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Welcome to our latest news
Hello again from the Waverley team in Scotland.
We are so excited to share some festive recipes over the next few days from one of the UK and Scotland's oldest cookery books and the book is still so popular.
From time to time we share a few recipes The Glasgow Cookery Book - a tried and tested, beloved, cookbook that was used as a textbook in many schools and colleges to teach domestic science to literally thousands and thousands of people. The book is a reliable and solid reference work used by many still all over the world, both chefs and beginners. Today we are sharing a recipe for chestnut stuffing - one way to have some luxury in this festive period made easily by you at home.
With thanks to Glasgow Caledonian University for their kind permission to reproduce this recipe.
We ran this blog piece last December just before Christmas and it was so interesting, we are running it today. The Yule Cake is more of a bread, than a cake, but good with cheese, or just with a soup.
Christmas in Scotland had been a religious feasting day until the time of the Scottish Reformation in 1560, when Scotland split from the Catholic Church and new beliefs and practices came in to being.
In 1640, the Scottish Parliament passed a law that made celebrating ‘Yule vacations’ illegal. The Reformation abolished Christmas as the greatest festival of the Christian year. Even baking Yule bread was an offence. Christmas was frowned upon in Scotland for a long time, which is why Hogmanay and New Year celebrations in Scotland became important. 25 December didn’t become a Scottish public holiday until 1958.
Previously, Yule bread had been a tradition for hundreds of years across the British Isles, as Yule was a pagan tradition, and part of the 12 day festival in winter that began with the winter solstice. Yule festivities were observed and practiced in Germanic nations and northern Europe. The ancient Celtic practice of bringing in a living tree to the home to bless it. Bringing in misletoe was also a tradition to praise nature.
Two hundred years ago, this week, the Citizens of Edinburgh and Leith were waiting impatiently for their King.
12 August 1822 was a Monday - King George IV’s 60th birthday, and coaches carrying the Regalia of Scotland and dignitaries from the Castle to Holyrood Palace were escorted in procession led by the Midlothian Yeomanry and companies of Highlanders who assembled on The Mound before proceeding to the Castle. Watched by packed crowds, the procession formally received the Regalia then returned by way of The Mound to Princes Street and on by Calton Hill to Holyrood House.
As the crowds watched the procession in Edinburgh, King George was on his way to Scotland aboard The Royal George.
The embarkation of his most Gracious Majesty George the Fourth at Greenwich, August 10th, 1822 for Scotland. Lord Mayor’s Barge &cc Royal George, Royal Sovereign. The James Watts Steam Boat. Royal Museums Greenwich.
The King's ship The Royal George arrived in the Firth of Forth at noon on Wednesday 14 August, but his landing was postponed due to torrential rain.
It was not until Thursday 15 August, that the King, in naval uniform, arrived in sunshine at the quayside at The Shore, Leith.
The detail below is from a painting by Alexander Carse showing King George IV landing on the Shore at Leith in 1822. The main building is the Custom House on the opposite bank of the Water of Leith.
On the morning of the 15th it ceased to rain ; and our revered Monarch, as he ascended the deck, beheld the Scottish capital, with its towers and palaces, basking in the rays of an autumnal sun, and the surrounding country spread out before him in all its loveliness. The frith was covered with innumerable boats and vessels, in their gaudiest apparel ; and from many of them arose the strains of the bagpipe, which floated over the waters, and were heard in the distance, wild, yet pensive, like the voice of Scotland's Genius, welcoming her Sovereign to her hospitable shores. What were the emotions of the King when he beheld this glorious scene — when he contemplated the abodes of his illustrious ancestors — when he looked around, and saw the distant Grampians,— Dunfermline, where all that was perishable of the great Bruce slumbers in dust,—and scenes innumerable, consecrated in the hearts of the patriot and the scholar !
In the city of Edinburgh all was joy and breathless expectation. Its inhabitants were about to witness a scene the most grand and impressive, the most grateful to their feelings of any recorded in their annals — a scene surpassing every triumph of ancient or modern times —a scene which imperial Rome herself could never have exhibited. They felt, that they were about to receive within their walls the greatest potentate upon earth — their own Sovereign —a prince as beloved as he is powerful —who came among them to make a tender of his love, in return for their tried fidelity and courage; and that this reception was to be conducted under circumstances of such splendour as would exalt the character of their country, and for ever stifle in its own falsehood the reproach of parsimony and calculating selfishness which ignorance had delighted to cast upon it.
We speak not in the spirit of exaggeration; for, after revolving every circumstance in our minds, the immense multitudes collected, the magnificence of the preparations, the joy that was everywhere visible, the picturesque beauty of the ground, and, above all, the occasion, so deeply interesting to a people, national above all others in their feelings,—we venture to assert, that there never was exhibited a scene combining greater solemnity and grandeur.
A Historical Account of His Majesty's Visit to Scotland, Mudie, 1822
It was with great sadness, that on Thursday July 21st, 2022, we learned of the passing of Alan Grant.
We were not part of Alan Grant’s world which embraced Starlord, Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Robo-Hunter and Ace Trucking Co., Doomlord, Joe Soap Private Eye, Computer Warrior, The Outsiders, Nightbreed and The Last American, Detective Comics, Shadow of the Bat, Lobo, L.E.G.I.O.N ’89, Legends of the Dark Knight, and The Demon.
However, in 2006, at Scottish comics artist Cam Kennedy’s suggestion, we tempted Alan back from the future. The proposal was to adapt a story set in 1751 to create a graphic novel to be accessible to many, who would not perhaps otherwise read such a classic. It was Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped. Set during the time of the Jacobite rebellion, a tumultuous and tragic period in Scottish history, Kidnapped had of course already been adapted for film, stage, audio, and published in book form many, many times.
What resulted was an adaptation of the dramatic and epic adventure story that brought together two creative giants from the world of the graphic novel, as the absolute ‘dream team’ – artist Cam Kennedy, and scriptwriter Alan Grant.
The idea turned into a major publishing initiative. Kidnapped was published simultaneously in English, simplified English, Scots and Gaelic and it was the focus of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature’s ‘One City One Book Campaign’ in February 2007. Several publishing companies were involved in the campaign, led by Waverley Books – Black & White, Canongate and Barrington Stoke.
There have been many fitting tributes to Alan from across the world.
Alan Grant will be missed. It was a privilege to know him and to work with him on Kidnapped and subsequently on Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Ron Grosset, 25/7/22
Waverley Books, Glasgow.