Sit & Sip at the Weisdale Kirk
by Elizabeth Atia -
If you’re free on a Monday afternoon from 2-4 pm during the summer months, you simply have to visit the Weisdale Kirk!
This Monday past saw the start of the third season of Sit & Sip, a seasonal ‘Monday Teas’, for lack of a better term, at the Weisdale Kirk, complete with homemade fancies, scones and pancakes, and plenty of tea and coffee served with a smile in fine china – all for a donation towards the Weisdale Guild Funds.
Sit & Sip will run every Monday until the 31st of August, completely run by volunteers from both the Weisdale and Tingwall kirks who bake all of their delicious home bakes on site. Even the rhubarb jam was homemade!
I just happened to be driving by the kirk at the right time when I saw the sign for teas. I had no idea what to expect, but I pulled in to the car park and went for a look-see.
I confess to having felt a little bit apprehensive, walking into a kirk I’d never been to before, alone, but the ladies soon made me feel at ease and I found myself just in time to watch one of the volunteers, Brenda Scollay, cook a batch of her very popular pancakes.
The trick, of course, is in the cooking technique. You have to have the right temperature, the right non-stick surface and keep a close eye on the bubbles. The pancakes need to be flipped just before the bubbles burst, because if you wait too long the pancakes will rise too much.
Having an industrial Norwegian-made cooking surface makes the job so much easier too.
Shortly after my pancake cooking tuition I found myself sitting by a bright sun lit window at a table with four complete strangers engaging in very pleasant conversation. The pancakes – amazing – especially when eaten with the most gorgeous ruby red rhubarb jam. Perfection!
Sit & Sip began in 2013 as a way to fund raise for the kirk. They chose a Monday afternoon because the Bonhoga Gallery just down the road was closed on a Monday, so this gave folk somewhere to go. This year Bonhoga is now open on Mondays and the volunteers worry what effect this will have on the visitors to their teas.
However, Sit & Sip has become a bit of an institution, one of the volunteers said to me that there are some folk who have been first in the door every week the whole time they have been running!
All this for a donation! 50 p to £50, it’s up to you! After my coffee and pancake I popped several pound coins into the box and went for a wander through the beautiful gardens. After all, it was a beautiful sunny day, the burn was burbling and the birds were chirping.
Brenda Scollay's Pancakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
- Plain flour - 4 oz
- Caster sugar - 2 oz
- Cream of tartar - 1 rounded tsp
- Bicarbonate of soda - 1 level tsp
- Shetland hens' egg - 1
- Shetland Dairies milk - 1/4 pint
- Olive oil - 1 tbsp
- Sift together the flour, sugar, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda.
- Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.
- Drop by the spoonful on a lightly greased pan over a medium-high heat and cook for a minute or so, or until bubbles start to form. Flip over just before the bubbles burst, and cook for a further minute, until browned and risen.
- Serve with butter and jam!