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Aberdeen Cruella

Scotland is fortunate that in cities and towns, the length and breadth of the nation, have benefited from benefactors who made public parks available, for the benefit of all. Such a park, was my child-time and, indeed, continuing favourite, the Duthie Park, by the banks of the River Dee, in Aberdeen. The 4 acres of land which the park covers was gifted to Aberdeen Council in 1881 by Lady Elizabeth Crombie Duthie of Ruthrieston, in memory off her uncle, Walter, and brother, Alexander. The land cost £30,000 from the estate of Arthurseat. The lay-out of the Duthie Park was designed by the Dundee surveyor and architect William R McKelvie. The Earl of Aberdeen and lady Duthie cut the first sod on Saturday 27 August 1881 and the park was formally opened on 27 September 1883 by Princess Beatrice. Generations of Aberdonians and the many visitors to the city have enjoyed the park ever since.

The Duthie Park is this week’s visitor attraction because regardless of the weather a visitor can enjoy the splendid David Welch Winter Gardens, with tropical and arid houses, in all seasons. The original greenhouses were opened in 1891 but after a severe storm in May 1969 demolished. The rebuilt Duthie Park Winter Gardens were opened by Lord Provost Lennox on 9 April 1970. The Winter Gardens were renamed the David Welch Winter Gardens after the death in 2001 of David Welch, who had been an outstanding Director of Parks for Aberdeen. The gardens are the third most visited in Scotland and are a must see on any visit to the Granite City.

An Aberdeen recipe, probably of Dutch origin, Aberdeen Cruella, is this week’s tasty offering.

Aberdeen Cruella

Ingredients: 2 oz (50g) butter at room temperature; 2 oz (50g) sugar; 7 oz (200g) self-raising flour; 1 egg; oil for deep frying

Method: Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour to make a stiffish dough. Knead until smooth and divide into 6 portions. Roll each portion to an oblong about 5”-6” long (120cm-150cm). Cut each portion into three strips almost to the end. Plait the strips and seal the end with a little water. Deep fry until they are quite golden. Drain excess fat and lay them on kitchen paper. Dust with caster sugar or icing sugar and eat either hot or cold.

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