be a great year to be a Scot, or of Scottish descent, as Homecoming Scotland
2009 commences with celebrations of the birth of our National Bard, Robert
Burns, on 25 January. Some 300 events are in place to celebrate all aspects
of being Scottish which should prove popular with Scots at home and visiting
from abroad, including the largest ever Clan gathering in Edinburgh.
Unfortunately the new museum at Burns’ birthplace in Alloway, under the
auspices of the National Trust for Scotland, will not be finished until
2010. But the National Trust has recently launched a website which will
prove attractive to all those with an interest in Robert Burns.
£21 million museum opens in 2010, the Trust will publish online some 90
letters written by Robert Burns - letters to friends, colleagues, literary
magazines and other companions which will give readers an insight into
Burns’ ‘colourful life’.
www.burnsletters.wordplace.com for the display of this material – the
letters will appear online on the dates they were originally written.
Several letters, including some to Clarinda, have already been published on
the site. As a bonus visitors to the website will be able to leave their
thoughts and comments underneath each newly added letter. The move by the
National Trust is to be welcomed as it acts as a reminder that Burns is for
everyday and not just a once a year celebration.
As we come
to the end of The Daft days, this week’s recipe is a reminder of Scots
all-time favourite dish at New Year – Steak Pie. Like Robert Burns, steak
pie can be enjoyed all-year round!
Ingredients: 1lb 8oz Stewing Steak; 1 onion
Method: Put a little oil in a frying pan and gently brown the steak and soften the onion.
Place in a pan with 8 - 12 fl.oz. of gravy. Stew for 1hr 30minutes to 2 hours.
8oz Plain Flour; 4oz Margarine; 2oz Lard; cold water
Sieve flour into mixing bowl, add margarine and chop into small pieces. Add
water. Roll in a long strip and spread lard over evenly but not thickly. Fold
in three; roll out again and spread lard repeating the process three times.
Put steak and gravy in pie dish, putting a pie funnel (if you have one) in the
centre to release the steam. Roll out the pastry 1inch larger than the pie
dish and cut a half inch wide strip from edge. Lay this strip around the edge
of the pie dish first wetting the rim, press it to make it stick. Lay
pastry over the pie and poke a hole in the centre for the funnel. Press around
edge to make pattern. Any remaining pastry can be cut in leaves etc. to
decorate the top, and a cuff around the funnel. Brush with beaten egg. Cook
for 30 minutes approx at Gas 7-8; Electricity 450 - 475 deg. F.