Year of Food and Drink 2015
the Royal Highland Show, Ingliston.
As the November days draw in and the temperature falls, Year of Food and Drink Scotland celebrates comfort foods.
As a country with a cool climate, Scotland is known for its soups and broths. Simmered over the fire for hours in a large pot or cauldron, they were the mainstay of Scottish cookery for centuries.
Thrifty Scots traditionally make the best of their resources and avoid waste. Using simple and readily-available ingredients, these dishes produce nutritious, comforting and warming meals cooked in a single pot.
Recipe of the month from the Library's collections: Hotch Potch
Hotch Potch is a traditional soup, but it can also be a stew. The dish was so common that, when he visited Scotland in 1868, Henry Underhill commented that 'dinner commenced with the inevitable Hotch pot, a remarkably good and comforting soup'.
Margaret Hume Campbell's 1754 high-class version of this nutritious one-pot meal is stuffed with meats and vegetables. Ordinary Scots might have pieces of meat or fowl in good times, but scraps when times were hard. Whatever vegetables were to hand were stirred in during the long hours of cooking and the liquid thickened with grains or oatmeal to provide a simple meal in a bowl.
'To Make a Hotch Potch'
To Make a Hotch Potch, take Beef, Mutton, veal, &, pork. Stew all these together to a strong gravy then take two or three chop's of Mutton, & the same of Beef, put them into the stew pan with a little burnt Butter then put in your gravie & two or three onions, & Salary, Endive, Carrots, turnip's, & a little Spinage stew all these together, till they are tender scum of the fat before you put it in the dish, make your gravie as for soop.