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Outlanderday Cooking: A bit of Rarebit!

Ahhhh Well, here we are on the final episode of this first half the season of Outlander… feeling a wee bit sad about that and the fact that it will be a verra long wait till spring when they return to us! I have gotten used to this little routine of Outlanderday cooking, and apparently so have some others in my home? There was a rather disappointed question from one of them recently…”So, does this mean you won’t be cooking on Saturdays, we were just getting used to it!” Well, not wanting to disappoint my family, and also not wanting to give up this new routine… I want to reassure all that I will still do some form of Outlander Cooking on Saturdays! There are, after all, quite a few books and Novellas that cover a wide variety of cooking styles! Theresa over at Outlanderkitchen.com  has so many recipes and ideas that I am quite sure I can keep us well fed until Spring.  When I mentioned this there was a sigh of relief… I’m thinking it was more because they were worried that I might try the more ancient medieval cooking of the Vikings with their return in January! Rest easy, I am not going to force those meals upon us, well not right now anyway? I may explore some of the more ancient styles and methods of cooking but am really not sure I’m up to actually eating them! For one thing, I do not have the required cooking utensils?

Viking food supplies

Viking food supplies

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

 

So, I do believe that I shall leave the Viking cooking to these more qualified women!

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I think I will join Lagertha on her quest instead!

http://www.history.com/shows/Vikings

104,_Lagertha_et_al

Ummmm and just in case anyone is wondering… I will follow Rollo (Clive Standen) where he chooses to go? Hopefully he will take me to France this year? Before Scottish Highlanders, there were Viking Warriors!

Clive Standen as Rollo Clive Stanton as Rollo

 

Ohhhh ummmm ahhhh where was I? So sorry for that minor lapse and digression from our  topic, I just got carried away with daydreams of Rollo! Now, back to our current subject, Outlanderday Cooking!

 

Since tonight is the finale and of course this also a marathon to watch, I really do not want to be stuck in the kitchen all day? Because of that, I am going as usual with Theresa’s most excellent suggestion for tonight’s meal. She suggests Scottish Rarebit   http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/24/scottish-rarebit-outlander-starz-episode-108/ and I agree with her choice!  As a child, we often ate a version of this, though we referred to it as Whelsh Rarebit? I remember once asking my Father why it was called Rarebit and his response was “Well, because back in the old days, if you were lucky there might be a rare bit of meat but probably not?” He did explain too that it was also called Whelsh Rabbit and this was what you eat when you didn’t snare the rabbit!

welshrarebit

Alright, Dad’s explanations and jokes aside, here is a definition of Whelsh Rarebit:

Welsh rarebit (spelling based on folk etymology) or Welsh rabbit  is a dish made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and served hot, after being poured over slices (or other pieces) of toasted bread, or the hot cheese sauce may be served in a chafing dish like a fondue, accompanied by sliced, toasted bread.  The names of the dish originate from 18th-century Great Britain.  Welsh rarebit is typically made with Cheddar cheese, in contrast to the Continental European fondue, which classically depends on Swiss cheeses.   Various recipes for Welsh rarebit include the addition of ale, mustard, ground cayenne pepper or ground paprika  and Worcestershire sauce. The sauce may also be made by blending cheese and mustard into a Béchamel sauce[ or Mornay sauce. Some recipes for Welsh rarebit have become textbook savoury dishes listed by culinary authorities including Escoffier, Saulnier  and others, who tend to use the form Welsh rarebit, emphasising that it is not a meat dish.

 

I like Theresa’s reasoning for this type of meal in some tribute to Frank Randall, who is now a bachelor busy trying to find his lost wife and too busy or frustrated to put a lot of focus or attention into meal preparation?

Outlander_Cast_Frank_420x560 claire and frank8 Frank Randall OUT_108-20140518-EM_0812.jpg

I am in somewhat the same circumstances tonight… my usual dinner and viewing partners have deserted me and it will be just me at a table for one tonight. It’s also my Dad’s Birthday.  Though he’s been gone now for 20 years, there are so many times,  like yesterday when I read the Rarebit suggestion at Outlanderkitchen.com, that he shows up looking over my shoulder and I have to smile with him at his jokes! So, it felt somewhat fitting to make the Rarebit for him tonight.

 

Here are a few old versions of the simple recipe!

Recipes for rarebit

 

The version we used to eat was more like this?

welshrarebit2 welsh rarebit

 

Besides the recipe posted on Outlanderkitchen.com, I have found a few others that are similar to what I grew up eating.

The Pioneer Woman website has a great explanation and recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/09/welsh-rarebit/

Foodnetwork’s Alton Brown also has an excellent version! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/welsh-rarebit-recipe.html

 

From Traditional Scottish Recipes:

http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_toasted.htm

Traditional Scottish Recipes

 – Toasted Cheese

More usually associated with the Welsh than the Scots, Toasted Cheese is also called Welsh Rarebit.

Before the days of grills and modern cookers, the cheese was melted in front of the fire and bread was toasted on both sides with butter spread on one side and the melted cheese poured on top. Sometimes beer, pepper and salt were mixed with the cheese.

