Dr's Casebook: Experimenting with whisky on my porridge in Scotland
We were up in the borders last week, walking from Melrose to Lindisfarne.
It is just under a hundred kilometres and each day’s walk brings its own challenges in terms of terrain, distance and weather.
That being the case it’s always important to start off with a good breakfast.
We certainly had lots of choice in the range of B&Bs and hotels ranging from total fruitarian fare to full Scottish breakfast and, as we neared the English coast, kippers.
Yet in a hotel on the Scottish side of the border I was offered porridge with whisky.
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Now that intrigued me, because I had once previously had whisky on my porridge.
That was at a medical conference in Belfast.
There the hotel I was staying in had a bottle of a very fine Irish malt whiskey on an optic next to a huge help-yourself porridge pot.
Since the conference was being held in the hotel and I did not have to drive I took a dram in my porridge for the sake of scientific research.
It was delicious, but I am afraid that I found myself dozing through the conference until lunchtime.
With this in mind I wondered if it would be sensible to succumb to the temptation and see if a good highland malt whisky would have a similar effect.
Again, as I did not have to drive and all I had to do was climb one of the Eildon Hills, it seemed worth it in the name of comparative research.
Well, a bowl of porridge has a low glycaemic index, which makes it ideal for a long walk, so I wondered what harm could it do.
It certainly proved delicious and the whisky seemed to go well with the porridge.
It gave me a warm glow and I started out brimming with confidence as we climbed the Eildon Hills.
I managed the walk, but as we stopped for our lunch of cheese and oatcakes I fell asleep in the heather.
So, what did I learn from these two experiments with whisky on my porridge?
Two things basically.
Firstly, I affirm that porridge is a good sustainable breakfast.
But secondly if you have to stay alert and awake all day, leave the whisky in the bottle.