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Date and Walnut Cake

Good News - over the Burns season we drew attention to the fact that the future of our National Bard's birthplace at Alloway was endangered but are now delighted to inform you that the position is now much brighter. The National Trust for Scotland has been successful in its plans to be the lynchpin in overseeing the rescue and development of the historic Alloway site. The Trust will carry out a survey of the Burns' Cottage and other parts of the Burns National Heritage Park and put together a business plan in order to seek Scottish Executive and National Lottery funding. Large sums will be needed to ensure the success of the venture but they should be made available - Robert Burns is far too important to all aspects of Scottish Life for any other option. We should all wish The National Trust for Scotland well in their forward looking action. It is intended that the thatched cottage, built by the poet's father, will be the central feature of a single-ticket Burns tour which will be linked to other buildings important to his life. These include his house in Dumfries, the Bachelor Club in Tarbolton and Souter Johnnie's Cottage in Kirkoswald. By the time we reach the 250th anniversary of Burns' birth in 2009, the Burns experience should be one that all Scots can be proud of and the day that his cottage was under threat removed forever.

It would take a lot of Sales of Work to raise the necessary money to cover the Burns venture but these are still essential fundraising events for all sorts of organisations. The home-baked cake stall is always a favourite at such events and this week's recipe for Date and Walnut Cake from the late Gladys Wright, mother of The Flag's Peter, was in popular demand at Dulnain Bridge Kirk events. 

Date and Walnut Cake

Line a 9" x 12" tin with foil.

Pour a cup of boiling water over 4oz chopped dates, add 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and let stand.

Mix together:

6oz sugar 2oz butter
6oz plain flour 2 oz chopped walnuts
1 beaten egg 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt  

Once mixed, add date mixture, stirring well.  Bake for 35 minutes in a moderate oven.


5 tblsp light brown sugar
2 tblsp butter
2 tblsp single cream

Mix these ingredients together and boil for 3 minutes.  Spread over cake.

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