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Sticky Toffee Pudding

When SI Chairman Peter D Wright introduces Alex Salmond MP, SNP Westminster Parliamentary Leader, as a 'Black Bitch' at the SI sponsored fringe meeting next Friday ( 27 September 2002 - First Circle, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness 12.30pm ) during the SNP Annual National Conference, the illustrious MP will be more than pleased! For Alex is Linlithgow born and bred, and for many years the town's inhabitants have rejoiced in the by-name of Black Bitches. In the same way the good people of Dumfries are proud to be Doonhamers, a nickname  which is also extended to the town's football team Queen of the South. The same applies in Paisley where the natives are all Buddies as is their football club St Mirrren. Going up the East coast of Scotland the townspeople of Montrose are Gable Endies and those residing in Peterhead, The Blue Toun, are familiarly titled Moggangers. Just round the coast the good people of Fraserburgh, The Broch, are naturally Brochers. The inhabitants of Falkirk are The Bairns, a fact which is proudly proclaimed in the burgh's motto 'Better meddle wi the Deil than the bairns o Falkirk'. The burgh has two senior football clubs. East Stirling, known as The Shire and Falkirk FC, currently heading the Scottish First division, which rejoices in the same by-name as the townfolk - The Bairns.
A quick look at Falkirk's history shows that it was once on the most northerly frontier of the Roman Empire as Antonine's Wall passed through the site of the present burgh. The 37-mile Roman wall across the waist of Scotland between the firths of Forth and Clyde was built on instructions in c139AD from the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. Unlike the more famous Hadrian's Wall, the Antonine Wall was constructed of turf with probably a timber parapet. It was finally abandoned around 163AD. Falkirk was also the site of two major battles. In 1298 the Scots under Sir William Wallace, Guardian of Scotland, were heavily defeated by an English army led by Edward 1, 'Langshanks', King of England and in 1746 the last Jacobite success was achieved when Lord George Murray defeated a Hanoverian army commanded by General Henry Hawley. But The Bairns can now enjoy, and claim, one of Scotland's fastest growing tourist attractions - The Falkirk Wheel. This 21st century engineering marvel is the world's first and only rotating boat lift, transferring boats to and from the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals. You can take a trip on The Falkirk Wheel by an amphibious transporter - but pre-booking is advisable ( Tel 08700 500 208 ). On dry land the Visitor Centre, like The Wheel open all year, is well worth a visit with no need to pre-book. Learn more at
Just like last week's recipe for Treacle Toffee, this week's one for Sticky Toffee Pudding will appeal not only to the Falkirk Bairns but to bairns world-wide including The Flag's own skeilie webmaster Alastair McIntyre! Baked in its own sauce Sticky Toffee Pudding is every bit as gooey as its name suggests.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Ingredients : 6 oz ( 175 g ) butter or block margarine; 6 oz ( 175 g ) dark muscovado sugar; 3 tbsp golden syrup; 2 eggs, beaten; 4 oz ( 100 g ) self-raising flour; pinch of salt.
Serves 4-6
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Grease a 2 pint ( 1.2 litre ) baking dish. Put 2 oz ( 50 g ) butter, 2oz ( 50 g ) sugar and the golden syrup into a small, heavy-based saucepan. Heat gently until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth. Pour half the toffee sauce into the dish. keep the remaining sauce for serving. Put the remaining butter and sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and heat gently to melt. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the melted mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Spoon into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pudding is springy to the touch. Run a knife around the edge of the dish and carefully turn out onto a large serving plate. To serve, re-heat the remaining sauce and pour over the pudding. 

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