congratulations to Skip Rhona Martin and her Curling team - Margaret
Morton, Janice Rankin, Fiona MacDonald and Debbie Knox - not only for
winning Gold for Sotland in the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics but for
reminding everyone that 'The Roaring Game' is yet another sport Scotland
has given to the world. Curling started in Scotland in the 16th century,
at least, and the earliest stone dating back to 1511 is held in Stirling
at the Smith Institute. The outdoor game was obviously well established by
the 17th century as Dr Alex Penecuik ( 1652 - 1722 ) wrote - ' To curle on
ice, does greatly please' and our National Bard, Robert Burns, as a farmer
probably played the game, and certainly wrote knowledgeably about in his
poem ' Tam Samson's Elegy'. Since the first indoor game took place in
Glasgow in 1907 the outdoor game is now very infrequently played apart
from 'The Bonspiel' or 'Grand Match' traditionally played on the Lake of
Monteith in Perthshire. But this only takes place in extremely severe
winters as the ice, for safety reasons, has to be 10 inches thick. The
Bonspiel has only been held 33 times in the last 150 years. The last
Bonspiel on 7 February 1979 attracted upwards of 10,000 players and
supporters for the traditional contest between teams from the North and
South of Scotland.
Scotland not only invented the game, wrote the rules, gave the game to the
world but also makes the best curling stones. The Gold Olympic success
should greatly increase interest in the game which in turn should benefit
the Scottish manufacturer of curling stones. Nearly all the curling stones
in the world are made from Scottish granite from Ailsa Craig - also known
as Paddy's Milestone - the famous rocky outcrop off the Ayrshire coast.
Curling began as a social event, with plenty drams to keep out the cold,
and it is still a social sport - the Scottish Gold winning team all play
for fun not for money. But indoors, or outdoors, the game is still played
in the cold! Our recipe this week - Scotch broth - is the splendid answer
to the chill of the Curling Rink.
Ingredients : 1 lb neck of mutton ( or lamb ) or boiling beef; 2 1/2 pints
water; 1 small swede, chopped; 1 leek, chopped; 2 medium carrots, chopped;
1 onion, chopped; 2 oz pearl barley; chopped parsley to garnish
Place the meat in a saucepan with the water. Add the pearl barley. Season
with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for one hour.
Skim off any white scum. Add the chopped vegetables, cover, bring back to
the boil and simmer for another one hour. Before serving remove the meat
and bones, and discard bones. The meat can be returned to the broth or
eaten separately, if preferred. Bring back to the boil and serve,
garnished with chopped parsley.