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Scots Seed Cake

This week we take a look back at what has become a Bannockburn Day tradition and forward to the 2004 commemorations in honour of Sir William Wallace. Over the past few years the Ceilidh organised by Bannockburn Branch SNP has become a traditional part of the Bannockburn Day celebrations. The ceilidh follows immediately after the SNP March and Rally and we are grateful to SI stalwart Alistair Walker for this report of the Bannockburn Ceilidh 2004 :

In spite of the confusion arising from the retiming of the Bannockburn Day 2004 March and Rally, the Bannockburn Branch SNP Ceilidh in the Tartan Arms, Bannockburn, was once again a sell-out. A dreich day failed to dampen the spirits of the marchers but congratulations are due to Alyn Smith MEP in keeping his inspiring words to the minimum thus allowing a quick retreat to the warmth of the Tartan Arms.

Bannockburn Branch organiser Alistair Walker, once more, provided a splendid evening’s entertainment for the full house. His hard work ensured an audience frae aw the airts and from various organisations. Members of the SNP mingled with folk from The Society of William Wallace, The 1820 Society, Na Fir Dileas and Scottish History for All, in remembering the sacrifice made on the field of Bannockburn and the successful defence of Scottish Freedom.

Piper Jeannie Campbell, Glasgow, set the stage for an entertaining evening with a rousing selection of tunes. Popular Lanarkshire folk group Cairdies Brig, with Billy Stewart back to the fore, kept the audience in foot-tapping mood, and set the scene for top of the bill Gaberlunzie. Premier Scottish folk duo Gaberlunzie were in rattling good form and provided their usual programme of songs, old and new, with a Nationalist edge. SI Oliver Award winners Gordon Menzies and Robin Watson make no secret of their Nationalist aspirations and are one with the Bannockburn crowd.

During the interval author and historian David R Ross gave a short talk on his 2005 walk to London in the footsteps of Sir William Wallace. The walk will be part of the 700th anniversary commemorations of the judicial murder of The Wallace by Edward Langshanks of England in 1305. Argentinian piper Alejo Rodriquez made a welcome return to the Tartan Arms and kicked off the second half in great style.

No SNP event would be complete without a raffle and Bannockburn is no exception! It fell to the lot of SNP MSP Michael Matheson to make the draw and help distribute the wide range of Scottish prizes.

Bannockburn Branch finances received a substantial boost from the event, ensuring a suitable reward for the hard work of Alistair Walker and his comrade-in-arms Alastair MacPherson. The Tartan Arms has been booked for next year and the Branch look forward to welcoming friends, old and new, to Bannockburn 2005.  

This Saturday (21 August 2004) sees the annual Wallace Day Commemoration held by The Society of William Wallace at the birthplace of our National Hero at Elderslie in Renfrewshire. Those attending are requested to assemble at 2pm at Ludovic Square, Johnstone, for march-off at 2.30pm to the Wallace Monument, Elderslie for wreath laying and speeches. There will be the usual tearoom, bar and stalls in the Elderslie Village Hall, Glenpatrick Road, Elderslie from 12 noon. A Ceilidh Band will perform from 4.30pm.

Sunday (22 August 2004) will see the next commemoration at the magnificent Wallace Statue at Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen. Grampian Police Pipe Band will start the event from 2pm. The main address will be given by historian Fiona Watson and the Lord Provost of Aberdeen and Lord Aberdeen, and the Norwegian Consul Grethe Knudsen will lay wreaths. Local primary schools will enact a pageant in front of the Statue and also taking part will the Loirston Drama Group.

Aberdeen will also be the venue for a further commemoration on Friday 27 August 2004, beginning at 8pm at the Wallace Statue, the evening will consist of a torchlight service, speeches, wreath-laying and entertainment by folk duo Schiltrum in the nearby Rusty Nail. Tickets £6 can be obtained at the door or reserved by contacting Jim Singer email jimsinger@btopenworld.com Tel 01358 721947.

Next day (28 August 2004) Wallace celebration moves 15 miles down the coast to Stonehaven with the now traditional march at 2pm to Dunotter Castle. Top Scottish Folk duo Gaberlunzie will provide the entertainment at the Wallace Day Concert in the St Leonards Hotel at 7.30pm – Tel 01569 730859. Visit www.geocities.com/stonehavenday for more details.

Scots the world over should raise a dram to the memory of Sir William Wallace on 23 August – the day he was judicially murdered in London in 1305. A drappie whisky makes all the difference to this week’s recipe – Scots Seed Cake.

Scots Seed Cake

Ingredients: 4 oz (100 g) butter; 4 oz (100 g) caster sugar; 2 large eggs, separated; 1 tablespoon whisky; 4 oz (100 g) plain flour; ¼ teaspoon baking powder; ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg; 2 oz (50 g) blanched almonds, shredded; 2 oz (50 g) candied orange peel, chopped; 1 oz (25 g) candied citron peel, chopped.

To finish; caraway seeds; granulated sugar

Line the sides and base of a round 6-inch (15 cm) cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs yolks. Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not too brittle, and fold in alternately with the flour, sifted with the baking powder and nutmeg. Fold in the almonds, candied peel and whisky. Turn into the prepared tin. Sprinkle with caraway seeds and granulated sugar. Bake in the centre of a preheated moderate oven (160 deg C, 325 deg F, Gas Mark 3) for 1-½ hours or until set and golden. Test with a skewer, which should come out clean when inserted into the centre. Allow the cake to shrink slightly. Turn out on to a wire tray; remove the lining paper and leave to cool.

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