The discovery of a 6g gold nugget in a river in the Dumfriesshire Lowther
Hills by prospector George Paterson last week is a reminder of Scotland's
long association with gold and silver. Although vast quantities have never
been discovered in Scotland there was sufficient quantity for an Act of
the Scottish Parliament, The Three Estates, meeting in Perth in 1424, to
make all gold and silver mines Crown property. This was the first
Parliament presided over by James 1, King of Scots, on his release from
long years captivity in England. Incidently, in the second week of the
World Cup, it should be noted that this Parliament also banned the playing
In the 15th/16th centuries mining in the hills around Wanlockhead gave a
fairly high yield of gold, indeed in 1502, Lowther Hill's gold was used to
make the Scottish Crown (now on display in Edinburgh Castle). More
recently gold panned in this area was used to make the mace for the
reconvened Scottish Parliament.
The discovery of the 6g nugget, worth over £500, will not set off a
'gold-rush' but will certainly encourage the many people who pan the
Wanlockhead area as a hobby to keep trying! Scotland has in the past
'enjoyed' gold-rushes, although we certainly cannot match those of
Australia, California and The Klondyke. The most famous in Scotland was
the Victorian gold-rush to the Strath of Kildonan, Sutherland, in 1868
which was all over by 1869. But at least gold was found in Kildonan unlike
the Fife gold- rush of 1857. It was known as the 'Fool's Gold' rush with
hundreds of tents being set up in the Fife Lomond Hills before prospectors
were convinced that they were only digging up iron pyrites!
We cannot promise you gold but this week's recipe is 'GOLDEN'. Golden
Syrup Pudding is a gold-rated, culinary delight.
Golden Syrup Pudding
Ingredients : 5 oz ( 150 g ) self-raising flour; 4 oz ( 125 g ) butter or
margarine; 4 oz ( 125 g ) castor sugar; 2 eggs; 1/4 teasp vanilla essence;
3 tbsp golden syrup
Grease a 2 pint pudding bowl. Put the syrup in the bottom of it. Mix the
flour, butter and sugar together. Add beaten eggs and vanilla essence.
Pour into bowl . Cover with greaseproof paper or foil and tie with string.
Steam in a saucepan of boiling water for one and a half hours. Turn out
and serve piping hot with cream. Serves 4-6.