Wit and Wisdom of Heilan Coos

This July, WeeBox celebrates an icon of the Scottish Highlands – the ‘Heilan Coo’!

No-one can resist the shaggy appeal of these bonnie beasts and this month we bring you a glimpse of their wit and wisdom together with stunning gifts to bring your own coos to your ‘hame’ no matter where you are in the world!

The Wit and Wisdom of Highland Cows

Celebrate the undeniable charm of our beloved Heilan Coos with this heart-warming book packed with photographs of all varieties of Highland Cow in their bonnie habitat, accompanied by words of wit and wisdom that will bring a smile to your face and you make you pause for reflection.  One of our favourites is ‘don’t grab Hamish by the horns’!! 

Bring your very own Highland Coos ‘hame’

A sighting of this majestic, Scottish icon in the Highlands never disappoints! So WeeBox brings you an adorable, Heilan Coo cruet set, teatowel and bronze coo with a flash of red tartan to add a special touch to your own family home – straight from their Highland playground.

Look bonnie with ‘Clara the Heilan Coo’ from Scottish Keepsakes 

Wear your very own piece of hand-made Scotland.  Set on heritage tweed, Clara the Heilan Coo is the creation of Carol, founder of Scottish Keepsakes.  Inspired by Scotland’s rich cultural heritage, tradition and folklore, she lovingly makes each and every piece by hand for you to enjoy.

WeeBox met Scottish Keepsakes last year and adored their gifts immediately! So Scottish, original and fun.  And, did you know your wee coo is eco-friendly? Wrapped in a ‘green’ clear display bag that is fully compostable and biodegradable, Scottish Keepsakes worked with WeeBox HQ to find the best option.  So your wee coo won’t cost the earth.

Scottish Keepsakes’ full range can be found on their website at www.scottishkeepsakes.com and in their Etsy and Amazon shops.  

Indulge in the taste of the Highlands

For four generations the Maclean’s family have held the title of ‘Scottish Master Baker’ and we are proud to bring you their award-winning chocolate chip shortbread – hand-baked, straight from their Highland Bakery to indulge! 

Originally from the Western Isles, they now produce indulgent traditional shortbreads and sweet biscuits together with a range of oatcakes at their modern bakery in Forres, centrally located between the Highland, Speyside and Grampian regions of Scotland.  At Maclean’s Highland Bakery they have recipes going back over a 100 years, these recipes have been handed down from generation to generation of Maclean’s family bakers.  Over this time, many things have changed but there are some things the Maclean family will not change: quality of ingredients, quality of the finished product, eating quality and flavour. Most of these values are adhered to by not taking short cuts in the baking process. They are proud to say they don’t do things the cheapest way, or even the easiest way, but the RIGHT way. Paying attention to the little things really do produce results in the finished bakery products.

Watch their story here – celebrating 40 years! 

https://www.macleansbakery.com

Clan Gathering

With ancient origins, Scottish Clans are celebrated across the world and this month WeeBox is brimming with gifts to help you create your own ‘Gathering’ no matter where you are!  So set the scene with gifts to eat, experience and fill your senses, taking you on a journey to glorious Scotland!

Create the ambience of an ancient Highland Gathering 

Light your bonnie candle for a walk through Highland landscapes with the aromatic unity of moss under foot, fresh citrus and greenleaf all inspired by Shearer Candles’ Scottish heritage.

Can you find your Clan Crest?

Ancient Scottish Clans are celebrated the world over and we are proud to bring you this bonnie Glen Appin teatowel, perfect to display in your kitchen or even frame!  

The tribal instinct is as old as mankind. The Scottish Nation, which came together between the 6th and 14th centuries, was to absorb many immigrants in the process of its creation.  Few aspects of Scotland’s fascinating history were as colourful, or as bloody, as the clan system. From ancient origins in the Celtic, Norse or Norman-French traditions, by the 13th century, the clans had grown firm roots in the Highlands of Scotland.

While the term ‘clan’ means family or children in Gaelic, not everyone in the same clan was actually related to each other. The clans lived off the land, with cattle being their main source of wealth and, along with border disputes, the prime cause of inter-clan unrest.

Today, many clans can be traced back to a specific part of Scotland, for example the MacLeods of Skye, the MacNeils of Barra or the MacNabs of St Fillan on Loch Earn. If you have ancestral ties and a clan history in Scotland, a trip to your clan’s homeland is an incomparable and moving experience like no other.

Toast your Clan! Slainte!

“Too much of anything is bad. But too much whisky is never enough” Mark Twain 

What’s a Clan Gathering without our national drink?! This luxury tartan hipflask from Couthie Gifts is perfect for the guid stuff whether you’re rambling in the Highlands or jigging at a ceilidh.

WeeBox HQ love working closely with Craig and his team at Couthie to bring you special wee gifts.  There’s always a hot cuppa and a wee biscuit too when we pop into their showroom to browse their stunning gifts!

Salute World Whisky Month and take a journey through whisky country ….. 

Ever wondered where your favourite wee dram comes from in Scotland?  Did you know May is whisky month? And what better way to salute this, than with the brand new ‘Whisky Pocket Guide’ by expert and founder of World Whisky Day, Blair Bowman.  Blair is an in-demand whisky writer and consultant and has created a this  whisky map which is a wee bit different.  It focuses on flavours instead of regions, concentrating on the tastes and textures of the tipples … braw fun to read!

Scottish artisan oatcakes from the Kingdom of Fife!

