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Cottage Cheese Salad

This week saw a combination of Midsummer and the 689th anniversary of the Scottish victory over the English army of King Edward 11 at Bannockburn. The victory of Robert 1, The Bruce, holds a special place in Scottish hearts, as it represented not only our greatest victory over the 'auld enemy' but gave the Scots the upperhand in the long Wars of Independence. Bannockburn, alone, did not ensure Scottish Freedom but it did ensure that fourteen years later the English would recognise Scottish Independence in the Treaties of Edinburgh and Northampton. Bruce on his deathbed in 1329 knew that his lifetime ambition had been achieved although he also knew that English aggression would not cease.
However the battle for Freedom led by The Bruce rings down through the centuries and the tactics that he employed at Bannockburn are still studied by military people seven hundred years on.
For those of connected with the Scots Independent, Bannockburn has a special place  for it was at a Bannockburn Rally that the call for a 'Scottish National Party' by this newspaper came to fruition. On 23 June 1928 at the inaugral Bannockburn Day demonstration organised by the National Party of Scotland in the Kings Park, Stirling, a large crowd (much larger than this years) was addressed by, amongst others, Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, Lewis Spence and Christopher Murray Grieve (Hugh MacDiarmid) and pledged support for the new political party and its aim of achieving Independent National Staus for Scotland. Since that day the National Party of Scotland, which merged with the Scottish Party in 1934 to become the present-day Scottish National Party, has rallied every year to remember Bannockburn and the formation of the National Party.
Over the past few years another tradition has been established by Alistair Walker of the Bannockburn Branch SNP of holding a celilidh following the speeches. Last Saturday in the Tartan Arms, Bannockburn, Alistair's efforts were rewarded by another capacity crowd who enjoyed the music and song provided by folk group Cairdies Brig and Scotland's premier folk duo Gaberlunzie. But as the battle was a two day event, Alistair is running yet another ceilidh with Gaberlunzie in concert this Saturday (28 June 2003) at 8pm  in the King Robert Hotel, which sits in front of the National Trust for Scotland's Bannockburn Heritage Centre, at Whins of Milton. Tickets are only 6 and can be purchased at the door on Saturday - please phone Alistair Walker on 01786 814523 to make reservations.
Midsummer has been blessed with fine weather which hopefully will continue and ensure that we can continue to enjoy salads for a while yet. This week's recipe for Cottage Cheese Salad should prove to be very popular and is enough for two, but easy to make in smaller or larger quantities.
Cottage Cheese Salad
Ingredients : 1 hard red apple; 1 teaspoon lemon juice; 8 oz (225 g) cottage cheese; 1 tablespoon seedless raisins; 1 oz (25 g) coarsely-chopped walnuts; choped chives; chopped parsley; salt; black pepper; lettuce leaves
Quarter and core apple but do not peel. Cut up into small pieces and toss in lemon juice. Combine apple with the cheese, raisins, walnuts, chopped chives and parsley. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Spread out lettuce leaves and pile cheese mixture on top.

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