In 1747 a cookery book gave a recipe for “Scots Rabbit” or Rare Bit as bread toasted on both sides and a slice of cheese, the same size as the bread, also toasted on both sides and laid on the buttered bread. The same book had “Welsh Rabbit” made in the same way but with mustard rubbed on the cheese. “English Rabbit” on the other hand had a glass of red wine poured over the toast before the cheese was added. Take your pick!

 

 

 

I purchased some Artisan Cheddar Cheese Garlic bread, which I will use for the toast, and I also have added some meat to my menu! In honor of my Dad, because he loved his bacon so much, I got some bacon ends and pieces to fry up along with it! Now, it will be a table for two in front of the television tonight… Dad and I will enjoy the dinner and the show together. I know he would actually like the show because he was a huge fan of history!

Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/outlander-both-sides-preview/

Previous Outlanderday cooking: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/outlanderday-cooking-wine-and-wedding-feasts/

 

 

 

Outlanderday Cooking: Wine and Wedding feasts!

First of all, before we discuss any other cooking or dining plans for this evening’s episode, I want to try to answer a question one of my followers left me. She wanted to know whether Colum’s wine goblets were available for purchase anywhere? Well, I had to go in search of them after that! Alas, I was not able to find the exact goblets- I am quite certain that Colum probably had his specially crafted just for his table! I did however find a number of other beautiful goblets and glasses on my search and will share them with you!

 

Outlander wine goblets

Why is their Rhenish wine not white post:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/outlander-why-is-their-rhenish-wine-not-white/

Colum and Claire enjoying the Rhenish wine

 

Now, unfortunately for Claire, she will be celebrating her Wedding feast at a local tavern/Inn and not at Colum’s fine table… or at a well set Sassenach one either.

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If she were celebrating her Wedding feast under more suitable and appropriate circumstances, she would of course enjoy some of the treasured Rhenish Wine and perhaps she might have received some of her own exquisite goblets to set a future table with?  Here are just a few examples of such elegant Wine ware that I found!

 

 

claret-jug-plinth

Pitcher/Decanter to serve the Rhenish Wine from!

Jacobite wine goblets

Jacobite Wine Goblets, found on my search… unfortunately no link to their maker or other information was available.

Celtic wine goblet

Celtic Wine Goblet, one of many available at http://graemeanthonypewter.com.au/pages/products.asp?ID=2

 

 

Celtic Wedding Hock Wine Goblets

Celtic Wedding Hock Wine Goblets from: http://www.basil-ltd.com/page/137256204

 

These next three were all found on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=medieval+wine+goblets&rh=n%3A1055398%2Ck%3Amedieval+wine+goblets

pewter wine goblet at amazon gold wine goblets from amazon etched wine glasses

 

Update! If you still can’t find that perfect glass or goblet, I suggest you try searching here!

https://www.google.com/search?q=BALUSTER+GOBLET&rlz=1C1JPGB_enUS603US603&espv=2&biw=1327&bih=771&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=DCUvVJ3_HoGuyASZi4GwCg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg

 

Ahhhhh and now that such dreaming is out of the way, Claire will have to just be happy that she has been found a clean dress to wear! And, tis a truly pretty one at that! Thank Heavens for Ned Gowen!

Outlander wedding dress first look

 

As to her Wedding feast, well it most likely be what ever the Inn is serving tonight, which we understand is roast beef, fresh bread and plenty of Ale to wash it all down! I’ve heard that Jamie might possibly be able to procure some better tasting wine for them to celebrate with privately? We’ll have to see if he has any luck on that!

 

We will be joining in the celebration and will feast on the same fare everyone else at the Inn tonight!  Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com has provided us with an excellent recipe for roast beef so we shall attempt that!

http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/03/11/roast-beef-for-a-wedding-feast-from-outlander/

sliced-beef-copy rubbed-roast-copy

 

I am going to experiment a bit with the roast though. I have a very small beef roast and am going to try something with it? I’ve done this in the past and it turned out delicious so I am going to try it again and combine it with the rest of Theresa’s recipe?  What I will do is very carefully open the roast so it is a flat piece of meat, then spread an herbed goat cheese mixture over it and roll it back up, tying it once I am finished. After that process, I will go on with Theresa’s recipe! I will provide pictures and results in an update post later tonight… hopefully? If I am not too teary eyed and wine sloshed from the whole Wedding event!

 

Other posts related to the upcoming Wedding!

Thousand kisses poem: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/outlander-poetry-out-of-catallus-by-richard-Crashaw/

Dunvegan Castle is included in the Wedding plans and invitations! https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/dunvegan-castle-recieves-an-odd-correspondance-and-invitation/

Preview of tonight’s episode: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/outlander-marriage-of-convenience-and-other-things/

Outlanderday Cooking: Comfort food!

Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/outlander-musings-and-preview-of-episode-6/

 

OUT_106-20140414-ND_0187.jpg

Tonight’s episode, The Garrison Commander, brings us the evil that lurks within men’s souls and the darkness of Black Jack Randall’s heart and mind. In order to get through this episode, you will most likely need much strong spirits and some soothing comfort food to ease your own heart and soul!

