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Venison Meat Loaf

This week the Gaelic language comes into its own as An Comunn Gaidhealach (The Highland Association) showcases this year's Royal National Mod in Perth. The National Mod returns for the first time in 24 years to Perth and the streets of the ancient royal burgh, from at least the 13th century, will echo to the old tongue of Alba. Known as 'The Fair City' and the 'Ancient Capital of Scotland', Perth was a royal residence in medieval times and the county town of Perthshire. From 8th to 16th October 2004, Perth will become an active part of Gaeldom as Gaelic resounds from the concert hall to the town's many pubs.
 
An Comunn Gaidhealach was formed in 1891 to promote the use and teaching of Gaelic and held its first Mod in Oban the following year. The Royal National Mod is Scotland's premier Gaelic festival of the Gaelic language, arts and culture and is held annually in October at different locations throughout Scotland. The Mod is a competition-based festival which celebrates the Gaelic language through music, dance, drama, arts and literature.
 
Mod 2004 is a far larger event than its 1892 counterpart which was only a one day event and like all major festivals now has its own fringe which includes sporting events, music, dance and children's events. Visit www.the-mod.co.uk for further details.
 
For everyone with an interest in the Gaelic language, arts, culture and heritage, Perth is the place to be this week. Cynics dismiss the Mod as the 'Whisky Olympics', and although a dram or two is certainly enjoyed as longstanding friends meet, there is much more to the Mod than taking a refreshment! The Mod is a visible reminder to all that the Gaelic language still plays an important part in Scottish life and what it means to be Scottish.
 
With venison being far more readily available, this week's recipe is a reminder of many people's traditional view of the Highlands - from Victorian paintings of deer on the hill and in the glen. Venison Meat Loaf can benefit from a glass of whisky either in the cooking or as an accompaniment.
 
Venison Meat Loaf
 
Ingredients : 2 oz breadcrumbs; 1/4 pint milk; 1 lb minced venison; 2 eggs,medium; 1 onion, minced; 1 teaspoon Worcester sauce; 2 tablespoons tomato sauce; 1 level teaspoon salt
 
Soak breadcrumbs in milk for ten minutes. Add remaining ingredients to mince except for eggs. Mix in breadcrumb mixture, and then add eggs. Press mixture into loaf tin. Cover with greaseproof paper and place in middle of oven for one hour at 200 deg C, 400 deg F, Gas Mark 6. Leave in tin until cold. Turn out and garnish. Serves 4.

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