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Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

This weekend sees two major celebrations of Scotland’s greatest warrior hero, Sir William Wallace, who was brutally murdered 701 years ago by King Edward I of England. The Society of William Wallace will hold their annual Wallace Day on Saturday 26 August 2006 at Elderslie, the birth-place of  the Guardian of Scotland. As in past years those wishing to join the parade are requested to assemble at 2pm in the Ludovic Square, Johnstone, for a 2.30pm march-off to the Wallace Monument, Elderslie, where a wreath-layng and speeches will take place. Among the speakers should be Bill Speirs, former General secretary of the STUC. The Elderslie Village Hall, Glenpatrick Road, will be open from 12 noon for the usual tearoom, bar and stalls.

On Sunday Wallace celebration moves north to Aberdeen where the Wallace 700 Association, a non-political charitable body, will once again pay tribute to Sir William Wallace at his magnificent statue at Rosemount, involving all age groups. A full three hour programme will start and finish with piping. A Piper’s Vigil will start at 12.30pm and the event will conclude with Portlethan and Kintore Pipe Bands beating retreat. In between primary school pupils will enact the crowning of Robert I, King of Scots, 700 years ago, and a pageant of six scenes on the life and death of Sir William Wallace. A Historic Procession will take place at 1.40pm through the city centre and the Wallace Address will be given by J Derrick McClure of Aberdeen University following a wreath-laying ceremony led by Lord Provost John Reynolds of the City of Aberdeen.

Through his valour Sir William Wallace inspired Scots of his day to resist English domination and he has continued to inspire Scots over the centuries. Our National bard, Robert Burns, spoke for many when he wrote to Dr Moore –

‘The story of Wallace poured a tide of Scottish prejudice into my veins which will boil along there until he flood-gates of life shut in eternal rest.’

From thoughts of a martial hero, next week we will look at  a Flower & Food Festival which over 18 years has become one of the best in Scotland – the three day Dundee Festival. The annual show starts on Friday 1 September (11am- 8pm), runs through Saturday 2 September (10am – 6pm) and concludes on Sunday 3 September (10am – 5,30pm), in the Camperdown Country Park. Flower Shows, large and small, will dominate the coming weeks and act as a reminder that the year is wearing on. So our recipe this week is another which acts as a reminder of summer time when the nights have drawn in – Rhubarb and Ginger Jam.

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

Ingredients:  2 lb rhubarb; 2 lb sugar; 1 tbsp ground ginger; grated rind and juice of 2 lemons; 1/8 pt of water

Method:  Chop the rhubarb into one inch lengths, discarding any tough or stringy pieces. Put into pan with the lemon juice, ginger and water. Heat slowly until mixture softens then add the sugar and bring slowly to the boil. Check frequently by spooning a little of the mixture onto a cold plate until it sets. Spoon into prepared jars, seal and label.  

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