What a brouhaha we have had this week in the Scottish media when news
broke that the Kilt, proudly worn for generations by Scottish males, had
been rebranded, for statistical purposes, as 'women's wear' ! The fault
for this denting of male ego for all Kilties lay in a form issued in the
UK, on behalf of the EU's statistical agency. Eurostat, which did not
allow kiltmakers to register Scotland's National Dress as men's clothing.
According to the UK issued form the number of Kilts sold had to entered in
the space provided for women's skirts. Kilt manufacturers were informed
that failure to do so would result in a £1000 fine. Kilts, overnight, had
been turned into skirts and a quick glance at the calendar showed that
April the First had not come early!
This bureaucratic nonsense, however, was quickly sorted out and by Tuesday
new forms were issued after hasty consultation between EU officials, the
Scottish Executive and the UK National Statistics, and amended to include
Kilts under 'wool or fine animal hair' in the men's and boys' wear
section. Relief all round for all Scottish males including the Scots
Independent's regular kilt wearers, T Denholm Christie and Peter D Wright.
"What a farce!" was their joint comment on the stushie, "What next
sporrans to be registered as handbags." They further pondered whether
other kilt wearing Nations such as Greece and Ireland had endured similar
nonsense. The Flag has emailed SNP MEP Ian Hudghton on the subject.
But this storm in a teacup and the approach of colder weather has turned
this column's thoughts towards soup, and whether the Kilt is a skirt or
not, it is skirt, beef skirt, that is the basis of this week's recipe.
Skirt Soup is just the ticket for the cold days ahead.
Ingredients : 24 oz (675 g) beef skirt; 1 large scraped carrot; 1
medium-sized peeled turnip; 5 pints (4500 ml) cold water; 1 heaped
tablespoon minced onion; salt and pepper to taste; snippets of toast
Remove all skin and fat from skirt, then wipe skirt carefully. Cut into
small dice. Place in saucepan. Add roughly chopped carrot and turnip to
water. Bring to the boil. Skim carefully. Add onion and salt to taste.
Simmer very gently for two hours, then season with pepper. Serve with
snippets of toast. Serves 8.