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The Scots are the most spontaneous group of people in the UK when it comes to picnicking. Nearly half (47%) will grab their picnic gear at the first sign of good weather - nearly 10% more than the national average. In a survey of the nation's picnic habits commissioned by British salad producers, eight out of ten people (82%) from Scotland say they picnic at least occasionally; and nearly a quarter (23%) say they like to picnic as often as they can.

A quarter (23%) of respondents say picnics are the perfect opportunity to enjoy nature and - given the beautiful and dramatic locations for picnics in Scotland - it is perhaps unsurprising that 70% say eating outdoors is an adventure. Beaches (28%) are the first choice of spot, with local parks coming a close second (26%,) and a fifth of respondents (20%) preferring peaceful woodlands.

Few (just 3%) Scots believe picnicking is a romantic pursuit but four in ten say that it's a great family occasion with 84% thinking that eating outdoors is an ideal way to spend quality time with children. Two in five (43%) also say that picnics - with the combination of fresh air, a chance to get some exercise and nutritious picnic foods - are a healthier alternative to eating indoors.

Nearly three quarters (73%) of people in Scotland agree that preparing for a picnic is a lot easier nowadays thanks to the wide variety of suitable picnic foods - such as pre-prepared salads and ready-cooked chicken - which are easily available in supermarkets. This means that picnics no longer have to be planned with military precision although 27% of Scots keep their picnic gear easily to hand so they can head out at a moment's notice - perhaps not surprising when 52% say that food tastes better on a picnic!

This sentiment is echoed by celebrity chef, Lesley Waters: "As soon as I see a glimpse of sunshine, I want to be outside eating in the fresh air - food just seems to taste better. I love picnics - it really is a great way to share food and fun in the great outdoors. Salads are ideal picnic food - quick to prepare and are bursting with colour, flavour and texture. Pre-prepared salads are also really easy to transport as they're ready to eat straight from the bag."

Lesley has developed some delicious salad recipes which are ideal for picnics: see www.bringonthesalads.com which also features handy tips on how to make the most of a picnic.

The Caithness Goose Company Bringing Back A Traditional Taste Of The County
Still time to get a traditional Caithness taste on your Christmas or New Year Holiday table.  The Caithness Goose Company has gone back to basics and with modern delivery can get freshly prepared Caithness Goose to any part of the UK overnight.  Caithness the most northerly of the mainland counties, has always been noted for the quality of its grazing stock, and the domestic goose was once one of its principal products, with every farm and croft keeping a small flock...................

Salmon Is Hard To Beat
Thereís no end to the number of pills, potions, and faddy diets that claim to have amazing effects on the body. But in reality one of the most efficacious foods with a multitude of health benefits has been right under our noses all the time.  Think of any part of the body and the omega 3 fatty acids in oily fish will improve how it looks, feels or works. For example, just two portions of an oily fish such as salmon will improve the look and feel of your skin and hair, help your brain to work at its optimum level, lubricate your joints, and keep your heart healthy. And thatís just the beginning Ė oily fish is important for all the family.

Health Living Scotland
This website is to promote Scotlandís national healthy living campaign, launched by the Scottish Executive in January 2003.  It has recipes and ideas for cooking a healthy life.

Turkey Recipes Via Google

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Cookin With Google
Take a few ingredients from your cupboard and see what you can cook with them.

Minted Lamb Burgers

From Le Bistro Restaurant, Thurso
Demonstrated at Bower Gala 17 August 2002

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Some Advice From Kay Wilson
Here is some information regarding the Recipes Section. The U.S. pint is 16 fluid ounces, and not 20 fl.oz like the British Imperial pint.

1 U.S. cup = 8 fl.oz = 250 ml
1 British cup = 10 fl.oz = 300 ml
The teaspoon and tablespoon measurements are the same.
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
I'm not sure if Canada uses the Imperial or U.S. pint.

Pecan Pie
Helen Wood whose dad was a fireman in Oakland, California sends this pie recipe for you all to try.

Week with Katie Crofter

Cindy's Chocolate Silk Pie
Another very sweet pie and described by Cindy as "a family recipe, a Cardiac Special, but SOOOOOO GOOD you will think you are in heaven."

The next Pie Recipe is already in and its a savoury one so you can now have a choice with  Broccoli & Wensleydale Flan has been sent in by andy anderson and is from his mother's collection of over 40 years ago and probably comes from an early wartime recipe collected for an Athol Crescent Cookery book.  Athol Crescent used to be the place in Edinburgh where students were trained in the arts fo cookery and other skills.

The first recipe in is Cindy's Banana Cream Pie from Cindy Sobrero in California.  Starting with pies following some sassy comments on the message board recently.

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Salmon Farm Monitor
Salmon has come in for growing concern by many people due to disease and the chemicals added to control lice and to add colour to the flesh.  Many folk no longer consider it a safe healthy option for their family.