We guarantee these are the tastiest oatcakes you will ever have! Hand-rolled, rugged and multi award-winning ‘Your Piece Baking Company’ is famous for Fife oats and ‘Fife Cut’ (classic triangular shape) used by generations of Fife bakers – ideal for serving at your Clan Gathering! 

At Your Piece Baking Company they take their baking very seriously and are proud of Scotland’s culinary heritage (‘piece’ by the way is another word we use in Scotland for ‘sandwich’!!).

All the oats are sourced from farms in North East Fife and they never use any artificial additives or preservatives. The recipes are based on those used by Scottish artisan bakers for centuries. Crafted by hand they create unique, delicious products that are enjoyed all over the world. 

So, finally, light your Highland Collection candle, pour your favourite dram, sit back and dream of Scotland!

Slainte from all at WeeBox HQ!

Burns Supper 2017

Burns Night the WeeBox Way

Haggis, whisky, poetry and pride! Burns Night, celebrated on and around the 25th January to mark the Bard’s birthday, is recognised around the globe by Scots and Scots-at-heart. Centred on auld traditions, here’s our WeeBox guide to Scotland’s famous annual shindig with tips on how to use your January WeeBox curated especially for the occasion.

January Burns WeeBox

Who was Robert Burns?

One of Scotland’s most iconic literary figures, Robert Burns was born in 1759 to a farming family in the small town of Alloway. He gained a reputation for his pioneering views on religion, politics and class-inequalities. Interestingly he lived a fairly impoverished life and his work only really gained fame after his death. We’re sure he would be stunned to know his words, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ were sung around the globe every Hogmanay!

How to Celebrate Burns Night

A night of friends, family and steeped in tradition, your Burns Supper will be a night to remember with WeeBox! Don your Brave ‘Scottish Alphabet’ apron to get in the spirit and get ready for a night of poetry, feast and fun.

Setting your Burns Supper table is an important part of creating the right atmosphere – be sure to have tartan napkins, thistles and red roses on display and lots of crystal whisky glasses! We have included a beautiful ‘Auld Lang Syne’ tea towel straight from the Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway for you to display as part of setting the scene.

Poetry and Scottish charm aside, Burns Night wouldn’t be the gathering it is without the gastronomic delights that are celebrated throughout the evening. And of course, before the feast is served, its traditional to recite the Selkirk Grace:

Some have meat and cannot eat,
Some cannot eat that want it;
But we have meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit

Satisfying Scotch broth, or Scottish soup, typically starts off the supper, with crusty bread and lashings of butter. Alternatively, cock-a-leekie, or ‘Scotland’s national soup’ is another delicious choice.

The best part of Burns revolves around the spectacle of the haggis. This ‘great chieftain o the puddin race’ is revered and celebrated like no other dish. For the grand entrance, get dressed in your best tartan, and pipe in the haggis on a silver platter! The haggis must of course be addressed with a riveting rendition of Burns’ poem ‘Address to the Haggis’. Remember to have your knife poised at the ready, and on cue (His knife see Rustic-labour dight), cut the haggis along its length, making sure to spill out some of the tasty gore within (trenching its gushing entrails). The address must finish with a raucous whisky toast ‘To the Haggis’!

But where do you find haggis? In the majestic Highlands? Roaming the lochs? Or ….. at a Scottish butcher?! If you’re not lucky enough to live near a traditional Scottish butcher, you can lay your hands on traditional haggis online. It can be baked or boiled, and there are innumerate versions, from vegetarian to venison. One brand WeeBox can vouch for is Stahly Scotch Haggis and the good news is that they have distributors in North America for example, who you can order from direct. Take a keek at www.haggis.com for more information and a free downloadable haggis recipe book in response to the age old question ‘what do you do with it!?’ We are keen to build up a knowledge of haggis around the world, so do let us know where you get yours in the comments below.

The haggis should be served with neeps and tatties: a famous and glorious union. This fluffy serving of mashed potatoes and mashed turnips can also be served with a deliciously rich, whisky sauce and of course, a dram.

Finally, pudding is typically Scottish cranachan, a delicious fusion of whipped cream, toasted oats, honey and raspberries soaked in a dash (or more!) of whisky. Whisky or a robust red wine make a good accompaniment to your Burns Supper.

Other recitals on the evening include a speech commemorating Burns and a toast to the great man, known as the ‘Immortal Memory’. The ‘Address to the Lassies’ and of course ‘The Reply from the Lassies’ are a highlight and normally written especially for the evening. Each Burns Supper is individual, so have fun, add in other elements for your guests – a quiz, a treasure hunt – anything goes, we don’t think the Bard would mind!

Dress code for a Burns Supper can be a nod to tartan or the full traditional kilt outfit. Often a tartan scarf wrapped like a sash is effective but if you do want to get fully kilted up, our WeeBox friends at MacGregor & MacDuff www.macgregorandmacduff.co.uk can help! Just tell them WeeBox sent you….

The soundtrack to your evening could be anything from bagpipes to more modern Scottish music. Nevertheless, a rousing chorus of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at the end of the night is a must.

And when the night is over, WeeBox has even thought of your morning after. Beat the dreaded hangover with the classic Scottish hangover cure and Scotland’s iconic national drink, Irn Bru. And what about a wee slice of toast and marmalade? Thanks to our friends at Pipsqueak Preserves, we bring you this delicious home-made marmalade from Glasgow.

So, from WeeBox HQ in Scotland, we wish you a wonderful Burns Night 2017! Slainte!

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