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Caithness twins are Scotland's top Country Cooks

By Alan Hendry

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Lyndsey Dunnet (left) and twin sister Abbie came out on top in the SAYFC County Cooks challenge.
Lyndsey Dunnet (left) and twin sister Abbie came out on top in the SAYFC County Cooks challenge.

Teenage twins from Caithness showed they had the recipe for success when they won a national Country Cooks title.

Abbie and Lyndsey Dunnet travelled to Dundee for the challenge as part of the annual competitions weekend held by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC).

It was the first time in 40 years the salver had been awarded to a Caithness club.

The sisters, who recently turned 18, were representing Halkirk Young Farmers.

Abbie and Lyndsey had secured their place in the showdown at Dundee and Angus College by qualifying at the Highland area elimination in December, sponsored by the Northern Sands Hotel.

They were up against teams from Reston, Beith and Vale of Alford for the title of national Country Cooks champions.

Contestants had to rustle up a meal using a bag of eight mystery ingredients. This year the bag contained chicken, sweet potato, orzo, apples, honey, frozen peas, puff pastry and chocolate.

The standard was high but judges Alison Beattie and Lynne Howe were particularly impressed with the dishes served up by Abbie and Lyndsey – spiced roast chicken with pea and apple purée served with sweet potato fries, followed by profiteroles.

The twins won with 87 points out of a possible 100, followed by Vale of Alford on 85 points, Beith on 82 points and Reston with 81.

Fiona Swanson, SAYFC development officer (north), called it "a massive achievement for Halkirk Young Farmers".

Cookery expert The Batch Lady (Suzanne Mulholland) sponsored the competition and donated a copy of her latest recipe book for the winning team.

Members of Bower Young Farmers also travelled to Dundee, taking part in the national speechmaking competition and senior quiz for which they had qualified following the north region elimination in Orkney last year.

This year the format for speechmaking involved being in mixed teams with other clubs from all over Scotland and debating topics that remained a mystery until the members were on stage in front of the audience.

Bower scored 134 points out of a possible 180.

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