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Potato Gnocchi

This week we continue the description of our recent visit to the new £9 million National Trust for Scotland Culloden Visitor and Exhibition Centre. Having left the splendid new building we made our way to the Leanach Cottage which stood within the Hanoverian lines and proceeded to walk, on the new footpaths, to some of our favourite spots on the battlefield.

Walking towards the Culloden Memorial Cairn, you pass the Well of the Dead. Here the brave leader of Clan Chattan, Alexander MacGillivary of Dunmaglas, died crawling towards the well. His regiment was the first to charge and break through the first Hanoverian line but the impetus of the Highland Charge was gone by the time they hit the second line. The devastating fire of the Government forces turned Drummossie into a killing zone. In spite of her husband and Clan Chief being a serving Hanoverian officer, Lady Anne Mackintosh raised Clan Chattan for the Prince under the command of Alexander MacGillivary. Red Alexander, Alistair-Ruadh-na Feille, paid the ultimate price for his loyalty to the Stewart cause. After the battle his body was removed from the battlefield and his betrothed, Elizabeth Campbell, allegedly arranged for his secret internment under the doorstep of Petty Church. She died of a broken heart on 22 August 1746.

From Red Alexander’s dying place, you proceed passed the Clan graves as marked in 1881 by Duncan Forbes, 10th Laird of Culloden, to arrive at the Memorial Cairn he erected, from his own pocket, in the same year. He was a descendant of the famous Duncan Forbes, 5th Laird of Culloden and Lord President of the Court of Session, who did so much to avert the 1745 Rising and prevent its success. The cairn stands approximately mid-way between the lines of the opposing armies and carries an inscription which fails to convey the full story of the 1745 Rising, but does serve as an appropriate salute to loyalty and bravery –



16th April 1746





Next week we will look at a few more notable spots on the battlefield and as last week’s recipe referred to the German-led Hanoverians, this week’s Potato Gnocchi is a reminder that Prince Charles Edward Stewart was Italian-born. This is basically a Scottish potato scone mixture shaped and cooked differently.

Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients: 1 lb/500 g floury potatoes (cooked and mashed finely); 6 oz/175 g plain flour; salt and pepper/ ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Method: Mix all together thoroughly and roll into a long sausage about a finger diameter. Cut into 1 inch lengths and make a dent in the middle of each so that it curls a little. Bring salted water to the boil and drop in a few at a time. Cook each batch about 3-5 minutes or until they rise to the surface. Scoop out with a perforated spoon and put into a buttered ovenproof dish. Keep hot until all are cooked. Dot with butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with tomato sauce.   


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