I DON’T want to blind you with science here, readers, but years are full of days. That is to say, Days with a capital “duh”.

You know the sort of thing. International Pants Day. Turnip Day. Mucus Day. Most are spurious or commercial (not Mucus Day at least), and a few catch on, particularly if they can claim national associations.

Thus Shortbread Day, which appears to have started in yonder United States (though in homage of Scotland) but, with interested bodies in the auld homeland having caught up, it’s now International Shortbread Day.

The first week of January, after two holidays crammed with the sugary comestible, seems an odd time to have it, and one website suggests using the occasion to foist your leftover shortbread onto relatives and other enemies.

The Day is also presented as if everybody knows about it, and is preparing for it as they do with Christmas and New Year. We hae oor doots aboot that. However, here at Week Towers we like to take up lost causes, particularly if they involve eating.

You may protest otherwise, but there’s an interesting history to shortbread. Back in what historians call the post-Flintstone era, folk made a kind of “biscuit bread” from dough left over from bread-making.

This was dried in a slow oven (“biscuit”, from Latin via old French, means “twice cooked”) till it hardened into a crumbly treat. It was still a bit bland, mind, and it wasn’t until the 16th century that Mary, Queen of Scots, had the revolutionary idea of adding sugar. Hence the shortbread we know and love – up to a point – today.

Part of the purpose of Shortbread Day is to encourage people to make their own. Personally, I’m far too busy for that sort of thing but, if you’re interested, here’s what to do: bung some flour, sugar and butter together and shove it in the oven till the smoke alarm goes off. Couldn’t be simpler.

If you know anybody getting married this week, remember too the old tradition of breaking shortbread crumbs over the bride’s heid to bring good fortune. That should come as nice surprise and make you very popular.

International Shortbread Day is on Saturday.