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Aberdeen Butterie Rowies

This Saturday (7 February 2009) I return to my cauf-kintra, the Granite City of Aberdeen, on Scottish Cup business with two football scarves – Aberdeen FC and East Fife FC. As I will be sitting in the away kit-men seats at Pittodrie, the Don’s scarf will remain firmly in my pocket! Jim Corstorphine’s excellent preview of the game (our thanks to Jim for permission to use it on The Flag) refers to the East Fife victory over Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup in 1938. For that replay, on their way to winning the Scottish Cup (the only lower league ever to have achieved that distinction), The Fife played in a red strip instead of their normal black and gold. Aberdeen were so impressed by the red strip that from the next season onwards The Dons changed from black and gold to the now familiar Pittodrie red jerseys. On Saturday East Fife will be playing in green and white but I don’t think that will inspire Aberdeen to change again!

Can Baikie's Boys Disappoint the Dons?

All roads lead to Aberdeen this weekend as the East Fife faithful make the journey north to face Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup. Incredibly, it’s almost THIRTY-FIVE YEARS since the Methil men played at Pittodrie, and it goes without saying a fair percentage of the club’s present day supporters have never seen their favourites line up to face the Dons!

The Bayview faithful have been buzzing ever since the draw was made, and all are eagerly anticipating Saturday’s match.

So do Second Division East Fife have any chance of causing an upset at Pittodrie? On paper, the answer would have to be no; but then again, the same would have been said when the two clubs were first paired together in the competition back in 1927!

Back then, the Fifers were only in their sixth season as a Scottish League club, and were sitting in the top half of the Second Division. Aberdeen, on the other hand, were a firmly established First Division club who were more than capable of beating the best in the land. A few eyebrows were raised, therefore, when the Fifers forced a replay following a 1-1 draw at Bayview; surprise then turning to shock when the Methil men finished the job with a 2-1 win at Pittodrie!

Eleven years later, in March 1938, the two clubs were drawn to face each other once again. Not even the most optimistic follower of the men in black and gold would have dared predict a repeat of the events of 1927, but that’s just what happened; East Fife knocked the Dons out of the competition with a 2-1 win at Pittodrie following a 1-1 draw at Bayview! That year, however, the Fifers went on to emulate the class of ’27 by going on to win the cup just over a month later.

After the Dons had gained a little revenge by knocking the Fife out of the cup with a 2-1 victory at Pittodrie in 1959, the Methil men were presented with another giant-killing opportunity in 1965.

After holding out for a no-scoring draw at Pittodrie, the men in black and gold used home advantage to the full in the replay at a packed Bayview to make it a hat-trick of Scottish Cup wins against the Dons with a single goal victory.

Will history repeat itself yet again? The circumstances are very similar to 1927, 1938 and 1965; but is the gulf that exists between the top-flight clubs of today greater than it was back in the good-old-days?

At quarter-to-five on Saturday, weather permitting, we will know the answer. One thing is certain, however; if the present East Fife team adopt the traditional cup-battling qualities of their predecessors, we’re in for an enthralling afternoon!

Although Aberdeen have more than matched both halves of the Old Firm in recent weeks, Pittodrie holds no fears for the Fifers according to manager Dave Baikie. The management team have done their homework, and this week have been busy trying to assess all areas of the Aberdeen team in order to identify any possible weaknesses that could be exploited. The players will all be very aware, however, that a very difficult task lies ahead.

The Bayview boys will have to be at their very best on the day, but it is perhaps worth remembering that several members of the present squad were in the team that knocked SPL side St Mirren out of the CIS Cup on their own soil last season.

On the injury front, only Jonathon Smart is doubtful for the big match, and a decision will be made on the big central defender towards the end of the week.

Hopefully the match won’t be affected by the weather we’ve been experiencing recently, and with both clubs having agreed on a reduced admission price for visiting supporters of just £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for under 12’s, why not take full advantage and have a great day out following the Fife!

Jim Corstorphine

Aberdeen lies between the Rivers Dee and Don (Pittodrie stands near the River 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!

Aberdeen 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.

Method: 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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