Had these been normal times, we would have been well into the outdoor competitive season by now. While talking about the impact that lockdown was having on archery, it dawned on me there is something archers might not have seen since last year. An archery treasure we should not let slide from memory. A shoot tradition that must not be allowed to fade. I’m referring to the Breakfast of Archers AKA the much loved Roll and Lorne Sausage.
If you are not Scottish (Scots know of this repast at a genetic level) and have never heard of this culinary delight … let me paint you a picture:
<Beware, the following was written by an unhealthy carnivore. There is no vegan, vegetarian or healthy eating option.>
Situation: Field party duty can be at times a little thankless. For archers doing field party duties setting up the field, its an early start. Its probably raining. There’s a lot of physical humphing of heavy items and the place is littered with the endlessly whynging competitive archers. However, by 9am the field is ready, the judges take control and the field party retire for the highlight of the day … Breakfast.
As you approach the pavilion, a glorious smell will lift you from tired and fed up to a state approaching nirvana. Get closer and an angelic sizzle will assail your ears. Entering the kitchen you lay eyes on the components of natures most perfect food … morning rolls and the lorne sausage! Your heart sings with joy (if muted slightly by clogged arteries). Grabbing roll and lorne sausage .. you shuffle one into the other then smother in either ketchup or brown sauce. The resultant ‘sandwich’ is shoved into gob with about the same finesse as would be expected from a starving rugby league team in an “all you can eat in 20 minutes” buffet. Instantly the world is a better place and a day of soggily searching for lost arrows and moving bosses for ungrateful archers no longer looks so bad. If only it worked on my life the way it works at the field! :o(
Background: The lorne, square or sliced sausage is traditional scottish fare (and therefore deeply unhealthy). Its basis is a mixture of pork and beef. They are minced together with rusk and spices, packed into a rectangular tin about about 9-10 centimeters (4 in) square-ish, and then cut into slices up to 1 centimeter (0.4 in) thick. When cooking you fry or (the slightly healthier option) grill them. Expect the sausage to shrink considerably during cooking as the thing is laden with fat which will messily escape when cooked. It’s ideal fare to fortify a people who live in a cold, wet climate. Under no circumstances look at the packaging for ingredients unless horror movies are your favourite cinematic treat. Its said they are a good source of potassium, protein, calcium, essential vitamins and form an ideal base for a healthy breakfast. (Honestly, got no idea who would say that at least not without falling over while laughing!) However the taste is as ambrosia from the (archery) gods which will sustain and nurture you throughout a long soggy boring day and an archer on field party duty can ask no more than that.
References: If you are interested in the history of this uniquely scottish dish, this is a rather good article from the Scotsman. And if you want to read of the incident where the humble lorne sausage was at the centre of allegations of cultural appropriation which included appeals to the scottish government to “dae somfin”, check out the above link.
Note for furriners: In scotland, while this syntax may be completely at odds with your understanding of the english language …. a roll and sausage is not the same as a sausage roll. Be warned.