 

The British feast on fine dining fare while others would have no appetite while wondering what their personal fates might be?

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Because I am anxiously awaiting this episode with much trepidation and some fear, I am going with some food that I am sure will comfort me.  I have not planned some awesome or elegant feast for this evening but rather have decided on a simple dish of comfort food that gives me a fond memory of home and childhood. I grew up in Minnesota, which some consider the original home of the Hotdish and potluck… Green bean casserole and Tater Tot Hot dish!  Well, fortunately for us, the Scots and the Sassenachs did have a form of this comfort food.  Sheperd’s Pie or Cottage Pie was it.  Of course, during early years, while the Sassenachs may have had potatoes, many of the Highlanders might not have had them. They might have used the usual replacement fare of mashed turnips instead, or put a pastry crust atop of it?  For our purposes, we do have access to potatoes so we will use them!  The difference between Sheperd’s Pie and Cottage Pie is the meat used for the dish. Sheperd’s pie uses minced lamb while Cottage Pie uses beef for the filling. 

 

 

shepard-pie shepherds-pie-2

I am trying to keep note of what they may or may not have had available during this early time period when researching recipes. I have found a number of recipes for the Sheperd’s or Cottage Pie and need to note here that these recipes all use a few items that probably would not have been used during the 1740’s. They most likely would have had some form of this dish but one ingredient listed in the recipes would not have been used by the majority of common folk.

History of the tomato in Britain

Tomatoes were not grown in England until the 1590s.  One of the earliest cultivators was John Gerard, a barber-surgeon.   Gerard’s Herbal, published in 1597, and largely plagiarized from continental sources,  is also one of the earliest discussions of the tomato in England. Gerard knew the tomato was eaten in Spain and Italy.  Nonetheless, he believed it was poisonous (in fact, the plant and raw fruit do have low levels of tomatine, but are not generally dangerous). Gerard’s views were influential, and the tomato was considered unfit for eating (though not necessarily poisonous) for many years in Britain and its North American colonies.   By the mid-18th century, tomatoes were widely eaten in Britain, and before the end of that century, the Encyclopædia Britannica stated the tomato was “in daily use” in soups, broths, and as a garnish. They were not part of the average person’s diet, however, and though by 1820 they were described as “to be seen in great abundance in all our vegetable markets” and to be “used by all our best cooks”, reference was made to their cultivation in gardens still “for the singularity of their appearance”, while their use in cooking was associated with Italian or Jewish cuisine.

 

With that little fact of the tomato noted, I will still use the bit of tomato paste called for in the recipes. If you wanted to omit the tomato, you could leave it out and go with more of a meat gravy option instead?  I am providing you with two versions of the recipe that I’ve found. The first, of course, is the one from Outlanderkitchen.com! Sheperd’s Pie from Echo in the Bone: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/04/16/shepherds-pie-from-an-echo-in-the-bone/. 

 

The other recipe is from Traditional  Scottish Recipes: http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_shepherd.htm

Shepherd’s Pie

In a land where sheep were a main food supply, it is not surprising that mutton and lamb form the basis of many Scottish dishes. Here is the traditional “Shepherd’s Pie” – the variant based on beef is usually called “Cottage Pie”.


Ingredients:
Minced lamb – 450g (1 lb)
Potatoes – 700g (1½ lb)
Large onion
Mushrooms – 50g (2 oz)
Bay leaf
2 Carrots
Plain flour – 25g (1 oz)
Tomato puree – 1 tbsp
Butter – 25g (1 oz)
Milk – 4 tbsp
Lamb or beef stock – 300ml (½ pint)
Cheese – 50g (2 oz)

Method:
Dry fry the lamb with the chopped onion, bay leaf, sliced mushrooms and diced carrots for 8-10 minutes. Add the flour and stir for a minute. Slowly blend in the stock and tomato puree. Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and boils. Cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Remove the bayleaf and place in a 1.7 litre (3 pint) ovenproof serving dish.

At the same time, cook the potatoes in boiling water for 20 minutes until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and milk and mix well. Spread on top of the mince mixture and sprinkle over with the grated cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 200C/400F (Gas Mark 6). Serve hot with green vegetables.

 

I am going to use the ground beef as lamb is far too expensive for my limited budget!  As I already mentioned, I will use the tomato paste, and I am going to use the parmesan cheese  potato topping that Theresa suggests, courtesy of Chef Gordon Ramsay… I will just cross my fingers and be glad that he won’t be inspecting my version and evicting me from his kitchen! No, they would not have used parmesan cheese either, but it sounds delicious and I do love Parmesan cheese so we will splurge on this luxury! One slight change to the recipe is that I will add some peas to the filling because that is the way we are used to having our Cottage Pie! Hmmmm is Gordon already cringing at my hotdish?!  Acchhh Gordon, just be happy that I’ve not chosen to top it with Tater Tots!

gordon-ramsay2

 

Ahhhh Now, our main meal is set, an all in one easy to accomplish hearty dish that will make us feel warm and full of love in contrast to the cold hatred of Black Jack Randall! One other thing that is a true comfort food for many is the traditional Apple pie. Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com has an excellent recipe for it here, Governor Tryon’s Humble Crumble Pie:  http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/08/29/governor-tryons-humble-crumble-apple-pie/

Dutch apple pie Dutch Apple Pie2

 

I am in agreement with Theresa on preferring  crumble topping rather than the two crust pie. I am going to make a slight variation on her recipe though as I am not really fond of the nuts in the topping. So, I will leave those out and replace them with some toasted oatmeal sprinkles instead.  I am going to top it with some fresh whipped cream instead of Ice Cream.

