Cheers to One Year!

 

 

Hi everyone and welcome back!

I’ve had a short break and today I am back and celebrating my one year blogging anniversary!!

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To mark the occasion, I have given my site a makeover.  I hope you like it!

Boy, do I remember well taking those scary first steps into the world of WordPress a year ago when I published my first blog called, ‘Why Scotland?’  I experienced all sorts of fears and doubts that day! Can you relate?  I worried about whether or not I would get any views. I wondered if anyone would be remotely interested in what I had to say.  I questioned myself, “Do I have the sticktoitiveness to see this thing through?” I feared that people (especially those who know me personally) would think I was…well… weird. In the end, though, I decided none of that mattered.  It was enough for me that I was interested in my subject matter and I knew my sense of pride and accomplishment would mean more than what others may or may not think.  So, I took the leap.

fullsizeoutput_283I’ve heard that you should write about the thing(s) you are passionate about. You know, that something you never tire of and that you could talk a person’s ear off about for hours.  For me, that thing is Scotland. It’s no exaggeration to say that I fell head-over-heels in love with the country from the first moment I got off the plane and my feet hit the ground.

If you have been to my blog before, you know that I write about my travel experiences in Scotland but I also write about more than that.  I have a keen interest in historical events and in the stories of the men and women that grew the nation.  I’m enamored with castles, old architecture, kirkyards, gardens, and the beautiful and diverse landcape.  I enjoy Scottish music, literature, tearooms, and whisky.  It’s all of these things plus the wonderful people that draw me in again and again. Honestly, I never feel happier, more energized, or more myself than when I am in Scotland.

And so that is why I write this blog.

Before I close, I want to thank you for coming along with me this past year. Some of you have been here since the beginning and some have joined in along the way.  You guys live all over the world and I have had so much fun getting to know you.  I look forward to our next year on here together!

Cheers!

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Wordless Wednesday and a Wee Break

Hi Friends,

Before I share today’s photo, I want to briefly mention that My Plaid Heart is going to take a short break for the next three weeks or so.  I’ll be excited to return on August 11 to celebrate a special day with you.  Can’t wait to see you then!

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Pittenweem, Scotland

 

Recipe: Prince Charlie’s Coffee

The year was 1746 and a young man by the name of…wait for it…Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart was on the run.  We know him better as Bonnie Prince Charlie (and thank goodness because that was a mouthful).

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Photo:  Public Domain

Following a crushing defeat at the Battle of Culloden – the short, bloody battle in which Prince Charlie led his Jacobite supporters in an attempt to restore his family (the Stuarts) to the English and Scottish thrones – Charlie found himself fleeing for his life from an aggressive pursuit by the king’s men.  With assistance from loyal Scottish clansmen along the way, Charlie’s escape took him through the Highlands and into the western islands of Scotland, finally landing him on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides.

It was on Skye that John MacKinnon, the chief of Clan MacKinnon, helped Prince Charlie escape Scotland for France.  As a token of his gratitude, the Prince gave John the secret recipe to his personal liqueur that had been created for him when he was at the French court.

Many generations later, in 1873, that secret recipe passed into the hands of John Ross of the Broadford Hotel on Skye and John’s son James went on to register “an dram buidheach” (in Gaelic, “the drink that satisfies”) as a trademark.  In 1914, Malcolm MacKinnon obtained the recipe and trademark and established what we know today as the Drambuie Liqueur Company.  Interestingly, the recipe continues to remain under wraps, known by only a few within the company.

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I remember the first time I tried Drambuie.  I was newly married to Mr. C and it was one of his favorites, however, I didn’t like it at all.  How tastes can change.  My tastebuds now appreciate the wonderful combination of both spicy and sweet that is born from the blend of aged Scotch whisky, heather honey, herbs, and spices.  It’s the perfect digestif.

Though Drambuie is excellent enjoyed alone or in a cocktail, today we are going to add it to a fresh pot of hot coffee to make “Prince Charlie’s Coffee.”  If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy it every bit as much as we did.


Prince Charlie’s Coffee

(adapted from Scottish Heritage Food and Cooking by Carol Wilson and Christopher Trotter)               

Ingredients: (makes 1 serving)

1 oz. Drambuie

1 tsp. soft light brown sugar

hot black coffee

1/4 C heavy cream, lightly whipped

Steps:

  1. Brew a pot of coffee.  A quality, smooth coffee is recommended and it should be made pretty strong (though not so strong that it overpowers the liqueur).
  2. Lightly whip the cream.
  3. Pour the Drambuie into a glass.
  4. Add the sugar and stir thoroughly until completely dissolved.
  5. Pour the hot coffee into the glass, leaving about 3/4″ from the top.  Stir.
  6. Using a teaspoon with its tip just touching the coffee, pour the lightly whipped cream over the coffee until it reaches the top of the glass.  You want to “float” the cream and not stir it in.

And that’s it.  Simple and every bit as delicious as any coffee shop concoction I have ever had.

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Cheers!

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Have a great week, everyone!

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The Falls of Dochart

Hello friends.  What’s shakin’?  Not much around here this weekend.  I attempted to write this blog outside but good grief – the humidity!  I see it’s a balmy 65 degrees in Edinburgh right now.  What I wouldn’t give.

Today I’d like to show you a beautiful area in the Scottish Highlands that I visited on my last trip.  Located on the River Dochart at the pretty village of Killin in Stirlingshire, are the spectacular Falls of Dochart.

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The River Dochart both broadens and changes gradient at this location, resulting in a torrent of water that cascades and crashes into the rocks as the river winds its way east toward Loch Tay.

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The Bridge of Dochart, first constructed in 1760, crosses over the river as you enter Killin and from here you can take in the gorgeous view.

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Or if you are feeling adventurous and the waters aren’t too ferocious, climb down on the rocks for a closer view. Just promise me you will be careful!

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An island in the middle of the river, known as Inchbuie, is the burial ground of Clan MacNab, dating back to the 1700’s.  It is the final earthly home of fifteen individuals, nine of whom were clan chiefs.  Surrounded by the sound of the falls, I can’t imagine a nicer place to lay a body to rest.

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Clan MacNab burial ground

So what are your impressions of the Falls of Dochart?  Worth a jaunt up into the Highlands?  Oh, I agree!  I do hope you get a chance to see them someday too.

Have a terrific week, friends.  See you next time.

Cheers,

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