over Scotland, indeed wherever Scots are gathered world-wide,
preparations are being made to celebrate the birth of our National Bard,
Robert Burns, on 25 January. Burns did all in his power to remind
Scots, in the dark days following the Union of 1707, that they were
Scots and that Scotland is a nation in her own right.
"Alas, have I
often said to myself, what are all the boasted advantages which my
country reaps from the Union that can counter-balance the annihilation
of her independence and even her very name."
- letter to Mrs Dunlop 10 April 1790
Over the next few weeks this section of The Flag will
play its part in celebrating the poet's anniversary. But just as
the enjoyment of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties doesn't have to be restricted
to a certain day in January, Burns can be enjoyed all year round and not
just on the one day. You don't even have to go to a Burns Supper
to pay tribute to the Bard - you can celebrate at home. This
week's recipe is for a soup - Split Pea and Bacon Soup - which is
the perfect accompaniment to the traditional Haggis fare.
The recipe was supplied by Gladys Wright to a
cook-book 'So Let The Lord Be Thanket' - published by the St Andrew's
Church of Scotland Women's Guild, Newcastle, England in 1992. The
late Gladys, mother of The Flag's Peter D Wright, passed the recipe to
her daughter Sheilah, who was the Guild President at the time. The
introduction to the recipe read - "Gladys Wright, Sheilah Fletcher's
mother, is an expert at making soup. Here is one of her
Split Pea and Bacon Soup
Ingredients: 2oz bacon, cut into small
pieces; one onion; 2 carrots; piece of turnip;
1oz butter; 4oz yellow split peas; 1 1/5 pints of stock;
pepper; parsley to garnish
Method: Melt butter, add bacon, onion, carrot,
turnip and fry for a few minutes. Add split peas and stock.
Bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Cool,
then puree soup in blender. Return to pan, season with pepper and
salt if required. Garnish with parsley. Serves four.