Sunday

Cranachan

For breakfast this morning I prepared the perfect tea and toast served in bed, for my better half Siobhan. Piping hot green tea in a delicate porcelain cup and saucer, flavoured with a wee infusion of Chinese herbs is her favourite. The toast, brown and malty, has to be exactly one minute per slice in the toaster then cut into delicate triangles and free of butter or margarine. Her scrapings of choice included marmalade and lemon curd, but never together as that would be just plain wrong. It often amuses me in the way that my good lady eats her food. Refined manners and etiquette are never far away as she nibbles and sips almost birdlike at the child's portion I place in front of her. It is all to do, so I am constantly told, with dress sizes!

I have always liked the feeling of being well dressed myself. The special feel of an expensive silk shirt with a finely woven jaiket and a dapper long coat about me always gave me extra confidence whatever the occasion. Okay, maybe not during my 'collection years'. I had a lead pipe, a hard stare and a pair of meaty fists to give me confidence back in the day. Calvin Klein would have been just another overdue Jewish bookmaker to me. One more name to visit weekly in my little mnemonic notebook, scrawled in pencil and most probably badly misspelled. Things haven't changed that much!

No, perhaps a throw-back to my infant years when I spent the first 10 years of my life wearing Salvation Army seconds and my brothers brown shoes, polished in vinegar, to mass with the mammy on the Sabbath. It was hard to praise the lord when all I could smell was pickled onions and my belly rumbling louder than the priests wrath. I recall one particular Sunday when I was handed two left shoes in the rush to get out of the door and appease the black crows of the pulpits. I spent the entire morning turning left and walking in circles due to the pain across my toes.

However, disturbingly enough yesterday, I found myself lingering inside a rather well known designer men's outfitters in Glasgow with Siobhan, discussing which shoes would blend best with the leather finish of my belt and the hide finish of my wallet. It was half-way through such pretentious ponderings that I actually remembered that my feet are always most comfortable when they are squarely rooted upon the ground. I can't do pretentious. It doesn't suit me. I am at my happiest with a sausage roll and a mug of tea to hand, my trews tucked in my boots and a set of van keys in my pocket.

I will always be proud of my Irish parentage, my home city of Glasgow although it is far fae Monte Carlo with its designer couples, shiny Porsche's and sparkly lifestyle. I still have acquaintances who you definitely would not want to meet in well lit alleys, let alone dark ones. Needless to say I also have life-long friends who are law abiding and are always beyond reproach. I am what I am, and I enjoy a simple, but very happy existence in my own skin. So, what better way to endorse the simple most humble Scottish dessert dish of cranachan. You'll find nae luxury here, apart fae the taste. Enjoy...


Cranachan

125g porridge oats

250ml double or whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 punnet of fresh raspberries

4 tablespoon single malt whisky

4 fresh mint leaves for garnish
 
 
Heat a large heavy based skillet/frying pan on the stove until hot. Add the oats and stirring constantly, toast the oats until they have a light, nutty smell and is just beginning to change colour. Do not leave unattended, the oatmeal can quickly burn. Remove the oats from the pan.
 
Keep a handful of the raspberries to one side, place the remaining raspberries into a food processor and whizz once or twice to create a thick purée, do not over blend it's fine if there are a few wee lumps of whole raspberry.
 
In a large bowl whisk the cream, vanilla extract and whisky to form firm peaks.
 
In either a glass trifle bowl, or individual serving glasses layer the dessert starting with cream, followed by raspberries, followed by oatmeal. You can either make small layers repeating several times or layer 1/3 of each to fill the bowl or glass. Always finish with a layer of cream and a light sprinkling of oatmeal.
 
Cover the bowl or glasses with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of one hour or several if possible. To serve, drizzle over a little extra honey and add the mint leaves to the top.

22 comments:

  1. Cooking offered from the heart will always taste better than anything an expensive 5 star restaurant can whip up. Maybe because real people like real food, not the "idea" of food so popular with overpaid food critics. ;)

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    1. Food belongs to us all Hope, it doesn't rely on money or the cut of your pals. It is to be shared and enjoyed by all. You are quite correct.

