On Thursday 30 November
2006 Scots, at home and abroad, will once again celebrate our Patron
Saint’s Day – St Andrew’s Day. One of the most obvious signs of our
Patron Saint that you can see every day of the year is the St Andrew’s
Cross, also known as The Salrire, which is Scotland’s National Flag.
Thanks to The Scottish Flag Trust our National Flag flies every day, and
night, in the village near the site which tradition gives as the birth
of The Saltire. Tradition has it that the flag, the white saltire on a
the oldest flag in Europe and the Commonwealth, originated in a battle
fought in East Lothian in 832AD. The battle which took place near the
modern village of Athelstaneford saw a joint Pict and Scots army
successfully defeat a force of Northumbrians. The Picts were led by
Angus mac Fergus, High King of Alba, who led prayers for deliverance
before the battle, and was rewarded by seeing a cloud formation of a
white saltire (the diagonal cross on which St Andrew had been martyred)
against a blue sky. The king vowed that if, with the saint’s help, he
gained the victory, that Andrew would thereafter be the Patron Saint of
Scotland. The Picts and Scots indeed won the day and The Saltire became
the National Flag of Scotland and St Andrew in due course Patron Saint.
Visit Athelstaneford to see the Battle Flag of Scotland flying proudly
every day of the year and
www.st-andrew.org.uk to find out more information on Athelstaneford
and The Scottish Flag Trust.
With the weather on the
cold side this week’s recipe will heat you up any day of the year. If
the cold spell lasts One Pot Lamb Stew might be a very welcome dish at
One Pot Lamb Stew
650g cubed lamb; 25g pearl barley; 1 onion – finely chopped; 3 celery
sticks – cut into chunks; 225g carrots – cut into chunks; 25g margarine;
150ml cider; 150ml stock; salt and pepper; thyme – fresh or dried
the barley in a small pot for about ten minutes then drain. In a large
pot malt the margarine and slowly cook the vegetables for seven minutes.
Add the lamb and stir. Stir in the cider and stock, adding the seasoning
and thyme and then the barley. Cover and cook for about an hour,
stirring occasionally. Serve with tatties, or add potatoes and extra
stock to the recipe.