 

Since our dinner for tonight is fairly simple and does not require a great deal of advance preparation, I had time this morning to make a trip to my favorite place to shop.  Normally, grocery stores and grocery shopping are pretty low on my list of enjoyable activities… but one exception is a visit to my favorite market, Berkeley Bowl! 

http://www.berkeleybowl.com/

Berkeley Bowl Market Berkeley Bowl

 

This is one market place that I truly find enjoyable, even if I have little cash or don’t really need much!  I love just wandering through there and seeing the glorious wide variety of food stuffs that they offer, at fairly reasonable prices too. It’s one of those places that you can find just about anything you might need from any culture or region of the world… the only down side is of course, you always seem to find something that you realize you must have or try once seeing it there! It has a homey, comfortable feel to it and the staff is always helpful and friendly.  The majority of their fresh produce, meats and dairy products are all local so it makes you feel good about your purchases too.  They offer everything from fresh organic produce, an on site Butcher- though the ground lamb was still a bit too expensive for me to consider it this time, a great dairy section where I can find such things as the fresh cream… or even simpler, a jar of Clotted Cream. For those who are not quite so adventurous in their cooking skills or their time limits, they have a fantastic Deli with wide selections of pre-packaged meals and foods. What I love the most about them is the fact that their selections of food items are wide enough to enable one to do all of their shopping there even on a limited budget. This is in contrast to say, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s where it ends up extremely expensive for a family on any sort tight budget do all of their shopping at that store.

 

I always find a few extra splurges to try on my trips there and today was no exception to that! Today’s splurges were:

Organic butter with sea salt in a nice ceramic crock for future uses! McClelland’s Dairy is a local dairy here.

wpid-20140913_132451.jpg

 

Some fresh made scones from a local Bakery, SconeHenge. Yes, I could have baked my own… but sometimes it’s just a treat to get the pre-made ones and these are soooo good! Along with these, I also picked up an Artisan flat load of herb bread which tastes wonderful with the fresh butter and a little spread of herbed goat cheese which I also picked up today!

wpid-20140913_132517.jpg

 

The scones taste delightful with these two additions!  The clotted cream is a British import but the fruit spread is from a local grower!

wpid-20140913_132725.jpg

 

wpid-20140913_132817.jpg

The last splurge for the day was my daughter’s idea.  She and my son enjoyed the Cider I bought a while ago so much that she decided to try another one!

wpid-20140913_132605.jpg

 

Now, it’s time to go enjoy the afternoon and get ready for the evening’s viewing. We’re all prepared now for what ever depravity and darkness Black Jack Randall throws at us tonight. We will survive and console ourselves with the comfort food!  I hope you’ve enjoyed the kitchen today and the shopping excursion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander: Rent and cheese!

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Achhhhh It’s time to pay the rent in the highlands of  Scotland and ye best have your payment ready when Dougal arrives to collect it this week! He has a war to fund and will not be lookin kindly upon ye if ye can not pay your share! Dinna fash though, because he does understand how difficult cold hard coin is to come by in these days so he will accept other things in payment? Do ye have a spare goat around? He’ll take the goat, or perhaps some chickens, some eggs… if ye have a pig, you’d best be slaughtering it ahead of time though and offering him the meat instead because he’ll not be taking any live pigs! Now, do not be thinking you can play on his emotions and makin him feel sorry for your poor circumstances either. Rent is rent and it needs to be paid in some form or another. If your baby is in need of the goat’s milk, ye best not be trading the goat because a deal is a deal and he’ll not be giving it back even if the Sassenach, Claire does her share of pleading for you!

 

 

Hmmmm… You could probably pay your rent with some wool that you’ve made as well? But, it’s a verra hard and sort of nasty process, that wool making, it is… and if ye haven’t made it yet, ye will na have time to get it done before Dougal arrives tomorrow for the rent money?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wool

OUT_105-20140401-EM_0649.jpg Outlander 2014

 

Now, since ye don’t have time for the wool making, and ye’re thinking twice about trading the goat what with the baby crying for milk and all… I have a solution?  It’s a well known fact that Dougal will accept cheese as part of the rent payment! What, cheese, ye say- We don’t have time to tryin that, that must surely be takin much longer to do than even the wool?  Achhhh, that’s where you’re wrong! We can whip up some fine Crowdie Cheese in less time than it takes to catch and slaughter the pig… and a bit less mess to it all as well!

