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Glasgow Cake

Hogmanay (31 December) has a special place in Scottish hearts and in bygone days the house had to be redd out so that in the New Year a fresh beginning could be made. Floors were scrubbed, dishes scoured, even the children were washed, all in good time that the work was finished well before midnight - the Lang Oor. This extract from 'Folklore and Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland within this Century' by James Napier (1879) discribes a Scottish Hogmanay scene :-
'The following was the practice in my father's house in Patrick, about fifty to sixty years ago. On Hogmany evening, children were all washed before going to bed. An oat bannock was baked for each child; it was nipped round the edge, had a hole in the centre, and was flavoured with caraway seed. Great care was taken that none of these bannocks should break in the firing as such an occurrence was regarded as a very unlucky omen for the child whose bannock was thus damaged. It denotes illness or death during the year. Parents sat up till about half-past eleven, when the fire was covered and every particle of ash swept up and carried out of the house. All retired to bed before twelve o'clock, as it was unlucky not to be in bed as the New Year came in.'
This is the exact opposite of most reports of Hogmanay customs when the celebrations usually began at 'the chappin o the Twal' and would continue till the wee sma hours.
Partick is in Glasgow and it is to Scotland's largest city that we go for this week's champion recipe - Glasgow Cake - taken from 'The Anniversary Cook-Book of the Dumfriesshire Federation SWRI 1922-1992'. This cake won a competion in 1990 to find a Glasgow cake.
Glasgow Cake
Ingredients : 4 oz (100 g) chrystalised pineapple, chopped; 4 oz (100 g) chrystilised ginger, chopped; 4 oz (100 g) chopped mixed peel; 9 oz (250 g) butter; 12 oz (350 g) wholemeal flour; 4 oz (100 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped; 4 oz (100 g) cherries, cut in half; 4 oz sultanas; 5 tablespoons orange juice; 9 oz (250 g) caster sugar; 4 eggs, large
Soak the pineapple, ginger, cherries, sultanas and peel in fresh orange juice overnight. Cream the butter and sugar, and add beaten eggs alternatively with the wholemeal flour. Add the soaked fruits and the walnuts. Bake in an 8 inch or 9 inch tin, at 325 deg F, 170 deg C or Gas Mark 3, for two hours.

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