As the world tuned in to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi last Sunday, another global event was getting under way.
The 12th annual World Clootie Dumpling Championship took place in Avonbridge Parish Church last weekend with the competition growing more popular with budding bakers every year.
And while it was all downhill skiing in Russia, it was all uphill for 88-year-old great granny Nancy McComb who stormed her way to the Clootie Dumpling title with her delicious family recipe. It’s the second time Nancy has won the championship, already a winner in 2009.
Regular entrant Rab Hunter, from Rumford, was the runner-up. Rita Morgan from Slamannan, who took the title at her first attempt in 2013, proved her success was no fluke by finishing third this year.
Champ Nancy said: “I cooked my first clootie dumpling when I was 12 and have been making them ever since. The recipe was passed down to me from my mum who was from Ballymena in Ireland.
“I’m fair chuffed to have won again. I couldn’t enter last year because I was ill with a chest infection although I was second twice before.
“The whole family have got into it. Two of my sons and my brother make them now because we don’t want the recipe to die. We want to keep this family tradition going.”
Jean Wilson, a member of the organising committee, said this year’s event once again showed that it’s a contest close to the Braes community’s heart.
She said: “The evening was great as usual and loads of people turned up and really enjoyed themselves.
“There were 16 entries this year, one more than last year, and there has been a steady increase in numbers which we hope will continue.
During the evening, Jock Moffat entertained the crowd on the accordion and Rab Hunter played the spoons. There was even an impromptu ‘Singing in the Rain’.”
Entries in the world championship are scored on taste, shape, colour and texture
The Clootie referred to in the name refers to the cloth – a cloot, a large cotton cloth or piece of muslin – in which the dumpling is cooked
They take around three hours to cook and once they come out of the cloot they need to have a good skin and be as round as possible
Clootie dumplings, or fruit puddings as they are also known, can also be made in the microwave. Recipes can be found online