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  2. No, I can't see you being pretentious my friend. Nor me,I was never the great pretender, despite the facial hair!

    I have had a grand day, despite the 'OG'! I'm just in from singing at the celebration of 50 years on this earth of a man who, how shall I put this, should know better than to be letting certain types know of his whereabouts! If you know what I mean. There wre a lot of suspicious bulges in the trouser area of many, including some of the men. The night went off without a hitch! :¬)

    Roll on wednesday, the nuns do be keeping the seats warm for the plumber and masel!

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    1. Let's no discuss the OG.... As for the rest of your statement, I am lost. For once you and I are not on the same wavelength. Have I no always protected you from certain types this end by keeping you out of the loop? Beware the oul ways my friend, beware.

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    2. Yes. Always. And thank you.

      Some folk should not be allowed access to the innerwebs with the drink on them.

      I remain, your loyal friend, Mháirtín.

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    3. A loyal friend indeed, never let anyone say otherwise.

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  3. Last thing you want to hear aboot is the OG, but I do feel for the lad having done it myself a time or two. Now it's time to fortify your own house for the pending continental attack, watch our for the wee man with the lugs (Not Paul Sturrock) although back in the days of muddy pitches the wee man from Dundee did have a fair time or two against ye. My heart still bleeds tangerine but this week I will gladly paint my face green and scream for yer hoops. It is time for us (Scots) to be present on the world football stage again..
    All the best and good luck.
    Sausage.

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  4. See you Sausage? spoken like a true Scot. Dundee Utd played very well on the day, I know... I was there. I just hope that we play a wee bit better midweek against the greatest team in Europe. The OG I can accept, but the taking the eye off the ball was unforgivable. I'm sure Mr Lennon heard me giving my two-penneth in his ear after the game. Even if I was at the other end of the ground!

    C'mon the Celts!

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  5. I just aint got a sweet tooth but I do like to see you do a BBQ or pie recipe if you got them.

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    1. Tina, I'm yet to do a BBQ recipe, we do not have the weather for it here. Pies on the other hand, well those I can do.

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  6. single malt and raspberries? two of my favorite food groups...

    perhaps a bit like you, while i can appreciate getting out the finery for special occasions, i will always be a tourist amongst those who judge others based upon the price tags on the garments! blue jeans with everything. sandals in the summer, boots in the winter. heels and silk in the bedroom. that's about all i know...

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    1. Single malt, natures way of saying relax. Nothing added, nothing needed.

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  7. That used to be a favourite for French friends...and, yes, I can get raspberries here.
    Things are looking up.

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    1. I have a helping in front of me now hen... gonnae help yersel to a spoon?

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  8. The sparkly lifestyle is an empty one. I'm not saying it because I'm disappointed about not achieving the highest financial heights. I'm saying it because it's true. It took me a long time to realize it, but I learned.

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    1. There is much to be said for being a shadow man. The gaols are full of wealthy people who craved the limelight and fell foul of their own high profile image.

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  9. Pretentiousness is far away from where I reside. Give me something comfy, with perhaps a bit of a lower cut along the front (flaunting what I've got, see?), is just fine with me.

    You don't BBQ? We do year round here in the heart of Canadia, no matter what the weather. Well, okay, if it's a blizzard, maybe not, but rain, snow or even -30 doesn't stop us all! Just have the BBQ close to the door, and under an overhang (or in the garage) for a little protection from the elements!

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  10. Ahhh dear Pony-doll, I have seen the photies of you flaunting what your god gave you. No complaints from this end hen. My hat is off to you as far as outdoor bbq's in cold weather goes. You continue to rise in my estimation.

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    1. No gods in this girl's life, Chef. I suppose that makes me a heathen but I like it that way!

      When it's colder than a witch's tit for half the year, you have to pile on the clothes and keep on doing what you like to do, or else you go stir crazy!

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  11. Nothing wrong with being a heathen my dear lady, we enjoy a guilt free life and have all day Sunday free to drink and debauch.


    As for stir crazy.... I could tell you a thing or two about that topic.

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  12. And a dish of cranachan to go please.

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    1. Pat, for you I would deliver!

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Thank you, the chef is currently preparing an answer for you in the kitchen. Do help yourself to more bread.