01 June 2015

Of Heritage Celebrations, A Very Special Iris Garden + Going Home

Recently, one of my ancestral clans--the Macfie clan--observed a special day, and I, of course,  
decided it was a great excuse to have a bit of a celebration and try out some new recipes too.
As usual, I did tons of planning--
even if there was just going to be the two of us---
and then REAL life interfered and I postponed everything for a day.  
But the following day, a Thursday, REAL life actually allowed me to make 
a version of traditional Scottish Shepherd's Pie
(albeit a somewhat easier version) AND dinner was only a little late that evening.

Of course, I also took the time to dig out my one and only Scottish tartan
 (stored safely away from any and all wool loving moths) to use as a table runner...
I guess I should pause right now,
for all you tartan experts out there,
and for any Macfie clan descendants too,
and say that this is NOT the correct tartan for the Macfies...
in my somewhat weak defense,
I am descended from quite a few clans (probably 6 or 7) AND
I figured my honorable ancestors, of the Macfie clan, would be OK with me using a different tartan as they did intermarry with the Macfarlane clan--as well as other clans--here in the New World.
(Besides I have both Macfie and Macfarland blood in me from those lovely matches AND I was trying to be thrifty and not buy everything at the Scottish shop a few years ago. LOL)
Shall we continue?
Yes? OK.
Too full from lamb, mashed potatoes, mushrooms and carrots,
I held off on the shortbread part of the dessert till the next day...
and, even if it wasn't homemade, it was pretty tasty stuff!
(I ask you, how can the lovely combination of raspberries, butter,
white chocolate
 and other yummy ingredients be anything but good?)
Finally, I hope to finish off my very own Scottish celebration by making some cranachan this week.
(Cranachan is a traditional dessert made of toasted oats, whipped cream, raspberries and honey)
I have been wanting to try some since a couple of years ago when
Jackie at Homestead Wannabes posted about it.
Here's the link to her recipe:
Who knows? Maybe real life will allow me to make my own shortbread this week too.
Jackie has made her OWN haggis also --
now that is just super amazing:)
Well enough of the celebrating and on to flowers!
For awhile now, I had been wanting to visit a
particular iris garden, but it never worked out.
Until this year that is.

Besides their countless varieties of irises
(so frilly and some nicely fragrant), the gardens were filled with...

a HUGE variety of other flowers...
and a very adorable bunny I ALMOST got a picture of:)

They had two large display gardens --
and a lovely woodland in between.
There was also a pond, a garden shop (closed when we were there)
 and fields filled with even more irises!
Clematis, roses, columbines (always a favorite of mine!), peonies,
poppies, tall rhododendrons and so much more--I can't
even list the wide variety of plants we saw there.
LOVED it:) 
Lots of green grass in between the landscaped beds,
a "hidden" garden feel,
shady AND sunny areas were all BIG pluses too!

It truly was one of the most peaceful places I have been to--
a place, filled with many Adirondack benches and chairs which seemed to say "Stay and sit awhile".
I will definitely try to make it back there next year!
Oh, oh.
Definitely well PAST bedtime here...
guess the "going home" part of this post will have to wait for another day
Happy June 1st to you!
A recipe for Shepherd's Pie
(I had to substitute and change some things because it was THAT type of day--
note to self: allow more time when trying a recipe for the first time).
Garden/flower photos:
All taken this spring at Schreiner's Iris Garden in the Salem area.
Here is a link to them: http://www.schreinersgardens.com/
Yes, this is another one of THOSE early morning posts as I totally
expect REAL LIFE to interfere with internet time today so am doing it now...
thanks for AGAIN choosing to forgive any and all mistakes :)


Betsy said...

I always enjoy hearing about your ancestry and how much you enjoy celebrating it. The flower photos are gorgeous as always. Happy June Aimee!

Linda W. said...

Such a lovely flower garden! The shephard's pie looks yummy!

Lorrie said...

How fun to have a Scottish celebration. Hope you get to the shortbread when you want.
The Irises are lovely - that would be an interesting garden to wander through.

Teresa Kasner said...

That shepherd's pie looks delicious! Did you bake it in a cast iron skillet? I would have loved to see your table setting with that pretty tartan plaid. Which makes me wonder, can you get a whole tablecloth in your clan tartan? Hmm.. I think I will google that! Enjoy your week! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

aimee said...

Thanks! I really love the study of history and celebrations of my heritage are part of that:) Glad you enjoyed the flowers--it was one of the prettiest gardens I have ever been too! Have a blessed June and lots of fun times with YOUR small one:)
Blessings, Aimee

It really was beautiful! I bet, with your camera skills, you would get exquisite photos there! Yep -- I loved the pie; my DH not so much. I am going to have to check his ancestry again--LOL!
Blessings, Aimee

It was fun--though we're not done yet:) You would have enjoyed the garden Lorrie. I can only imagine how much the owners enjoy it when they have it all to themselves.
Blessings, Aimee

I sure did! I LOVE my cast iron skillet and I was able to go from stovetop to oven using only it (yippee--fewer pans to wash). LOL--my table setting wasn't complete at all because I ran out of time and we normally don't eat at the table. I think I've seen tartan tablecloths before and I know you can order just the tartan fabric to make your own. Some tartans are more available than others though...good luck! I know I would love to make table napkins from one (or more) of my tartans.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

That Tartan is from the Dry Clean Clan. It says so on it. Only they can use it; as it says on the label.

I knew them well. Their ancestor suffered from rheumatism and was told by the doctor to stay away from the damp. Since then he sat in a bath and vacuum cleaned himself.

God bless.

aimee said...

Giggle...you are SO right. Thanks for the laughs:):)
Blessings, Aimee

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Great pictures of the Iris gardens ... We did visit there once (in our other life) and you are right it is a wonderful place. The Shepherds Pie looks and sounds delicious.

aimee said...

Thanks! It is certainly beautiful--wish I had visited there earlier now:)
Blessings, Aimee
PS: Now YOU have me craving Shepherd's Pie again!

Bethany Carson said...

Beautiful flower shots! The shepherd's pie looks delicious, and I'm sure the Macfies will forgive you for using the "wrong" tartan... It is pretty neat how our ancestors come from so many different families!

aimee said...

Thank you! It was a gorgeous, peaceful piece of paradise! LOL--I am sure my Macfies would not mind too much:)Yes--makes genealogy pretty fun:)
Blessings, Aimee

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