No amount of time spent in Scotland during the cooler, crisper months of October and November is complete without a few of the more indulgent treats for which Scotland is known. No, we’re not talking about deep-fried Mars Bars – although, come to think of it, there’s nothing quite like a warm, melt-in-the-mouth, crisp and gooey treat from the chip shop at the end of a long day.
But there’s a lot more to Scottish cuisine than that – and Autumn is arguably one of the best (if not the best) times of the year to make your first foray into the traditional Scottish cookbook.
Our motorhomes come with a well-equipped kitchen ready to help you cook up a storm during those cold, frosty mornings, those chilly lunches and those blustery, dark evenings when it’s time to make your retreat from the great outdoors and hunker down to the sounds of the wind and rain.
Here are four of our favourite recipes to warm the cockles of your heart, and introduce you to Scotland’s cosier side.
For Breakfast: Porridge…the Scots’ Way!
There’s absolutely nothing in this world more fortifying, warming, or worth getting out of bed for (particularly when the fog has still got the world wrapped up like a cold blanket) than a bowl of porridge, particularly when it’s served up with brown sugar and a side bowl of cream.
For the best experience, do it all from scratch with a pan, a wooden spoon, and a generous portion of rolled oats. Just make sure you stir your porridge with your right hand in a clockwise motion…or else!
It’s quick and simple, requires minimal ingredients, and pairs perfectly with a few quiet moments looking out over the rugged landscape planning a day of adventure. When you think about it, our motorhome hire offers no better place on this earth to enjoy such a simple pleasure.
For the late afternoon: Hot toddies
There’s no categorically ‘wrong time’ to enjoy a hot toddy, but there’s arguably no time better suited to this drink of drinks than a late November afternoon, when the light is already beginning to recede over the heath – or wherever you’ve drawn up a seat – and the campfire is beginning to spit and crackle, and the idea of whatever it is you’re having for dinner is already getting your mouth watering.
Bonus points if you’ve spent the day working up a healthy appetite off on an adventure somewhere, walking against the wind.
The fundamentals of a hot toddy are whiskey, honey, and lemon – but make the very most of your locale by sourcing each element from one of the many local farmers’ markets or farm shops. We’re not saying Scottish bees are any better (but the guy who just tried Scottish Heather honey is)!
After that, just top up your toddy with enough hot water to get the taste to your liking. Drape a blanket over your knees, let the glass warm your fingers, and enjoy.
For Dinner: Scotch broth, motorhome-style
There are so many recipes that work just fine in a motorhome. True, you and yours might be jostling every now and then for the most elbow room, but the end result is a steaming, nutritious, heartening soup that has kept many a Scotsman and woman going throughout the colder season.
Traditional scotch broth can be made with lamb or beef – another reason to visit your local farm shops. Root vegetables (the wonkier the better), pearl barley, and a crusty loaf of bread are all essential, but there’s plenty of scope for freestyling. It’s the original ‘one pan’ dish that has been around for centuries – if not longer.
For this, we recommend setting up an outdoor seating area – yes, even if the air’s got a nip to it. Camp chairs are great, but there’s nothing like finding a comfortable rock, log, or hump in the grass, hunching over a steaming bowl of broth. If it’s getting dark, then all the better – you can keep yourself busy watching the stars appear as the cold air cools your broth to just the right temperature.
For dessert: sticky toffee pudding (if you’ve got the room to spare)
There’s no better time to go a little overboard on the eats than when you’re spending your days exploring Scotland’s wilder side. It’ll put you through your paces, but the rewards are well worth the extra energy.
Sticky toffee pudding may not be the easiest dessert to put together – and that’s in a kitchen with a little more room – but what’s that thing people are always saying about things worth doing…?
There’s some debate over whether England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales can lay claim to inventing the hallowed sticky toffee pudding, but there’s some strong evidence to suggest it came from north of the border. Eat it while it’s hot and sticky, then take yourself off to bed with a contented smile, sore feet, and your mind on doing it all again tomorrow.