Crowdie is a Scottish  cheese, or the term less often refers to a type of brose (an uncooked porridge).

The cheese is often eaten with oatcakes and recommended before a ceilidh as it is said to alleviate the effects of whisky drinking. The texture is soft and crumbly, the taste slightly sour. Like cottage cheese it is very low in fat, being made from skimmed milk.

A version of crowdie known as “Black Crowdie” or “Gruth Dhu” is made by rolling crowdie in a mixture of pinhead oatmeal and crushed black peppercorns.

                              A céilidh or ceilidh /ˈkli/ is a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing. It originated from Ireland and Scotland, but is now common throughout the Scottish and Irish diasporas. In Scottish Gaelic it is spelt cèilidh (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈkʲʰeːli]), and in Irish it is spelt céilí (Irish pronunciation: [ˈkeːlʲiː]).

 

Well, then, that is we’ll do… we’ll make some fine Crowdie Cheese for the rent payment! We’ll toss in some Scotch eggs as well as long as we’re cooking and maybe we’ll be offering him and his traveling group some nice warm scones as well? We’ll most likely have to give up a few chickens and possibly some of the pig that we butchered to cover the rest of the rent payment, but at least this way, we’ll manage to hold on to our prized and precious goat!

Crowdie-Cheese-Copy

 

crowdie cheese cheese cake

Crowdie Cheese Cheesecake!

crowdie cheese

Pre-packaged Crowdie Cheese

We’ll be using the recipe that Theresa has provided for us at Outlanderkitchen.com: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/03/homemade-crowdie-cheese-outlander-starz-episode-105/  Ahhhh Bless her soul, isn’t she the life saver for us as usual! She also has recipes for the Scotch eggs: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/09/24/scotch-eggs-from-an-echo-in-the-bone/, and a recipe for the scones as well! http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/03/03/mrs-grahams-oatmeal-scones-with-clotted-cream/.  An added note here, I really wanted to try the clotted cream recipe but can not find the right cream for it. It must be the not ultra-pasteurized type and I was not able to find this on my shopping trip!  I am a bit disappointed because I did so want to try it!
caboc_grande

Now, we being the poorer folk who have to  scrape together our meager resources for that rent payment, we canna afford the luxury taste of a somewhat better quality of cheese offering? Crowdie Cheese is considered the poor folk’s cheese. There is a far better one that the much finer folk might consume? That would be Caboc Cheese.

Caboc is a Scottish cream cheese, made with double cream or cream-enriched milk. This rennet-free cheese is formed into a log shape and rolled in toasted pinhead, to be served with oatcakes or dry ttoast.

The texture is smooth, slightly thicker and grainier than clotted cream, while the colour is a pale primrose yellow. The fat content is typically 67-69%, which is comparable with rich continental cream cheeses such as mascarpone. Historically, it was a cheese for the wealthy, unlike the similarly-aged Crowdie, which is made from the by-products of skimming cream from milk and thus is considered a poor man’s cheese.

Caboc is Scotland’s oldest cheese, dating from the 15th century in the Scottish Highlands. The cheese was first made by Mariota de Ile, the daughter of the chieftain of the Clan MacDonald of the Isles. At 12 years old, Mariota was in danger of being abducted by the Clan Cambell, who planned to marry her to one of their own and seize her lands. Mariota escaped to Ireland, where she learned how to make cheese. On her return, she passed the recipe to her daughter, who in turn passed it onto her daughter. The recipe is still a secret and has been handed down from mother to daughter ever since. The  present maker is Mrs Suzannah Stone of Tain, who works with a team of eight local women and her cheese is sold under the seal of Highland Fine Cheeses Ltd.

According to legend, the tradition of coating Caboc in oatmeal started as an accident. A cattle herder stored the day’s cheese in a box which he had used to carry his oatcakes earlier that day. Apparently, the oatmeal-coated cheese was enjoyed so much that from that day, Caboc has been made with an oaten coating.

 

Scotch Eggs:

A Scotch egg consists of a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage  meat, coated in bread crumbs and baked or deep-fried The London department store, Fortnum & Mason  claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738,  but they may have been inspired by the Moghul dish nargisi kofta (“Narcissus meatballs”).  The earliest printed recipe appears in the 1809 edition of Mrs. Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery. Mrs. Rundell—and later 19th-century authors—served them hot, with gravy.

Scotch Eggs

 

 

I surely do hope that Dougal is satisfied with our rent payments… I would hate for to be on the bad side of him!

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Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/outlander-mystery-man-at-the-gathering/

 

Ahhhh So excited! Crowdie Cheese is a success! Thanks so much to Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com! http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/03/homemade-crowdie-cheese-outlander-starz-episode-105/

I followed her recipe exactly right down to the time increments and had no problems with any of it. It even yielded a bit more than I expected it would,  but  probably not nearly enough to pay all of the rent payment? Hmmm ummm perhaps Dougal and I could come to some sort of personal and private agreement on making up the difference?  While that young lad, Jamie is a sight to behold, he’s bit young for me… and besides, he is obviously smitten with that white witch Sassenach woman. I think I would be tryin my luck with Dougal?  I’ve heard rumors though about that other witch, Geillis Duncan havin her eyes on him, and that woman be putting a mighty fear in me?

