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Largo Potato Soup

'Freedom and Whisky gang thegither' wrote our National Bard and he could have also added that Scotland and Poetry gang thegither. Poetry has for many centuries played a major part in Scottish life and it is certainly no coincidence that the generally recognised greatest Scot of all time is our National Bard, Robert Burns. And Scotland now has her own poet laureate, a National Maker, Edwin Morgan, appointed by Scotland's First Minister.Like Robert Burns, Edwin Morgan is a believer in Scottish Independence. 
For twenty years Scottish poetry has had its own library and visitors to Edinburgh should take the opportunity to visit the home of Scottish poetry, the Scottish Poetry Library, in the Canongate. The splendid building which houses a magnificent collection of poetry is one of the finest examples of modern Scottish archtecture. A step or two from the Poetry Library will take you to the grave of Robert Fergusson in the Canongate Kirkyard - his headstone was paid for by Robert Burns.
Poetry will feature at two events this weekend in Fife. St Andrews hosts the annual StAnza Poetry Festival from Thursday 18 March to Sunday 21 March 2004. The four day poetryfest features some 44 events and was founded in 1998. It has grown from a budget of 5,000 to 50,000 and boasts that it attracts international artists but never forgets its roots and encourages local emerging talent. St Andrews is world-known as the 'Home of Golf' but for four days in March, golf takes a backseat, as poetry takes centre-stage. Visit for full details.
The earliest verse in Scots will be recalled at the annual commemoration of the reign and death of Alexander III, King of Scots, and 'The Golden Age' of Scottish history at the Alexander III Memorial (The Black Stone) at Pettycur, Kinghorn on Sunday 21 March 2004 at 3pm. The verse, recorded in Wynton's Chronicle, looks back from the turmoil which followed Alexander's death in 1286 and pleads for succour for Scotland and a return to the days of plenty during the reign of Alexander the Peaceable.
                            Quhen Alysandyr oure Kyng wes dede,
                            That Scotland led in luve and le,
                            Away wes sons off ale and brede,
                            Off wyne and wax, off gamyn and gle;
                            Oure gold wes changyd in to lede.
                            Chryst, borne in to Vyrgynyte,
                            Succoure Scotland and remede,
                            That stad [is in] perplexyte.
Speakers at the event will be former Director of the Saltire Society, Ian Scott from Falkirk, and Broughty Ferry author and historian James Halliday. Car parking is available at the nearby Kingswood Hotel.
A Fife recipe is an essential for this week and Largo Potato Soup is the perfect internal heat to combat cold weather - it might just be the ticket for the hardy souls who rally at The Black Stone in memory of Alexander III on Sunday.
Largo Potato Soup
Ingredients : 1lb (1/2 kg) neck of mutton; 4 pints (2 L) water; 4 oz (125 g) chopped carrots; 1 1/4 lb (625 g) chopped onions; 1 1/2 lb (750 g) sliced potatoes; salt and pepper
Garnish - chopped parsley
Put the mutton in a pan with water. Bring to the boil and skim. Add carrots and onions, season with salt and pepper and simmer for two hours. Add the potatoes thirty minutes before the end. Lift out meat, remove bones and any excess fat. Chop up finely and return to the soup. Chech seasoning and serve garnished with parsley.   

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