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Mincemeat Crumble Squares

Many Scottish towns can boast/or rue battles fought, in the past, on their doorsteps. Inverurie is one such town. The most famous battle was probably Harlaw in 1411, but there were two others. The victory of Robert I, The Bruce, over The Comyns in 1307 and the battle which concerns us this week, the Jacobite victory on 23 December 1745. The victors were led by Lord Lewis Gordon, who was appointed a member of Bonnie Prince Charlie's Council at Edinburgh where he had joined the Prince in October 1745. The Prince sent him north to recruit in the counties of Aberdeen and Banff and to collect arms and money. He not only raised a regiment of two battalions but completely defeated the Hanoverian troops under MacLeod of MacLeod and Munro of Culcairn at Inverurie. Among the prisoners taken by the Jacobites was the great Skye piper Duncan Ban MacCrimmon. The morning after the victory, the Jacobite pipers refused to play until Duncan Ban was released. Hugh MacDiarmid said of this act  - 'the silent bagpipes of Lord Lewis Gordon on the morning after the battle of Inverurie was the greatest tribute ever paid to genius.'

He used the incident in his poem 'Lament for the Great Music' -

'Only one occasion
Would I have loved to witness - after Inverurie
When Lord Lewis Gordon's pipers kept silence
Since Duncan Ban MacCrimmon was his prisoner.
No Scottish Army or English, no army in the world,
Would do that today - nor ever again-
For they do not know and there is no means of telling them
That Kings and Generals are only shadows of time
 But time has no dominion over genius.'

 
Duncan Ban MacCrimmon was released, but the story did not end happily as he was the only fatality at the Rout of Moy in 1746. We shall return, at some future date, to the piping traditions of the great MacCrimmon family. The Jacobite Army would have been sustained by oatmeal and this weeks recipe includes oatmeal in the form of porridge oats. The recipe for Mincemeat Crumble Squares is taken from 'The Anniversary Cook-Book of the Dumfriesshire Federation SWRI' which was published in 1992.
 
Mincemeat Crumble Squares
 
Ingredients : 7 oz self raising flour; 6 oz margarine; 6 oz caster sugar; 4 oz porridge oats; 1 lb mincemeat
 
Mix margarine, sugar, flour and porridge oats to make a crumble. Press half into a swiss roll tin. Spread mincemeat over crumble. Cover with remaining crumble and press down lightly. Bake in a moderate oven for 30-35 minutes. Cut into squares when almost cool.

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