A lovely long (for me, anyway) weekend with perfect weather. Colette (Lucie's mom who is in Cape Town from Glasgow) cannot believe that we are in the middle of winter. Saturday's weather in Cape Town was close to heatwave conditions for Scotland. Did you see the weather at Royal St George's for the golf? My word. Last night we were invited to a traditional Scottish supper. We started off with a starter of oatmeal crackers and cheese. Haggis is traditionally served in Scotland with neeps (swedes or turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes). We sampled it with mash and butternut. Not too unlike our boerewors in texture and I loved the flavour. I am not frightened by sheep's stomach (tripe and onions on a Friday night at the Barn, is my best), offal, kidneys, liver and onion are all favourites so haggis was just up my street. Colette did mention that they do not particularly like it and she only prepares it once a year for Robbie Burns night. It went down well with all of us except for one vegetarian but she was brave enough to have a "curiosity" taste.
Recipe for the brave. Most people buy them ready to boil.
1 sheep's stomach cleaned and thoroughly, scalded, turned inside out and soaked overnight in cold salted water.
heart and lungs of one lamb
1lb/450g beef or lamb
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground dried coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Enough water to cook the haggis
Stock from lungs
There was more excitement to come with Atholl Brose for dessert. This is an interesting one and can be served as a pudding or a drink. Colette and Lucie served it in shot glasses. Mmmm..... quite a bit like my Christmas Egg Nog but with no eggs - I am sure it was just the strong whiskey content that reminded me of it.
I did a bit of research on it (nice way to use up all the whiskey in our cabinet). Here are the details:-
Atholl Brose is often made specially at Hogmany and makes a welcome drink and dessert treat. It is very sweet so should only be served in small drams to see in the New Year. (I quite fancy a tall milkshake sized glass myself)
This easy to make Atholl Brose recipe can be made in a few minutes and can be made on the day it is to be drunk but tastes much better if stored for a week.
One bottle of Scotch whisky
10 fluid ounces (Half Pint) of double cream
450g of clear Scottish honey
The whites of six large eggs
One handful of fine ground oatmeal
1. Soak the oatmeal with the Scotch whiskey and set aside.
2. Beat the egg whites until they become stiff.
3. Fold the cream into the egg white mixture.
4. Add the honey.
5. Blend in the whisky and oatmeal mixture at a slow but steady pace.
6. Pour the liquid into some bottles and set aside for one week.
Shake each bottle of Atholl Brose daily. (A wee dram to taste daily (after stirring) to check on progress is the cook's reward).
Cranachan is another Scottish dessert. This one also sounds great and thanks to Colette and Wikipedia we have the information:-
"Cranachan (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈkʰɾanəxan]) is a traditional Scottish dessert. In more modern times it is usually made from a mixture of whipped cream, whiskey, honey and fresh raspberries topped with toasted oatmeal. Earlier recipes used crowdie cheese rather than (or as well as) cream, and were sometimes called cream-crowdie.
A traditional way to serve cranachan is to bring dishes of each ingredient to the table, so that each person can assemble their dessert to taste. Tall dessert glasses are also of typical presentation.
It was originally a summer dish and often consumed around harvest time, but is now more likely to be served all year round at weddings and on special occasions. A variant dish was ale-crowdie, consisting of ale, treacle and whisky with the oatmeal - served at a wedding with a ring in the mixture: whoever got the ring would be the next to marry."
I can't wait for this African / Scottish wedding if this weekend was anything to go by.