Romania, Germany, Austria, Poland, and Russia. St. Andrew appears in the New Testament as an Apostle and disciple of Jesus Christ but before his calling he was a fisherman by trade. Poignantly appropriate perhaps this year as the final stages of EU departure are stalled over fishing rights! Andrew and his brother Peter were fishing in the Sea of Galilee when [according to the Gospel of St. Mathew] Jesus called out to both Andrew and his brother Peter: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”. They both left their boats to follow Jesus as two of his Twelve Apostles. St. Andrew is now the patron saint, or heavenly advocate, of Cyprus, Scotland, Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and more, hailed as the “First-Called” as he was the first Apostle named.

But how come Scotland celebrates St. Andrew’s Day? According to legend Óengus II, King of Picts and Scots, led an army against the Angles, a Germanic people that had invaded Britain. Although heavily outnumbered Óengus prayed the night before battle vowing to name St. Andrew the patron saint of Scotland if they won. On the day of the battle, in present day East Lothian, white clouds formed an X in the sky normally thought to represent the X-shaped cross where St. Andrew was crucified. Troops were inspired by the apparent divine intervention, Óengus's troops came out victorious despite overwhelming odds. True to his word, as the legend goes, Óengus named St. Andrew the patron saint of Scotland and Scotland’s flag was likely the result. It is not known that St. Andrew ever came to Scotland but he is known to have died on a diagonal cross. A legendary shipwreck reputedly saw some of his bones arriving at the Pictish capital in Fife in the 4th century leading to the development there of the cathedral city of St. Andrews which nowadays dutifully celebrates for a week each year. It has a long established university which was where TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge both studied, William art history with geography and Kate art history alone. It's where they first met as Freshers.
Sad news from Spain as cousin Stuart dies there. Avril's well loved cousin who has lived in Spain for more than a decade finally succumbed after several recent years of ill health. He had a distinguished career in IT marketing across Europe and was a good linguist and friend to our family and the Hartwells coming until recently every Christmas and staying with Pamela in Oakham. He gave all his children a fine education at St Paul's although tragically he was not able to stay in contact with them in later life. He was a twin to Leslie Hooper who is flying to Spain on Thursday to help with his final arrangements here on earth.

Published Date: November 30th 2020

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