It’s a wee world – even in Edinburgh!
We are a few days into living in our new hood now and we are finding the Scots to be a very friendly bunch!
Yet there is always an exception .. this was not the case when we were about to travel from our pub accom to our wee flat across town on the bus. We heaved our cases onto the bus and I presented a 20 pound note to the driver and asked “we have only got 2 pounds in change, is the 20 going to be an issue?” Obviously it was an issue…. 3 pounds or no bus ride. Holding up the passengers and driver, we were not welcome. Just as we were turning to think that Edinburgh is just another unfriendly big smoke of a town and about to be booted off the bus, a fella pipes up asking how much we were short! He gave us the pound and said we were to shout him a beer in Oz. He also double-checked that we were not headed to the airport as we would have been heading in the wrong direction.
After settling into our new home we decided to check out our local pub for an ale and a feed. We ordered our warm ale and our haggis, neeps and tatties, found ourselves a cosy corner of the pub when we hear behind us:
“I see you made it to Newington a’ight!” It was the Good Samaritan from the bus!! Before we knew it we were chatting away over our ales like we were old mates!
The Scots truly are lovely, from the staff you deal with at the tourism venues to the old dear buying her canned veggies recommending her scotch of choice while we selected from the extensive range of Whisky at the corner store!
Now that we have bought our bottle of Whisky and have completed a crash course in Whisky appreciation (at the Scottish Whisky Experience), I was ready for my next recipe:
Athole Brose, or in other words Whisky porridge. I have heard of this combo before and have always been curious to try it – the idea of Whisky before work was what was stopping me. With a chilly day of sight-seeing ahead of us, there was no better reason than to try it today. I made the porridge as normal (1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water). It asked for 2 tbsp of honey, 1/4 pint of Whisky and if you are feeling cheeky – cream (Milk for me). We went with a shot to start off with which we thought was perfect, the subtle peatiness of the Whisky teamed with the sweet honey and creaminess of milk was warming right through to your blood stream. It made for a very jolly journey to Edinburgh castle.
I must admit I really could get used to this and with no bosses to answer to these days… I am seriously considering it. Shan on the other hand may not – turning up to his first day of surgery with whisky under his breath may not be a great look!
After a full day of sight-seeing and covering most of Edinburgh on foot, we were after a quick and hearty dish:
Minced collops, or you could call this savoury mince with oats! What I love about the Scottish old school way of cooking is that it uses minimal ingredients and there is always oats! Minced collops is dripping (still yet to source), 1 diced onion, 500g beef mince, 1 cup of beef stock, 1 1/2 tsps of oatmeal fried up together with a side of mash and buttered carrots. Tasty, cheap and cheerful – you can’t go wrong!
For those cooking along at home, the recipe to the Potato Scones in my last blog is simply:
450 grams of mash potato, 100 grams of plain flour, salt to taste. Kneed together all the ingredients and flatten out on a floured surface. Pan fry on each side with a wee bit of butter and serve with any kind of hot breaky!