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Oatmeal Stuffing

Nowadays people walk for pleasure providing that they have first been prised from their cars! Our forebears didn't have that luxury and were used to walking far distances. Indeed this week 258 years ago, those making up the Jacobite army, mainly Scottish Highlanders, were walking a considerable distance. Through atrocious weather, and superbly led by Jacobite commander Lord George Murray, they were making their way back to Scotland after the decision to retreat had been made at Derby, England. The 1745 Jacobite advance and retreat must be one of the great military marches in the whole of history.
In an age where children are increasingly overweight and the majority of adults lead a much more sedentary life-style, we might take our example from the past and, at least, walk a bittie mair - a cheap and effective way to keep fit. A new exhibition in 2004  designed to encourage us to walk and enjoy the outdoors more has just been announced. The Active Outdoors Show, which is supported by Ramblers Scotland and the TGO magazine, will take place at the SECC Glasgow from 19-21 March 2004 and is aimed at anyone interested in outdoor activities. So if you regularly walk, ramble, climb, hill walk and mountain bike, or would like to, this is the show for you. The organisers promise that there will be a wide range of exhibitors presenting everything from specialist clothing and camping equipment to outdoor action ideas and unusual activity breaks. Features of the exhibition will include climbing and bouldering walls, a mountain bike feature, orienteering competition and Tent Town - and when you've tried all that there is even The Walkers Inn to sit back and enjoy the view from! There will be daily talks from top experts including Cameron McNeish and Doug Scott. Entry price is 7 but concessions will be available. Visit for more information.
As we near The Daft Days, once again, and the celebration of Yule and Hogmanay, walking will probably take second place to food, so perhaps we should all benefit from making a New Year Resolution to walk more regularly. At least it would be a resolution with some chance of being kept!
For centuries Scots didn't enjoy the wide range of foodstuffs available today in modern supermarkets and as this column has noted oatmeal played a large part in the Scottish diet. It certainly sustained our fighting men. Bearing this in mind we suggest a recipe for stuffing the Yule bird which surpasses Sage and Onion. Oatmeal Stuffing provides a traditional Scottish stuffing which is perfect for all poultry and game. Go ahead and indulge yourself over The Daft Days and then look out your walking shoes.
Oatmeal Stuffing
Ingredients : 8 oz (200 g) rolled oats; 1 onion, finely chopped; 4 oz (100 g) shredded suet; seasoning
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and stuff poultry or game in the usual way. Simple as that.

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