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Wholemeal Scones

This month sees the commemoration of two battles - the heavy defeat the Scots suffered at Flodden in 1513 and the magnificent victory of Robert I at Bannockburn in 1314.  Both events will be celebrated out-of-doors and as June also has Mid-Summer Day perhaps you would expect such events to be safe from inclement weather.  Obviously the burgeoning numbers of outdoor Scottish events - galas, historical re-enactments, Highland Games etc expect so but, as Markinch Highland Games found to its cost earlier this month, even heavy rain the day before can lead to cancellation as the John Dixon Park was left sodden and made unsuitable for the Sunday games meeting.

Today (17 June 2005) we hope the sun shines on Europe's biggest equestrian gathering - The Selkirk Common Riding.  The streets of the Border town will ring to the hooves of 100's of horses as the town remembers the one Selkirk survivor from the Battle of Flodden in 1513.

Sunday (19 June 2005) sees a massive street party in Byres Road, Glasgow, as part of the popular West End Festival.  Visit www.westendfestival.co.uk for full information including the Gibson Street party on Sunday 26 June.

June also sees the annual commemoration of the Battle of Bannockburn organised by the Scottish National Party.  The victory by Robert I has rung down the centuries.  The Scottish victory didn't end the long Wars of Independence but was a turning-point in the Scottish struggle to be free of English domination.  In a David v Goliath contest, The Bruce totally outmanoeuvred the far larger English invasion to ensure a historic victory for the Scots.

The Rally will assemble at Lower Bridge Street, Stirling, at 1.30 am and march off at 2pm behind the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band.  On arriving at the field of Bannockburn a wreath will be laid at the Rotunda followed be speeches from Alex Salmond MP and Stewart Hosie MP.

The Alan Macartney Memorial Lecture will follow at 4pm in the Laing Robert Hotel which is beside the National Trust for Scotland's Bannockburn Centre.  The lecture will be delivered by Oliver Brown Award winner Jimmy Reid.

Rounding off the day will be a Folk Ceilidh in the Tartan Arms, Main Street, Bannockburn (doors open 5pm) featuring the top Scottish folk duo Gaberlunzie and popular folk group Cardies Brig.  Tickets, 7, are available from Alistair Walker,  114 Davidson Street, Stirling, FK7 0NF (tel: 01786 814523).

We hope that the sun shines on all outdoor events this summer and that they are rain-free, but regardless of the weather this week's recipe, Wholemeal Scones, can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

Wholemeal Scones

Ingredients:  150g self-raising flour, sifted;  100g self-raising wholemeal flour;  tsp baking powder;  2 tsp light muscovado sugar;  1 tbsp sunflower oil;  1 tbsp black treacle;  175ml (approx) skimmed milk

Method:  Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl and stir in quarter of a teaspoon of salt.  Make a well in the middle, add the oil, treacle and enough milk to combine and make a soft dough.

Using floured hand, tip the dough on to a board dusted with wholemeal flour.  Pat out gently to a thickness of about 2.5cm/1in and cut into six to eight scones.

Place these on an oiled baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (230C/450F/gas mark 8) for 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.

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