January 5th, 2006

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Five more ingredients...

FISH is a fabulous and healthy fast food, but what if you don't have time to shop for the freshest fillets at a good fishmonger? You could instead buy something which benefits from being a few days out of the sea - smoked fish.

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Hogmanay foods

TRADITIONALLY, HOGMANAY IS THE DAY when women clean their houses from top to bottom in preparation for the New Year. Black bun was always made to be eaten on Hogmanay, and I can only think that its purpose was to give strength to busy housewives.
The dark fruit cake-style mixture wrapped in pastry is not often encountered these days, but there are so many other delicious sweet foods which can substitute for it, and are viewed much more favourably by my Lancashire tastebuds.

From Wikipedia:
Hogmanay (pronounced ... hog-muh-NAY) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. Its official date is the 31 December. However this is normally only the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of the 1 January or, in many cases, 2 January.

Recipes in The Scotsman are given for Chocolate Oatmeal Crispies, Rich pecan and dark chocolate biscuits, and Flapjack Fingers.
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And this article has recipes for the traditional black bun, roast beef stovies, and Curried parsnip and coriander soup.
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Don't boil anyone in these

According to Ebenezer Scrooge, any idiot who goes around with "Merry Christmas" on his lips deserved to be boiled in his Christmas pudding. These recipes sound fit for a much more exalted use.
How about: "Warm marmalade pudding with Bailey's custard", "Winter berry pudding with brandy and cinnamon cream", and "Chocolate espresso mousse-cake"?
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Sandwich for the Guy?

As I clean up my in-box, I see by The Scotsman that sandwiches are the tradition for Guy Fawkes Day. It's a practicality – a way to provide substantial fare while watching and setting off fireworks. Recipes in this article are:
Steak sandwich with tomato and red pepper relish and babygem lettuce, North African chicken pitta pockets, and Mozzarella, roast pepper and rocket hoagies.
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