Today, November 30th, is Saint Andrew’s day. It is the last major feast in the church calendar before the beginning of Advent. Among other things, Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. If you click on the link above you will find how that came about.
Andrew is one of the twelve apostles. He is the younger brother of Peter. A figure in the background of his older, more visible brother. As the youngest of six boys, I can relate to the idea of being in the shadow of older, more voluble, brothers.
Not surprisingly, as a guy named McKenzie, I have an affinity with the patron saint of Scotland. My great-great-grandfather on my dad’s side emigrated from Biggar, Scotland. My great-grandfather, Fighting Mac, made his reputation as an Australian, and my grandfather, Gordon, migrated to Canada, where my dad was born.
So, that’s the ancestral connection to Saint Andrew. I have another connection as well. On November 30th, 2008, I entered into Holy Orders when I was made a deacon in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic faith, at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Winnipeg. This year marks the ninth anniversary of my ordination, so I decided to mark the day by celebrating with some Scottish food and drink. Next year is my tenth anniversary, and I think I may need to throw an actual feast to mark the event. Below is a hymn commonly sung on Saint Andrew’s day.
Saint Andrew’s Breakfast
As I tried to make my mind up as how best to celebrate the day, I figured the obvious choice was to start my day off with a bowl of oatmeal. Being a celebratory day, I decided I would go out for my breakfast. My location of choice was the Stella’s at the Plug-In Gallery. They offer a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon that I quite enjoy. Even though it’s not particularly cold out, the warm and filling oatmeal got my day off to a good start.
From then I wandered my way down to St. Philip’s. I stopped in at The Fork’s to see if Tall Grass Prairie Bakery had any shortbread for sale. They didn’t, although they were in the process of making a savoury one that would be ready later in the day. However, the staff pointed out that the candy store opposite them, also carries shortbread. So, I picked up a box of imported shortbread.
Saint Andrew’s Lunch
What to do for a meal seemed to be a little bit more complicated. Early in the day I asked the Manitoba Food Bloggers if anyone had recommendations for a place that might be serving a Saint Andrew’s day meal. The answer to that request was no.
I decided though, that I would stop in at Bouchée Boucher before I went into work at St. Philip’s. As you may know, this is one of my favourite restaurants. I knew that they carried some gourmet shortbread cookies, but having already picked up some I didn’t want to overload my diet with too much of a good thing.
When I got there I took a look through all the shelves, coolers and freezers. Lo and behold, what did I find at the far end of one of their freezers, but a cottage pie ready to be cooked. I took that with me, let it thaw a bit and then put it into to the oven in the upstairs kitchen at the church. I cooked it on the baking setting until the last few minutes, when I turned the broiler on. Given that the upstairs kitchen only has an apartment style oven in it, I didn’t get quite the brown on top that I would like, but it was still crunchy, and the filling was delicious.
The lunch must have made my brain a little hazy, because I nearly forgot that I had a Eucharist to celebrate this afternoon. This after telling a couple of people that I was going to get to celebrate a Eucharist on my ordination anniversary. I do a monthly Eucharist on the last Thursday of every month at a local care home, and on this occasion that coincided with Saint Andrew’s day. As providence would have it, I not only remember early enough, but as I was walking to catch a bus there was an available taxi at the Norwood Hotel, and I was able to get to the home, and be set up, just as the final attendee was being brought into the room.
This was the highlight of the day, allowing me to share a special day with a group of people whom I see regularly, but often don’t get to share the high points of the Christian year with.
Single Malt Celebration
After the Eucharist, I returned to Holy Trinity to make sure I have my robes for back at St. Philip’s for the first Sunday of Advent. On my way back, I took a detour to Fools and Horses, my favourite coffee shop.
This time I didn’t stop for my usual Americano. Instead I opted for the Glenmorangie Lasant 12 year Old Single Malt Scotch. After all, what better way to celebrate the patron saint of Scotland than with a few sips of Scotland’s greatest beverage.
I also stopped by Tall Grass to pick up some savoury shortbread. Very crispy and delicious.
One thing that makes celebrations better is the people you share them with, whether they’re aware of the celebration or not. Today I ran into two of my favourite chefs. The first was Ben Kramer. I’ve been running into Ben on and off at food events since I first started this blog. It was good to do a little catch up today.
While I was in Fools and Horse, I also ran into Talia Syrie of Tallest Poppy fame. Talia’s recovering from a slip and fall, and I hope she’s up and back to her usual self quickly. I really like Talia’s food, but I also really appreciate all the encouragement she’s given me in my blogging life. Get well soon, Talia.
My day is almost over. I’m heading over to Forth Coffee soon, for Ladies who Latte, a latte art throw down. Several of the Fools and Horses staff are participating and I’ll be there cheering them on. Enjoy the rest of Saint Andrew’s day.