Over the past few weeks mention has been made in this column of some of
the outdoor events held in Scotland during the summer months eg Highland
Games and Agricultural Shows, but we have been gently taken to task for
not drawing attention to the Border Common Ridings. So with the big day in
Selkirk only a fortnight away (Friday 13 June 2003) we are more than happy
to remedy that omission.
The Souters of Selkirk combine their traditional Riding of the Marches
with a tribute to the Selkirk men who fell at Flodden in 1513. At daybreak
some 500 riders saddle up their horses and to the cry 'Safe Out, Safe In'
and led by the Standard-Bearer ride the town's marches. Then in the town's
market place takes place the colourful and moving Casting of the Colours
and remembrance of the heavy price Selkirk paid on Flodden's fateful
field. Selkirk sent some 80 of her sons in the largest Scottish army ever,
under King James IV, to invade England. Only one Souter, called Fletcher,
survived and returned to Selkirk bearing a blood-stained English flag.
Souters will return from far and wide to take their part in Common Riding
Day - a day which is dear to the heart of all those Selkirk born and bred.
They will join their fellow Souters in cheering the Standard-Bearer and
his fellow riders and remember, as the tune 'Up wi the Souters o Selkirk'
is played all those who have fallen in war.
'It's up wi' the Souters o' Selkirk,
An' doon wi' the Earl o' Hume,
An' here's tae a' the braw laddies
That wear the single-sol'd shoon.
It's up wi' the Souters o' Selkirk,
For they are baith trusty an' leal,
An' up wi' the lads o' the Forest,
An' doon wi' the Merse to the deil.'
As the recipe for the Selkirk delicacy Selkirk Bannock is already provided
in this feature, for this week's recipe we suggest another tasty
accompaniment to a fly-cup - Scotch Cookies.
Ingredients : 1 lb flour; 1 teaspoon salt; 2 oz butter; 1 1/2 gills warm
milk; 1 beaten egg; 3/4 oz bakers' yeast; 2 oz caster sugar; 1 1/2 oz
cleaned currants or sultanas
Sift flour and salt into a basin. Dissolve the butter in the milk, then
stir in the beaten egg. Beat yeast to a cream in a small heated basin with
a teaspoon of the sugar, then stir in the milk gradually. Make a hollow in
centre of flour. Stir in creamed yeast, then draw in enough flour from the
sides to make a stiff batter. Sprinkle a little flour over the top, then
cover with a clean cloth. Stand in a warm place for about an hour until
well risen, then knead in remaining sugar and fruit. Turn onto a lightly
floured board. Divide in ten equal portions. Mould, and roll each into a
round. Place a little apart on a greased baking sheet. Place in a warm
spot for about 15 minutes until risen, then bake in a fairly hot oven, 425
deg F, for about 20 minutes. When ready, glaze with a piece of butter held
in a piece of muslin.
To vary : Omit the fruit. When cold, split and fill with raspberry jam and