This weekend I bought a pie dish with a fluted edge. I wanted my first homemade apple pie to be just a little bit special.
In fact there were a lot of things I wanted from this pie. I wanted it to be the perfect end to my Sunday lunch. I wanted it to be perfectly warm after a cold walk out in park. I wanted it to be just like my Gran’s Apple Pie. As much as I love cinnamon I didn’t want this to be an American Apple Pie and I wanted this to be different from the pies you get in the supermarket.
Oh dear I was expecting a lot from this pie.
There is an inherent difference between men and women, or at least between Matt and I. I want fuss and time and effort, Matt wants anything for the easy life – the less stress version.
This is most obvious by looking at what I made each of us for a birthday cake. I wanted a stunning three layer brightly coloured cake, lots of time, lots of effort, lots of stress and essentially (in this case) disappointment.
Matt however wanted… nothing, he wouldn’t be drawn on what he wanted at all as his birthday cake this year. For a while I thought about making a lemon torte, but I have tried umpteen different recipes and none of them worked, none of them were really even tasty. In the end I gave in to what he wanted which was the least stress option.
My main memory of empire biscuits, isn’t as you might think of being a young child picking off the sweetie on top and licking off the icing. I am sure I did do that, it certainly sounds like me, but no. My overriding memory of Empire biscuits is much more recent and in fact within the past 6 years.
It has entirely happy recollections of early romance, when Matt and I would sit in the Boyd Orr cafe drinking coffee and eating Empire biscuits. Not too much later on I realised how the Empire biscuit was perfectly suited to giving you a much needed sugar high at 10 o’clock at night when you have a Uni deadline the next day.
As I may have said before, the other half loves rice, he will infinitely prefer rice with his chinese to noodles (which is a shame as noodles are so much quicker to prepare). Risotto is one of our favourites meals, lots of rice and I can use whatever vegetables we have. But I get bored easily, I like a bit of a change, the idea of using pearl barley rather than rice, appeals because it’s a much more traditional Scottish ingredient
Today is Burns Day (the 25th of January) and all over the world people will be going to Burn’s Suppers, eating traditional Scots food and toasting Scotland’s National Poet.
Burn’s Suppers are famous for The Haggis. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have eaten Haggis – it may be traditional Scottish food, but I have fairly successfully have managed to avoid it for the past 25 years. To me it just doesn’t sound very appealing.
However there are other parts of the traditional Burn’s supper I want to partake of (and no not just the Whisky).
The 30th of November is St Andrew’s day, which is the National Day of Scotland. I had lots of grand plans of what I could post, different Scottish inspired cakes, main courses, at one point I was even planning a whole menu. Alas I ran out of time, so instead I have picked some of my favourite pictures of Scotland from the past year to show to you.
Earlier this year I went up on my first trip to the north of Scotland, where we spent 5 days in and around Banffshire. The weather was beautiful and some of the bluest skies I had ever seen.
Walking along the beach, taking photos of our footprints in the sand.
They are also quite good hot out of the frying pan in a roll with tomato ketchup. Back home, right beside my old high school there was an Italian Cafe that sold cheap breakfast rolls to the kids. Bacon rolls were always more expensive, so if you wanted your can of juice, a roll and a chocolate bar, you always went for the cheaper option – the Tattie Scone Roll.
This week when my organic veggie box arrived it contained one turnip, I also had half a turnip in the cupboard and so much in the freezer that I have no room for anything else.
“Enough is enough”, I said to myself. I have to find something more interesting to do with turnip. Scouring the web I found recipes for turnip curry and turnip stew, but lets face it – neither of those sound particularly appealing.
Then I read that turnips can be used as a replacement for potatoes for those on low carb diets, although dieting is not a word in my vocabulary, I had my eureka moment. Maybe I can use turnips just like potatoes…