Outlander 2014

 

Ohhhh ummm yes, so sorry for that bit of frightful dreaming! Now, where was I? Ahhh yes, back to the Crowdie Cheese and comin up with the rent payment?

 

As I said, I followed the recipe and instructions exactly, but did use some of her added suggestions and tips. I used fresh lemon juice rather than vinegar. There was a comment on Theresa’s site where someone had a bit of difficulty with the amount of curd. This poster mentioned that she returned drained whey to heat and added a touch more of the vinegar. So, using that information, I made sure to heat the milk to called for temperature. I used thermometer for the process even though Theresa mentioned it was not absolutely necessary.  It worked perfect!

This is the consistency when I turned off heat at specified heating time.

 

Curds and whey

Curds and whey

Straining into the cheese cloth

 

Straining mixture into cheese cloth

Straining mixture into cheese cloth

 

 

Strained cheese

Strained cheese

Hanging cheese for 30 minutes

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Removing the cheese from cheese cloth

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Adding salt and cream, finished product! Just a note here- I used the 1/2 tsp of salt as called for but it was just bit too much? I added more cream at this point, and will probably add just a touch more cream before adding some additional herb seasonings for serving later tonight with some Cheddar Scones!

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Outlander: After the Gathering

Just a quick post to recap tonight’s episode! I need to make it rather brief because the Atholl Brose and the Rhenish wine have taken their toll on me! I am feeling a bit like Angus right now…

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Atholl Brose with Cranachan!

Atholl Brose with Cranachan!

Angus

 

Before we go on with the update, I just want to say that our dinner feast was a success! The only minor glitch was the Clapshot Rosti… it tasted great but turned out more like hashbrowns than potato pancakes?!

For the recipes you can see the previous post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/outlander-the-gathering-and-some-shinty/

Pork tenderloins with Clapshot Rosti and parsnips crisps

Pork tenderloins with Clapshot Rosti and parsnips crisps

 

Dessert was Cranachan. I did make some slight alteration on the recipe, used mixed berry sauce rather than fresh raspberries because that’s what I had in the fridge! Rather than individual servings, I put it all together in large serving dish. My one mistake with it was making the whipped cream too early ahead of time- reminder to self and others, this is not really a do ahead dish! It still tasted wonderful though!

 

Cranachan

Cranachan

 

Ok, now that Dinner is out of the way, Let’s move on to the more important matters… Not that the feasting isn’t important, but we all know that the most important part of this gathering is The Gathering, and all of those who attended!

First let’s see a few of the out of town guests… Herself, Diana Gabaldon made an appearance as Iona. Sadly, Iona was snubbed and insulted by Mrs. Fitz? It must have been some personal argument or disagreement between them that lasted for years. Iona’s family must be experiencing some monetary hardships as Mrs. Fitz quite rudely pointed out how nice her dress was again, wasn’t it the same she wore to the last gathering? The last Gathering of the Clan MacKenzie took place 20 years ago so Mrs. Fitz must have an excellent memory and hold a long grudge!

Diana at Castle Leoch

 

Our esteemed creator of the show also put in an appearance! I didn’t catch a name for him though! You look marvelous, Ron Moore!

Ron Moore cameo

 

There was one other out of town guest wandering about and I am curious as to he was? Certainly not one of the Clan members, dressed the way he was and resembling much more of a Sassenach… I have my suspicions about him and his identity. His name was not mentioned and he was not introduced, but I am thinking perhaps he is the Duke of Sandringham? If I remember correctly from the book, he was visiting the Castle at the time of the Gathering?

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Colum MacKenzie made his grand entrance to the Gathering and showed the importance and seriousness of the event by shaving for it! Wow.. what a difference a shave makes?!

Outlander_Cast_Gary Lewis and Colum MacKenzie Colum Mackenzie at the gathering Outlander 2014

 

There was a long line of men waiting to swear their oaths of allegiance to Colum and the MacKenzie Clan. Dougal, of course was first in line as proper and appropriate for him as we know that he is the other half of  Colum!

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Did I mention how long the line was? Angus had plenty of time to drink Claire’s stash while he was waiting around.

Angus

 

Claire had a plan in mind to escape but as quite often the case with her plans, it went quite awry and caused some difficulties… such as almost being knifed by Jamie!

 

Jamie with a knife

Due to Claire’s failed attempt at escaping, she caused even more problems for Jamie! Ahhhh Claire, he gets into enough trouble on his own, he doesn’t need your help to find it!  Luckily, Jamie is quick witted and a charmer with that boyish smile of his… also, lucky that Colum likes him and doesn’t really enjoy the thought of having to kill him. No, that would be Dougal’s idea more so than Colum’s! Anyway, Jamie managed to salvage the situation of the oath taking by making his play on words… “I promise to obey you as long as I am on your lands…”

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Once the Oath taking was finished, it was time for the fun to start? If you could consider a Boar hunt as fun… Claire just did not seem to understand or take seriously the danger of  wild boars.  After all, what harm could a pig cause? Ummmm Claire, Really- what did you think a boar was? She of course realized her mistake rather quickly once she encountered the animal chasing her down! 

