Sunday, January 02, 2011

Atholl Brose

O.K. January is Oatmeal Month and if you say to me that you hate Oatmeal, let me say to you, that you've never had Atholl Brose (pronounced A thole brosey). Here are the components.

Sarum Tunic from Cabin Fever
Brose is a Scots word for an uncooked form of porridge. Oatmeal is mixed with boiling water and allowed to stand for a short time. It is then eaten with salt, butter and milk. Brose first appeared in the15th century, when shepherds would carry a mixture of oatmeal and water out to the hills to work. The agitation of the mixture created the brose  In addition to oats, brose could be made with barley meal, peasemeal, or a mixture of several meals. Other ingredients, such as nettle tops, kale, and turnip were added as well. Somehow, I think that I would leave off the nettle, kale and turnip, as delicious as they may sound :)

OK, that's the brose explained, but what about the Atholl?
Atholl Brose a.k.a. Athol Brose, Athole Brose is a Scottish drink obtained by mixing oatmeal brose (see above) with honey, whiskey, and sometimes cream (particularly on festive occasions). When made with cream the drink is somewhat like Bailey's Irish Cream. Atholl Brose has also become an alternative name for the dessert Cranachan (with or without raspberries), which uses the same ingredients as the drink. I love the versatility here! If you don't want to drink it, you can eat it for dessert!

According to legend, the drink is named after the first Earl of Atholl, who quashed a Highland rebellion in 1475 by filling the rebel leader's well with a potent mixture of AB, making him very vulnerable!

Perhaps the Scottish version of a Molotov Cocktail!

Here are the directions:
  • 7 parts oatmeal brose
  • 7 parts whisky
  • 5 parts cream
  • 1 part honey
The brose is prepared by steeping a volume of oatmeal overnight in three times as much cold water, then straining the liquid through muslin and discarding the oatmeal. This recipe speaks to me - it is a little like Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentages for the basic sweater.  There is no mention of "cups" or "half cups" - just percentages - how simple!

Personally, I think that Atholl Brose is an acquired taste. I love oatmeal - maybe I just have to get used to the idea of lacing it with whiskey! Hmmm, shouldn't be too difficult - but not on a morning when I plan to ski - hiccup!..or knit...or do much of anything else!

Ridgeway from Cabin Fever
Now, the idea of feeding it to my enemies sounds like a grandmother's answer to terrorism! and they thought that banning knitting on planes would curb attacks - Hell hath no fury as a women on oatmeal!

The pictures - killer sweaters using Elizabeth Zimmerman's no-sew knitting technique with percentages from Cabin Fever.

Dinner? Well I posted a while ago a link to Oatmeal pancakes
Sorry you'll have to go to this post to find it. Now, to this recipe you could add some liqueur to fancy it up a little, could be interesting!  Enjoy!


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