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Butterie Rowies

As SNP delegates make their way towards the City of Dundee, this column heads further north to the Granite City of Aberdeen. The cauf-kintra of SI Chairman Peter D Wright lies between the Rivers Dee and Don and Ptolemy identified it as "Devana". That gave rise to a popular local brewery - Devanah - sadly long gone. The city prospered from its wholehearted support of Robert I and his family. Tradition has it that the citizens attacked the English garrison in Aberdeen Castle and put them all to the sword after The Bruce's victory over his local enemies, The Comyns, at the Battle of Inverurie ( 1308 ). The password used on that occasion by Aberdonians, "Bon Accord", was then supposedly conferred on the city as its motto. The city was to benefit tangiably from its support of Robert I, as in 1319, he gifted to the citizens his hunting forest of Stocket. Renamed the Freedom Lands, the revenue from the forest was paid into a Common Good Fund - which at present stands in excess of 20 million. Because of the city's geographical position, for many centuries, Aberdeen was relatively isolated from the rest of Scotland but through its sea trade enjoyed visitors from the Continent. Trade was carried out with the Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Germans, Dutch and French. The French connection could have given rise to the local delicacy, the famed butterie rowies of Aberdeen. As the well known food writer Theodora Fitzgibbon pointed out butteries are practically the same, apart from the shape, as the ordinary French breakfast croissant. Eat a butterie and dream that you are in France!

Butterie Rowies
Ingredients : 1 lb flour; 1 oz yeast or 1/2 tablesp dried yeast; 1 tablesp sugar; 8 oz butter; 4 oz lard; 3/4 pt tepid water; a pinch of salt.

All utensils should be warm before starting. Makes about 15.
Mix the sifted flour and salt into a basin, then cream the yeast with the sugar. When it has bubbled up add it to the flour with the water, which must be blood heat only. Mix well, cover and set in a warm place until double the bulk, about thirty minutes. Cream the butter and lard together and divide into three. Put the dough on to a floured board and roll out into a long strip. Put the first third of fats in dots on to the top third of the pastry strip and fold over like an envelope, as if making flaky pastry. Roll out, and do this twice more until all the butter mixture is used up. Then roll out and cut into small oval shapes ( or small rounds ). Put on to a floured baking sheet with at least 2 in. between each one to allow for spreading. Cover, as above, and leave to rise for three-quarters of a hour, then bake in a moderate to hot oven ( 375 degrees - 400 degrees/ Gas mark 5 - 6 ) for 20 minutes.


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