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Turkey Loaf

Today (24 December) sees the start of the period known in Scots as 'The Daft Days' which lasts until Uphaliday (or Epiphany) on 6 January.  The great Edinburgh poet Robert Fergusson wrote of 'The Daft Days'

'Whan merry Yule-day comes, I trow,
You'll scantlins find a hungry mou;
Sma are our cares, our stamacks fou
O gusty gear,
And kickshaws, strangers to our veiw
Sin fairn-year.'

Fairn-year is last year in Scots and many in 2003 preparing to celebrate Hogmany at the popular Hogmany Party in Edinburgh were met with disappointment when inclement weather led to the cancellation of the planned outdoor festivities.  This year the organisers promise that the weather will be no barrier to Edinburgh being the place to celebrate the 'Chappin o the Twal'.  Breaking with tradition Scotland's most popular paid-for visitor attraction, Edinburgh Castle will be open to the public on New Years Day.  Demand from tourists has also encouraged Historic Scotland to open the doors of Stirling Castle on 1 January.

One free event is the traditional 'Looney Dook' at South Queensferry as hardy souls take to the waters of The Forth between the two bridges.  A dip in the cold waters of The Forth is not the way most of us would choose to celebrate the first day of the New Year.  The Flag offers congratulations to all those brave enough to maintain the custom.

Turkey has emerged as the favourite food at Christmas and for a change from the usual roast turkey why not try this week's recipe Turkey Loaf.

Turkey Loaf

Ingredients:  750g (1 1/2lb) cooked turkey meat, finely minced; 450g (1lb) beef sausage-meat; 1 onion, peeled and minced; 225g (8oz) fat bacon, rind removed, minced; 1 garlic clove, minced; 1 tablespoon tomato puree; 1 tablespoon dried tarragon; salt and pepper; turkey or chicken stock, to moisten; 2 bay leaves

Method: Mix together the turkey meat, sausage-meat, onion, bacon, garlic, tomato puree and tarragon with salt and pepper to taste and enough stock to moisten.  Turn into a greased terrine and put the bay leaves on top.  Cover and bake in a pre-heated moderate oven (180 C, 350 F, gas mark 4) for two hours.  Cool under a weight.

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