• A Herd-boy’s Piece

    by  • 19 August 2009 • Health & Food • 1 Comment

    Lewsiana (W Anderson Smith, 1874/1896) gives this little titbit.

    Before we leave the family blinking round the peat fire, telling interminable tales or crooning never-ending songs, we will introduce the reader to a favourite bonne bouche. Take two eggs, with a little butter and meal, whip them all well up together, and place on the top of a hot barley bannock. Spread evenly over, and hold a live peat above until it firms sufficiently to allow the cake to be toasted before the fire. This done properly, no instructions are required as to its disposal. It is a favourite “piece” for herd-boys; and one was formerly due to whoever discovered a cow after calving – one or two eggs being given according to the sex of the calf. With beef at a premium and cattle at a ransom, we advise, in the interests of society and the herd-boys, an immediate return to the practice.

    I don’t know if this was an Uig practice – any thoughts?  I do know about certain former herd-boys of our acquaintance eating big slices of pressed cheese spread thickly with butter.

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    One Response to A Herd-boy’s Piece

    1. 19 August 2009 at 7:09 pm

      Can’t confirm it was an Uig practice but there’s mention of it by Sandwick’s Kenneth MacDonald in his book Peat Fire Memories (Tuckwell Press).

      He refers to the Bonnach Oraidh made with eggs and given as a reward to the first boy to report a newborn lamb or calf

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