The Everyday Lore Project

15 August 2020 – Marymass

15 August 2020 – Marymass

Woke up to the first fog I’ve seen this August, so that’s at least one bout of snow we can look forward to. The day continued with me stuffing my face full of bannock, a Scottish flatbread. Consequently, I’m very full of carbohydrates and can barely string a sentence together.

So it goes a little something like this: Today is Marymass. Marymass or Murmass or the Feast of the Assumption is said to have leapt on Lammas, or, as I’m appropriating Scottish Highland folklore today, Là Feill Moire supplanted Lùnastal. And at the Feast of Mary, it was traditional to make a bannock from the first crop of corn. And by bannock, I also mean Moilean Moire or Mary’s Fatling. Now while there is a lot written about how this fatling was made (husks, rocks, winnowing, querns, sheepskins, fires, rowan, sunwise, promenading, long poems, singing, embers and blessings) there’s not so much written about the actual ingredients. Other than corn. So after a lot of searching, I decided to make a basic bannock subbing out the oatmeal/flour for cornmeal. 

And despite getting the fear when it wouldn’t come together and adding a bit of flour halfway through, it tasted perfectly fine, if a little grainy and chewy, and had I ever eaten cardboard I imagine the sensation would be something quite similar. And against all expectations, the bannock went completely rigid in the pan. Think thick, stodgy tortilla chip, or lumpy, thin polenta Frisbee. And let’s face it, anything coated in lashings of peanut butter is going to go down well in this household. It was never going to be authentic, not least because the cornmeal was out of a bag, but it’s definitely something I’d turn out again. Only next time, I’ll be even more traditional and eat it with cheese (and possibly other assorted nacho-type toppings).

Watermelon Update: I changed chopping boards and all is now well. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. 


Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Franklin, A. and Mason, P. (2001) Lammas: Celebrating Fruits of the First Harvest, St Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

6 comments on “15 August 2020 – Marymass”

  1. Glorious Barbara says:

    I had a similar experience with a garlicky pineapple and ’twas indeed the chopping board. Garlicky pineapple is an abomination!

    1. Unless on a pizza, surely…?

  2. Glorious Barbara says:

    How dare you??? Never must a pineapple and a pizza meet.

    1. Madam, I suggest we meet at dawn on the heath, else this ne’er shall be settled…

  3. Glorious Barbara says:

    Shall it be handbags at dawn?

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