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 Rhubarb and Bananas

Once again we approach a date which was very important to our forebears – Beltane (1 May). It was the day on which the cattle were driven to their summer pastures at the shielings in the uplands and the day was also marked as the Spring fire festival. May Day activity, such as maidens washing their faces in the morning dew, was noted by the poet Robert Fergusson in his poem ‘Caller Water’ –

‘On May-Day in a fairy ring
We’ve seen them round St Anton’s spring,
Frae grass the caller dewdrops wring
            To weet their een,
And water clear as crystal spring
            To synd them clean.’ 

But the beginning of May also carries a warning of inclement weather, a few cold days can occur around this time which is known as ‘The Gab o Mey’. But hopefully any cold weather will be past by the time of the Irvine Valley Walking Festival (12 -14 May 2006), Walking Festivals, the length and breadth of Scotland, have become part of Scottish tradition and popular with visitors and locals alike. We list some of the 2006 Walking Festival dates for May; visit for full details of all such festivals.

Newton Stewart Walking Festival                  12-14 May

Lower Annandale Walking Festival                12-14 May

Irvine Valley Walking Festival                        12-14 May

Caithness & Sutherland Walking Festival       13-21 May

Ballater Royal Deeside Walking Week           20-26 May

Upper Nithsdale Walking Festival                   27-29 May

Our recipe this week is a treat whether or not you have been out for a walk and a sign that Nature is on the move and that rhubarb sprouts once again in our gardens, Rhubarb and Bananas is a quick-and-easy sweet to make and the layers of cooked rhubarb and sliced bananas contrast with each other both in texture and flavour – delicious.

Rhubarb and Bananas

Ingredients: 1 lb/ 500 g rhubarb; 1 orange; 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar ; 3 bananas; pinch of cinnamon

Method: Cut up the rhubarb and place in baking dish, cover with orange juice and zest and sprinkle over sugar. Bake until just soft. Leave to cool then arrange in a glass dish with layers of finely sliced bananas ending with a layer of rhubarb. Sprinkle with some freshly ground cinnamon and serve.

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