A taste of Scotland pays off

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Sep 14, 2011 - 04:20 PM

Photo: Mairi Furniss has found success in drawing upon her Scottish heritage and selling shortbread at the Mathews Farmers’ Market. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

Mairi Furniss has found success in drawing upon her Scottish heritage and selling shortbread at the Mathews Farmers’ Market. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

Shortbread was once a special treat for her family only at Christmas, "due to the high cost of butter and the rationing of sugar." Now, Mairi Furniss makes from 16 to 26 shortbreads weekly.

A native of Scotland, Mairi recalls how her father always made the shortbread as a special treat at Christmas. "That’s the only time we had it. Because we didn’t have the type of electrical equipment I have today, he did the mixing by hand and it takes a lot of mixing and then comes the kneading. That was the big job. It was a long hassle to get it done."

The very first time Mairi made shortbread she had a very despairing experience. "I made it and put it on top of the counter to cool. Cooling in the mold is a very important part of making shortbread. Our dog decided to jump up and see what it was all about and knocked it on the floor."

The next time Mairi recalls making this buttery treat, and it was done in abundance, was for her daughter’s wedding. "She wanted and had a Scottish theme and for the reception, I made 175 pieces of shortbread, which were wrapped and given as souvenirs for guests to take home and enjoy."