week sees two notable anniversaries – one sad, one happy. The sad event took
place on 13 February 1692 when government troops, under orders from King
William carried out the notorious Massacre of Glencoe, the attempted ethnic
cleansing of the MacDonalds of Glencoe. Thanks to a snowstorm, although 38
died, the majority of the clan escaped the government swords, and the
Glencoe MacDonalds were able to supply a healthy number of blades on the
Jacobite side in both the 1715 and 1745 Risings.
date is, of course, far happier and is engraved on the hearts and minds of
romantics world-wide, St Valentines Day on 14 February. Scotland is in a
position to claim a close affinity to the Saint as his remains lie in a
Glasgow church – the Church of Blessed John Duns Scotia in the Gorbals. But
note, the notorious ‘Glasgow Kiss’ has, of course, nothing to do with either
the saint or romance, indeed quite the opposite!
most romantic poet, Robert Burns, wrote of St valentine’s Day in his poem
‘Tam Glen’ –
“Yestreen at the valentines’ dealing
My heart to my mou’ gied a sten’;
For thrice I drew ane without failing,
And thrice it was written – Tam Glen!”
most famous novelist, Sir Walter Scott, wrote of St Valentine’s Day in ‘The
Fair Maid of Perth’ –
“Tomorrow is St Valentine’s Day, when every bird chooses her mate. I
will plague you no longer now, providing you will let me see from your
window tomorrow when the sun first peeps over the eastern hill, and give
me right to be your Valentine for the year.”
time of year as reflected by romantic writers surely requires a romantic
recipe – love and chocolate traditionally go together so why not treat your
Valentine to some delicious handmade Chocolate Truffles.
4oz plain chocolate; 4floz milk; 4oz icing sugar; 3tbsp evaporated milk;
1tsp vanilla essence
Melt chocolate and add other ingredients. Leave to cool and firm (1/2 hour)
and then form into small balls.