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Banana Bread

As we approach St Andrew’s Day once again calls to make 30 November a National Holiday ring around Scotland. A recent poll shows that 70% of Scots approve of the idea but as usual this has cut no ice with Scotland’s Labour/Unionist First Minister. This is no surprise from a man who doesn’t have the smeddum to fly The Saltire over the new Scottish Parliament building.

The Flag, for obvious reasons, backs both the flying of The Saltire and making St Andrews day a National Holiday. We back the comment of Cardinal Keith O’Brien that St Andrew is too often “taken for granted” and the campaign by The Glenlivet to celebrate Scotland at its best and their support for making 30 November a National Holiday. Jim Cryle, The Glenlivet Master Distiller, told The Flag “Making November 30th a national holiday would be like giving ourselves a well deserved present from Scotland to Scotland.” 

The Glenlivet website – www.theglenlivet.com  – provides ideas on how to celebrate St Andrew’s Day and you can register your thoughts on whether or not St Andrew’s day should be a National Holiday. 

The Fife town of St Andrews does celebrate the date and this year’s St Andrews Week, now in its 9th year, runs for twelve days! From 21 November to 2 December 2004 there is a full programme to suit all the family including the Scots Porage Oats Food and Drink Fair (featuring the Golden Spurtle Award 27/11), The Velux International Kite Festival, St Andrews Week Piping Competition, St Andrew’s Day Fireworks Spectacular and Gala Ball. Visit www.standrewsweek.co.uk for full details. 

We can all join St Andreans in supporting our National day and adding it firmly to our list of celebrations – join the growing number of Scots who take a holiday anyway to mark the occasion. The Scottish National Party has long campaigned for St Andrew’s Day to be properly marked and we are indebted to SNP leader Alex Salmond for this week’s recipe. Well really to his wife Moira but we understand that Alex is a dab hand at Banana Bread.  Scots played a major part in establishing the banana trade and it is appropriate to have an international recipe for Scotland’s National Day as Moira Salmond first obtained the recipe from a Filipino lady in Singapore. We Scots do indeed get around. 

Banana Bread 

Ingredients : 175g self-raising flour; 75g butter; 2 eggs, slightly beaten; 75g sugar; grated rind of lemon; pinch of salt; 2 bananas; milk; raisins (optional) 

Sieve the flour, rub in the butter, then add the eggs, sugar, lemon rind, salt and mashed banana pulp and raisins, if desired.  Mix the ingredients thoroughly.  If necessary, add enough milk to give sticky consistency. Put into greased and floured loaf tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes in the centre of moderate oven – 190 deg C or Gas Mark 5 – until the bread is golden brown and firm.

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