Claire in the Boar hunt

Yes, of course it’s all fun and games until you make a boar mad and he attacks! There was much seriousness when one of the hunters was mortally wounded and even Claire could not save him. Dougal showed his emotions and later gave his thanks to Claire for her help with the dying man. A rather unsteady truce was set between them after that.

 

On returning from the unfortunate Boar hunt, the men threw themselves into a different sort of battle, but not much less dangerous than a Boar hunt. It was time for a no holds barred, no rules, last man standing wins game of Shinty! I have to admit, this is one of my favorite scenes of the episode!

 

Once again, Claire showed a slight lack of understanding with her comment of “That’s not really fair, is it?” Rubert could not even come with an answer for her on that one other than to shake his head at her ridiculous question!

Rubert and Claire watching shinty

Ohhhh, by the way, Jamie appeared to be the last man standing as he knocked Dougal to the ground, smiled and said, “I learned from you!”

 

 

 

 

Outlanderday Cooking: Atholl Brose Experiment!

Previous Outlander Post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/outlander-the-gathering-and-some-shinty/

 

Earlier this morning, my daughter peered into a bowl of oats soaking in water,  gave me a very skeptical look and commented, “What do you plan on doing with this mess?” This look was much the same sort she gave me last night when she spied the bottle of Whisky on the counter! We are not normally Whisky drinkers so this was a highly unusual purchase on my part. I told her I needed it for a recipe and she gave me an even more suspicious look. I am pretty sure she might be very concerned about our dinner menu for tonight? While she is a devoted Outlander fan, she is not so sure we should delve quite so deeply into the food offerings… though, she was reasonably impressed with the Bannocks. Her response to the Bannocks was, “Well, those aren’t nearly so bad as I thought they might be” as she helped herself to another one!

oats in water

 

As suspicious as she is with the Atholl Brose and the Whisky, I think I will keep the turnips a secret until after she’s eaten the Clapshot Rosti later this evening…

 

For now, we’ll just focus on the Atholl Brose experiment!  I found the inspirational recipe for this drink at Outlanderkitchen.com: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/08/20/atholl-brose-outlander-starz-episode-103/

 

Atholl Brose (or Athol Brose, Athole Brose) is a Scottish drink obtained by mixing oatmeal brose, honey, whisky, and sometimes cream (particularly on festive occasions). When made with cream the drink is rather like Baileys Irish Cream. Atholl Brose has also become an alternative name for the dessert Cranachan, which uses similar ingredients.

According to legend, the drink is named after the 1st Earl of Atholl, who quashed a Highland rebellion in 1475 by filling the rebel leader’s well with the mixture, making him easily captured.

 

I was a bit leery of trying this recipe mainly because as I’ve mentioned, none of us are Whisky drinkers. When I read the comparison to Bailey’s though, I was interested in trying it.  Initially, I did even debate on using something other than Whisky in it. While out shopping, I found some Dewar’s Highland Honey Whisky, and decided to give the Whisky a try.

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I did follow Theresa’s recipe for the most part and only made a few minor changes to it.  The first step is soaking the rolled oats in water overnight to make Oat Milk.  I used a suggestion for creamier milk mixture by putting the oats and water in the blender and pulsing it for about 10 seconds. After that process, strain the oats out by squeezing the mixture through cheese cloth or muslin.  Throw out the leftover oat pulp, unless you can find some other use for it? You will add your whisky and honey to the saved milk, blend it together with whisk.  I only used 1/2 cup of Whisky rather than full cup as I wasn’t sure about the whisky taste yet.  I used a Cinnamon Vanilla Creamer instead of regular cream, and added a bit more of it to make up for the lesser amount of Whisky. 

I used cheese cloth to line my strainer and then just squeezed out the rest of the milk/water from with my hands.

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Once you’ve mixed everything together, put it in the fridge to chill before drinking. I did taste test it before putting it in the fridge for later and it was quite good! My only thoughts on my experiment with this is that by using the Creamer, it is a little thin? I think I will add a bit of heavy cream to it before serving… and maybe a splash more of the Whisky! After tasting it, I am kind of wishing I would have made a double recipe of it!

 

You can serve it with or without the cream added. This picture shows both options!

Atholl Brose with and without creme

 

Outlander: The Gathering and some Shinty!

 

 

Preparing for tomorrow’s episode of Outlander: The Gathering!

 

The men of Castle Leoch enjoy a game of Shinty! I love this video, waited all afternoon to find a link to it for you! It kind of reminds me of  my youth watching friends play their own battle field version of Rugby! But, then I was raised on Hockey, so I do enjoy a good bit of bloodsport every now and then!  I wonder if they played the Shinty before or after the Boar hunting?! What a day, I hope Mrs. Fitz is well prepared with food and drink for everyone!

