November 16


Saint of the day:
Saint Margaret of Scotland

The Pearl of Scotland
Patron Saint of Scotland

Saint Margaret of Scotland’s Story

Margaret of Scotland was a truly liberated woman in the sense that she was free to be herself. For her, that meant freedom to love God and serve others.

Not Scottish by birth, Margaret was the daughter of Princess Agatha of Hungary and the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling. She spent much of her youth in the court of her great-uncle, the English king, Edward the Confessor. Her family fled from William the Conqueror and was shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland. King Malcolm befriended them and was captivated by the beautiful, gracious Margaret. They were married at the castle of Dunfermline in 1070.

Malcolm was good-hearted, but rough and uncultured, as was his country. Because of Malcolm’s love for Margaret, she was able to soften his temper, polish his manners, and help him become a virtuous king. He left all domestic affairs to her, and often consulted her in state matters.

Margaret tried to improve her adopted country by promoting the arts and education. For religious reform she encouraged synods and was present for the discussions which tried to correct religious abuses common among priests and laypeople, such as simony, usury, and incestuous marriages. With her husband, she founded several churches.

Margaret was not only a queen, but a mother. She and Malcolm had six sons and two daughters. Margaret personally supervised their religious instruction and other studies.

Although she was very much caught up in the affairs of the household and country, she remained detached from the world. Her private life was austere. She had certain times for prayer and reading Scripture. She ate sparingly and slept little in order to have time for devotions. She and Malcolm kept two Lents, one before Easter and one before Christmas. During these times she always rose at midnight for Mass. On the way home she would wash the feet of six poor persons and give them alms. She was always surrounded by beggars in public and never refused them. It is recorded that she never sat down to eat without first feeding nine orphans and 24 adults.

In 1093, King William Rufus made a surprise attack on Alnwick castle. King Malcolm and his oldest son, Edward, were killed. Margaret, already on her deathbed, died four days after her husband.






The Shrine of St. Margaret at Dunfermline Abbey, Fife, Scotland





Mince Round

Delicious beef mince with onions round puff pastry type pie from Scotland


Ingredients for the Meat Filling: 

  • 1 pound (500g or two cups) lean lamb, minced (ground) 

  • Pinch of mace or nutmeg 

  • Salt and pepper 

  • Quarter pint (150ml) gravy

  • Ingredients for the Hot Water Pastry: 

  • 1 pound (500g or four cups) plain flour 

  • 6 ounces (175g or ¾ cup) lard 

  • 6 fluid ounces (225ml or ¾ cup) approximately of water 

  • Pinch of salt 

  • Milk for glazing

  • You will also need glasses or jars, approximately 3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter to shape the pie.


  1. Create the filling by mixing the minced (ground) lamb, spice and seasoning. 

  2. Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a warm bowl.

  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Melt the lard in a scant measure of water and, when it is bubbling, add to the flour and mix thoroughly.

  4. Take a small amount (remember the mixture should make 8/10 pies, with their tops) and form into a ball and keep the rest warm while making each pastry case. This is done by rolling a suitable amount for each pie and shaping the crust round the base of a glass or jar approximately 3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter. Make sure there are no cracks in the pastry - you can trim round the top of the case to make it even. As the pastry cools and gets cool, remove the glass and continue until you have about a quarter of the pastry left to make the lids. 

  5. Fill the cases with the meat and add the gravy to make the meat moist. 

  6. Roll the remaining pastry and use the glass to cut the lids. Wet the edges of the lids, place over the meat and press down lightly over the filling. Pinch the edges and trim. Cut a small hole or vent in the centre of the lid (to allow the steam to escape). 

  7. Glaze with milk and bake for about 45 minutes at 275F/140C/Gas mark 1. If the pies are not eaten immediately, they can be stored in the 'fridge but always ensure they are properly reheated before being eaten.

Traditional Forfar Bridie


  • 1 pastry for double-crust pie or 2 ready-made pie crusts

  • 1 1⁄2lbs ground beef or 1 1⁄2 lbs ground lamb

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 cup oats (not quick cooking)

  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt

  • 1⁄2 cup beef broth or 1beef bouillon cube

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 teaspoonWorcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder

  • 1⁄8-1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

  • 4 TBSP butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and put a kettle of water on to boil.

  2. Place one pie crust in a deep-style pie pan. Prick crust with a fork several times and bake for 5-10 minutes.

  3. In a large skillet with deep sides, sauté ground beef/lamb with onions. Season well with Lawry's, salt and pepper.

  4. Mix well to combine.

  5. When beef loses its pink color, stir in oats and beef broth or bullion cube. Then cover mixture entirely with boiling water. Simmer mixture for 10-15 minutes until water is mostly gone. Then stir in Worcestershire Sauce, dry mustard and spices.

  6. Spoon the mixture into the partially baked pie crust and dot the top of the filling with diced butter. Place top crust on filling, crimp sides, vent crust, and bake for 1 to 1-1/4 hours. Make sure crust is slightly browned.