(from the French hoguinané), New Years Eve, is a special date in the
Scottish calendar. Traditionally the house was reddit-out in order
to welcome the New Year and it was a time for family-gathering and the
renewal of long-standing friendships. In by-gone times it was,
like Halloween, a time when children went out guising. Going from
door to door for New Year gifts (usually fruit or nuts) the children
would sing -
"Rise up guid-wyfe an shak yir feathers,
Dinna think that we ar beggers,
We ar bit bairns cum ti play,
Rise up an gie's our Hogmanay."
In some parts of Aberdeenshire they added the following
lines to the rhyme -
"Our feets caul, our shoon's thin,
Gie's a piece an let's rin!"
Guising may no longer be
carried out but the tradition of First Footing continues, however the 'hot
beverage' described by E Picken in 'Dictionary of the Scottish Language'
(1818) belongs to a former age.
"The first-fit generally
carries with him a hot beverage, made of ale, spirits, eggs, cream, sugar,
and biscuit, with some slices of curran bun to be eaten along with it, or
perhaps some bread and cheese."
Whisky, Shortbead and
Black Bun all add to the flavour of Hogmanay and the welcoming of the New
Year. For the desert to follow the traditional steak-pie on the first
day of the year, we would suggest a recipe from 'The Anniversary Cook-Book
of the Dumfriesshire Federation SWRI 1922 - 1992'. The Cummertrees
Institute supplied a treat which tastes as good as it sounds - Spicy Pear
Crumble - a great way to start 2005.
Spicy Pear Crumble
Ingredients: 3 small ripe pears; 3oz
cheddar cheese, grated; 1 level tablespoon brown sugar; 1 level teaspoon
ground ginger; 1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the crumble: 2oz plain flour; 1oz soft brown sugar; 1oz butter of
Method: Cut the pears in half, peal and core.
Arrange cored side up in a buttered oven-proof dish. Mix together
the cheese, sugar, ginger and lemon juice, then use to fill the pear
halves. Make the crumble: in a bowl mix the flour and sugar,
then rub in butter until it resembles fine bread-crumbs. Sprinle
over each of the pear halves. Bake above the centre of the oven
350 F, 180 C, or Gas Mark 4 for about 30 minutes.