 

Shinty (Scottish Gaelic: camanachd, iomain) is a team game  played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands, and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland, but it was formerly more widespread, being once competitively played on a widespread basis in England  and other areas in the world where Scottish Highlanders migrated.

While comparisons are often made with field hockey,, the two games have several important differences. In shinty, a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and is allowed to use both sides of the stick, called a caman, which is wooden and slanted on both sides. The stick may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent’s stick, a practice called hacking. Players may also tackle using the body as long as it is shoulder-to-shoulder.

 

Shinty is older than the recorded history of Scotland. It is thought to predate Christianity, having come to Scotland with the Gaels from Ireland.   Hurling, which is a similar game to shinty, is derived from the historic game common to both peoples which has been a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years.   Shinty/Hurling appears prominently in the legend of Cúchulainn, the Celtic mythology hero.   A similar game was played on the Isle of Man known as cammag, a name cognate with camanachd. The old form of hurling played in the northern half of Ireland, called “commons”, resembled shinty more closely than the standardised form of hurling of today. Like shinty, it was commonly known as camánacht and was traditionally played in winter.

The origins of the name shinty are uncertain. There is a theory that the name was derived from the cries used in the game; shin ye, shin you and shin t’ye, other dialect names were shinnins, shinnack and shinnup,[8] or as Hugh Dan MacLennan proposes from the Scottish Gaelic sìnteag.   However, there was never one all encompassing name for the game, as it held different names from glen to glen, including cluich-bhall (play-ball in English) and in the Scottish Lowlands, where it was formerly referred to as Hailes, common/cammon (caman), cammock (from Scottish Gaelic  camag), knotty and various other names, as well as the terms still used to refer to it in modern Gaelic, camanachd or iomain.

The game was traditionally played through the winter months, with New Year’s Day being the day when whole villages would gather together to play games featuring teams of up to several hundred a side, players often using any piece of wood with a hook as a caman. In Uist, stalks of seaweed were put to use due to a lack of trees. Modern camans are made from several laminates of ash or hickory, which are glued and cut into shape, although one-piece camans were still commonplace until the early 1980s. The ball was traditionally a round piece of wood or bone, sometimes called a cnapag, but soon developed into the worsted leather balls used today.

 

Besides the Shinty and the Boar hunting, one should not forget just how important the Clan Gathering was in other respects. This was the time for all of the Clan’s members to meet, discuss and make decisions for the entire Clan.  I previously did some research on the Scottish Clan system for my own story and I will share it again here as it might help you to understand a bit better just how their Clan system worked.  The following link will take you to my post on the history of Scottish Clans. Some of the information is general, and the other part of it is an explanation of the clan history relating to my work on Dunvegan Castle and Clan MacCleod.

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/from-the-creator-some-history-of-clans-in-Scotland/

 

The upcoming Clan gathering for the MacKenzie is a crucial turning point for Jamie because he will be forced to make a decision regarding his membership and allegiance to the Clan MacKenzie. I am not going to say anything else on this point out of consideration to  those who have not read the books! There are a number of viewers who have not read the books and I don’t want to add too many spoilers here for them!

 

Now, as to my own preparations for the upcoming Gathering, I am taking it all quite seriously… as well we should!  I spent much of last night and today working on the Feasting menu. Much thanks of course, to Theresa and her Outlanderkitchen.com!  Her menu suggestion for this week’s episode can be found here: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/08/27/roasted-pork-tenderloin-cider-pan-gravy-neeps-tatties/ .  I have made a few slight adjustments to it in regards to my own menu. She suggested roast pork tenderloin, but I will be substituting some of our favorite pork bellies from Trader Joe’s!  I do still plan to glaze them with the Cider sauce though.

 

Haaaaa, For some one who seldom drinks anymore, this cooking adventure is causing me to once again stock my shelves with Alcohol… Today’s purchases in preparation for Tomorrow’s feasting! The Cider is for the Cider sauce, the Whisky is for the Atholl Brose- which can also be found at Outlanderkitchen.com  http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/08/20/atholl-brose-outlander-starz-episode-103/  and the wine is the Rhenish Red that I plan to taste test!

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Along with the porkbellies and Cider sauce, we will be trying some Clapshot Rosti  (clapshot is what you get when you mix potatoes and turnips together! Our family is not so fond of the neeps alone) and some Parsnip Crisps.  I could not resist the parsnip crisps as they reminded me of my childhood.  Those recipes can be found here at BBC Food Recipes:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/loinofvenisonwithabl_87331

 

As I mentioned, I will also be attempting the Atholl Brose recipe even though I am not a fan of Whisky… I know, I know, I should probably be banished from the Castle for that!  I did find the Dewar’s Highlander Honey and am hoping that this will improve upon the whisky taste?  One other thing I am going to try is, a version Cranachan, a Scottish dessert.

You can find information and a recipe for it here:  http://www.scottishrecipes.co.uk/cranachanrecipe.htm

 

Now, after a busy day of shopping and researching, I am ready to go taste test the Rhenish Red Wine!