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A 1790 Freemason and Templar Secrete Protected Family Christmas Feast in Rosslyn Scottland

Back in the 18th century in Rosslyn, Christmas dinner was a big, warm feast to stave off the cold. The menu might look something like this:

For openers, you'd have a hearty barley soup chock-full of veggies such as turnips, parsnips, and carrots, seasoned with some pepper and onions for a kick. Or you could opt for a salad made of kale or cabbage tossed in a tangy bacon dressing that's served up warm.

The star of the show was typically either a hefty roast goose or a beef rib roast—if your pockets were deep enough to buy the meat, that is. Stuffed to the brim with apples if it was goose, and mushrooms for the beef, these roasts were the talk of the town. They'd come accompanied by "neeps and tatties," a cozy mash of turnips and potatoes.

On top of that, they'd throw on some roasted winter veggies like parsnips or more turnips, some soft stewed cabbage on the side, and don't forget about those oven-roasted apples dripping with creamy goodness.

To cap it all off, they'd roll out classic puddings such as clootie dumpling or tipsy laird; paired with buttery shortbread and maybe some wine or whisky—just to round things out.

(This is an original development triggered by my book "Templar Freemason: The Circle Completes")

Here are a few 1790 recipes from Rosslyn:

Clootie Dumpling

  • 225g plain flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 115g beef suet, finely chopped

  • 115g soft dark brown sugar

  • 1 tsp mixed spice

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 100g breadcrumbs

  • 75g dried fruit

  • Milk to mix

Mix all ingredients well then boil in a floured cloth for up to 4 hours.

Tipsy Laird Trifle

  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam

  • 60ml whisky

  • 200g sponge cake, chopped (or stale pound cake)

  • 600 ml custard

  • 300ml whipped cream

Soak sponge cakes with whisky and jam. Make custard, allow to cool slightly while whipping the cream. Layer sponge, custard, cream in a trifle dish and dust with cinnamon.

Rib Roast with Mushroom Stuffing

Rib Roast:

  • 2.5-3 kg beef rib roast

  • 2 tbsp salt

  • 1 tbsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 tbsp goose fat or drippings

Mushroom Stuffing:

  • 450g button mushrooms, chopped

  • 115g fresh breadcrumbs

  • 55g goose fat or butter

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Neeps and Tatties:

  • 900g turnips, peeled and cubed

  • 900g potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 120g butter

  • 120ml warm milk

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Season the roast heavily with salt, pepper, thyme and garlic. Coat with some of the goose fat. Set aside while preparing stuffing.

  2. Sauté mushrooms and onion in the butter/goose fat until softened and lightly browned. Allow to slightly cool then mix in the breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs, egg and salt and pepper until well blended.

  3. Pack stuffing loosely into the rib roast cavity. Tie roast with string to secure.

  4. Roast in oven at 160°C, basting occasionally with drippings, until meat reaches desired doneness, about 2 hours.

  5. Meanwhile, boil the turnips and potatoes until tender. Drain and mash together with butter, milk, and salt & pepper.

Roast Goose with Sage and Onion Stuffing:

Ingredients: 1 whole goose (5-7 pounds) 1 onion, chopped 3-4 sage leaves, finely chopped 1 cup coarse breadcrumbs Salt and pepper Dripping or lard


  1. Pluck and clean the goose thoroughly. Pat dry. Season inside cavity with salt and pepper.

  2. Fry the onion and sage in a bit of dripping/lard until softened. Allow to cool slightly, then mix with the breadcrumbs and stuff the cavity of the goose. Truss the legs closed with string.

  3. Place goose breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Season skin liberally with salt and pepper.

  4. Roast at 175°C for approximately 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the goose fat and pan juices, until the skin is browned and crisp and the juices run clear. Try roasting in a smoker.

  5. Allow to rest 15 minutes before carving. Serve drippings as gravy.

Bannock Oatcakes:

Ingredients: 3 cups rolled oats 1 teaspoon salt1 cup water, plus more if needed


  1. Mix oats and salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the cup of water. Work the water into the oats until you have a stiff dough. If too dry, add more water a spoonful at a time.

  2. Flour a surface and roll dough out 1/2 inch thick. Cut into farls or quarters.

  3. Cook on a hot greased griddle for 4-5 minutes per side until slightly browned. Allow to cool and firm up before serving.

Whisky Syllabub:

Ingredients:1 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons whisky 2 tablespoons sugar Freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Whip the cream until starting to thicken. Slowly add whisky and sugar, whipping continuously until stiff peaks form.

  2. Spoon into serving dishes and sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg over each.

As we bid adieu, let me extend my heartfelt thanks for embarking on this illuminating journey with me. Your presence and support bring the past to life through my content. Don't forget to tap that like button and gallop along into the universe of my YouTube channel at for never-ending adventure at the intersection of History and Historical Fiction.

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I'm your trusty guide, Ron Townsen, navigating the halls of historical fiction.

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As we gallop onwards through the universe of historical fiction, remember: our imaginations are the spur, and the past is not gone - it's just the beginning. Thank you for being a stellar part of this storytelling caravan. Stay curious, be awesome, and let your imagination continue to ride through the ages!


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