"And oft I
hear your dearest name
Whispered in my troubled dream."
THE most substantial entertainment
peculiar to this night is the matrimonial brose, which is a dish, we
believe, well known throughout the country at large. This. savoury dish is
generally made of the bree of a good fat jigget of beef or mutton, which,
being sometimes a good while in retentum, renders the addition of
salt to the meal unnecessary. Before the bree is put in the bicker or
plate, a ring is mixed with the meal, which it will be the aim of every
partaker to get. The first bicker being discussed, the ring is put into
two other bickers successively; and should any of the candidates for
matrimony find the ring more than once, he may rest assured of his
marrying before the next anniversary.
The brose, and plenty of other good
cheer, being dispatched, the guests betake themselves to another part of
the night’s entertainment. Soon as the evening circle convenes, the "Bannich
Junit," or" sauty bannocks," are resorted to. The component
ingredients of those dainties are eggs and meal, and a sufficient quantity
of salt, in order to sustain their ancient and appropriate appellation of
"sauty." These ingredients, well mixed together, are baked or toasted on
the gridiron, and are regarded by old and young as a most delicious treat;
and, as may be expected, they have a charm attached to them, which enables
the happy Highlander to discover the object of all his spells—his
A sufficient number of those
designed for the palate being prepared, the great or matrimonial bannock
is made, of which all the young people in the house partake. Into the
ingredients of it there is some particle intermixed, which, in the
distribution, will fall to the lot of some happy person, who may be sure,
if not already married, to be so before the next anniversary.
Last of all are made the Bannich
Bruader, or dreaming bannocks, to the ingredients composing which is
added a little of that substance which chimney-sweeps call soot, and which
contains some charm of which we have not yet come to the knowledge.
In baking these last bannocks, the baker must be as mute as a stone—one
word would destroy the charm of the whole concern. One is given to each
individual, who slips off with it quietly to bed; and, reposing his head
on his bannock, he will be gratified by a sight of his beloved in the
course of his midnight slumbers.