Year of Food and Drink 2015
May is whisky month in the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015.
Whisky is for many the drink of choice at times of celebration, or even just to relax at the end of the day. Whisky — 'uisge beatha' in Scottish Gaelic — is even described as 'aquavitae', or the 'water of life'.
Whisky has been distilled in Scotland for hundreds of years, with the first documented whisky dating from 1494 in Fife.
Event of the month: A celebration of Scottish whisky
A Library event to mark whisky month was fully booked within hours. Those who cannot attend can read 'Whiskypedia' author Charles McLean's fascinating exploration of the unique characters and flavours found in some of Scotland's single malts.
Recipe of the month from the Library's collections: Potatoe Pudding
As well as being a cheap and popular drink, whisky was used to flavour food. This sweet, spiced 'Potatoe Pudding' [sic] recipe from Stephana Malcolm of Burnfoot House near Langholm calls for 'half a glass of whisky'.
Potatoes were grown for food in the gardens of the gentry from the early 18th century, when they were treated as a delicacy. Potato pudding was not new in 1791 when Stephana began writing her recipe book, but usually the pudding was flavoured with brandy.
Boil & peel 12 middle sized Potatoes, mash them well with a large table spoonful of butter then add to them a chopin (a[n] English pint) of milk, beat 4 or 5 eggs well with brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, ginger & to your taste and half a glass of whisky, mix them with the Potatoes & milk and bake it.
Note: Stephana does not specify an oven temperature or how long to bake the pudding. We suggest half an hour at 180°C.