gales and torrential rain which have battered parts of Scotland acted as
reminder of the bravery (or madness) of some 500 Scots every First of
January. As part of the New Year celebrations they turn out, in all
weathers, to dook in the chilly waters of the Tay and Forth at Broughty
Ferry and South Queensferry in aid of charity. The Broughty Ferry dook sees
some one hundred hardy souls swim between the piers of the harbour in an
event which has been held for thirty years. 1 January 2006 saw the 20th
Loony Dook in succession at South Queensferry when a record number, in
excess of 400, took to the water in front of over 2,000 spectators. For 1
January 2007 the South Queensferry organisers promise that it will be bigger
and better (but probably no warmer!). A parade led by a pipe band will
promenade along South Queensferry High Street and fancy dress is positively
encouraged. All are invited to take a dook in the Firth of Forth beneath the
two magnificent bridges, but please note that no wimpy wetsuits are allowed.
The near-by Mooring Pub will welcome the dookers for a well-earned warming
soup and toddy. Much needed after braving the cold, cold waters of the
Forth. This is a free event but donations will be collected for charity and
over the twenty years, thousands of pounds has been raised for good causes.
As you can
already find Toddy recipes in this feature, this week we will provide yet
another warming alcoholic refreshment for the New Year – Mulled Ale.
(for a dozen people): 3 pints dark, malty ale; 3 measures of rum; stick
of cinnamon; 4 cloves; pinch each of nutmeg and ginger; 1 dessertspoon of
dark treacle or molasses; handful of raisins and sultanas
Simply place all the ingredients in a large, attractive, flameproof
casserole, cover; place on the lowest possible heat and leave to come slowly
to barely simmering. Remove the lid and turn off the heat, letting it stand
for a few minutes to cool slightly. Serve in small, heavy tumblers and think
of the two Ferries brave dookers!