When wailing bagpipes and roaring drums fill the air, you know it's time, once again, for the Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Now in its 17th year, the festival celebrates Scottish tradition with athletic contests, music, dancing and clan gatherings.
The festival is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Jordan River State Parkway, 300 N. Redwood Road. Adult admission is $5; children under 12 are free.Along with the pipes, dancing and drums, there is another mainstay of the Highland culture: Scottish food.
For Leslie Dorious-Jones of Salt Lake City and a member of the Maxwell clan, each Scottish meal she prepares is an application of her heritage.
"I stick to my origins . . . other than a little lemon meringue topping I add to my shortbread. I'm pretty traditional in my Scottish cooking."
Traditions that include Angus beef, lamb, barley, oats and vegetables like turnips, potatoes, cabbage and leeks.
Dorious-Jones explained the influence of the harsh climate on cooking in her homeland.
"We eat a lot of soups and stews in the winter, but thrive on fresh salmon and herring in the summer. I could go on forever talking about our herring; we get down right excited about our kippers."
The native Scot described the thrifty nature of her people, the resourcefulness of the High-landers.
"We've been oppressed by the English for many years. We've learned to make do with what we have, what we grow on our own farms. There are tales of soldiers who survived on nothing but a pouch of oatmeal, water from the Burn and a pinch of salt."
Tales of Scottish heritage abound as clansmen gather to savor the traditions of their home-land.