Having sampled the delights of England (where I currently reside) we have trudged far north to the wet, windy and sometimes frozen lands of Scotland. Actually, the weatherâ€™s not all that bad and as I was brought up there I can vouch for the fact that we do actually get our fair share of sunny weather and even the odd scorcher! Anyway, enough about the Scottish climate and on with our 3 course (hopefully traditional) meal.
Traditional Scottish food is something I should know something about as I was born there, sadly though Iâ€™m a little ignorant of my roots in that department. Mince and Tatties, Stovies and a few other dishes were about all I could remember and I wasnâ€™t about to serve up Mince and Tatties on our special meal night as I cook that now and again anyway. For a starter I decided on a Scottish Broth and Iâ€™ll refrain from calling it Scotch Broth as so many people do! Iâ€™m familiar enough making soup. I think itâ€™s in the genes as my dad nearly always had a pot of soup on the go. For the main I went for Balmoral Chicken with a Whiskey Sauce served with Clapshot. Iâ€™ve only ever had Balmoral Chicken once before and was very nearly put off it as it was decidedly under cooked and really not that nice. This time round though I rather enjoyed it. Pudding was a good old Clootie Dumpling, which is one of the few things I can remember from my childhood – only very vaguely though, and I donâ€™t actually remember the taste of it so I have no idea if I got it right or not!
Starter – Traditional Scottish Broth
Main – Balmoral Chicken with Clapshot
Desert – CLootie Dumpling
There werenâ€™t a huge number of Scottish ales available locally, but luckilly a four pack of McEwanâ€™s Export is well enough known and tastes pretty fine to me. Naturally I had to have some Whiskey, it as after all our biggest export. Iâ€™m not really a fan of the stuff myself though, so I went for a fairly cheap blended whiskey made for Tesco. It made a nice sauce and the wee nip with dinner wasnâ€™t too unpleasant either. Maybe Iâ€™ll revisit whiskey some time and see if we canâ€™t get reacquainted!
A traditional version of Flower of Scotland, The Proclaimers, Nazzareth, The theme from Restless Natives by Big Country, some other traditional Scottish dance music: Highland Laddie, Earl of Errol.
Restless Natives is an old film (1985) and Iâ€™ve seen it quite a few times now. Itâ€™s very funny though and set in and around various parts of Scotland, particularly around Edinburgh and Wester Hales which are areas that are familiar to me.
Now this is a country I was really looking forward to researching and cooking for especially as half of my family are Irish, although Iâ€™ve never met them. As Ireland is well known for itâ€™s potatoes it made sense to start with a potato soup. A typical main course would have been an Irish Stew but I wanted to make something a little different. So I decided to go with a Dublin coddle, which is basically an Irish Hotpot, served with a nice chunk of soda bread. Traditionally the coddle was one of those dishes that you could cook for longer until the man came home from the pub late at night. Pudding was a bit of tough one as most of the recipes I found were cakes and to me a slice of cake should be served with a cup of tea. Anyway I found out that apples are one of the few fruits that grow well in the Irish climate. There are various apple desserts but I really liked the look of the apple amber tart which is very much like a lemon meringue pie but obviously made with apples.
Starter â€“ Potato Soup
Main â€“ Dublin Coddle
Desert â€“ Amber Apple Tart
Well the obvious drink is Guinness which is the perfect accompaniment to a stew or hotpot. Also another Irish drink, which happens to be one of my favourite tipples, is Baileys. But to cut back on expenses I bought a bottle of Ballycastle which is an imitation Baileys.
- Anthem – (Amhran na bhFiann)
- Back Home in Derry – Adelante
- Linger – Cranberries
- Zombie – Cranberries
- Book Of Days – Enya
- March Of The Celts – Enya
- Orinoco Flow – Enya
- The Celts – Enya
- Drunken Lullabies – Flogging Molly
- An Irish Lullaby – Helen O’hara
- Only When I Sleep – The Corrs
- What Can I Do – The Corrs
- Hopelessly Addicted – The Corrs
- Donnegal Danny – The Dubliners
- Molly Malone – The Dubliners
- Song for Ireland – The Dubliners
- The Irish rover – The Dubliners
- The maid behind the bar – The Dubliners
- The wild rover – The Dubliners
- Whiskey in the jar – The Dubliners
- Angel of Harlem – U2
- With Or Without You – U2
Inside I’m dancing
The Boys & Girl from County Clare
Weâ€™ve decided to kick off our 80 meals from around the world tour by concentrating on the UK to begin with and Jenny has already done England and will be doing Ireland. I will do Wales and of course Scotland (my home).
Iâ€™ve been to Wales loads of times as my brother lives there, but I’ve never really taken the time to consider their own traditional food and drink. Thatâ€™s one of the interesting things about this project I think, itâ€™s going to be a learning experience for both of us and as well as learning to cook new dishes weâ€™ll probably gain a bit of insight into what it might be like to live in these â€˜far offâ€™ places.
Welsh food isn’t something I knew aÂ lot about I am ashamed to admit. Itâ€™s a small country on our doorstep and yet there are quite a few rather tasty dishes that originate from this part of the world.
I decided on something quick and easy to prepare although it has to be said, I seriously misjudged the quantities and cooking times on this occasion. For a starter I did Welsh Rarebit which is basically a posh cheese on toast. The main course was traditional lamb Cawl, a kind of chunky broth with meat and vegetables. Dessert came in the form of Welsh cakes with jam on top.
Starter â€“ Welsh Rarebit
Main â€“ Lamb Cawl
Desert â€“ Welsh Cakes
I knew that there were a number of Welsh breweries but if youâ€™d asked me before our Welsh meal I probably couldnâ€™t have named any of them. However, Jenny discovered that Tesco sold bottles of Original Stout from Brains and it turned out to be a lovely tipple.
This was tougher. We were going to watch Mr Nice but due to various technical difficulties couldn’t, so we ended up watching Notting Hill and the Welsh connection was of course Rhys Ifans.
Tom Jones of course. Jenny did get hold of some Charlotte Church but that was a little too pop-like for my tastes. I had envisioned having some Welsh Choirs on in the background but Jenny wasn’t up for that – too religious!
Well itâ€™s my turn to cook and this time I’m doing England. There was no doubt what I was going to make for our main course. We both had beef Wellington for our main course at a party at the beginning of the year and both really enjoyed it. Now for pudding, my favourite has always been Bakewell tart yet I’ve never tried to make it. With regards to a starter, I struggled to find something suitable, the reason being that a lot of traditional English starters are seafood or fish based such as prawn cocktail, scallops or salmon and neither of us like seafood or fish. Other traditional starters are pate and Kenny doesn’t like pate, so the only thing left was for me to make a soup. I do love a good leek and potato soup, itâ€™s a soup where you have to get the right balance of ingredients to get the perfect flavour and I’m pleased to say I think I actually cracked it.
Starter – Leek and Potato Soup
Main – Beef Wellington
Desert – Traditional Bakewell Tart
This was quite an easy one as there are a wide selection of traditional English ales available in the shops and they were all on offer at 3 bottles for Â£4. Â As everyone knows, England is well known for real ales so we could have chosen from a vast selection, however I decided to try and find something typically English.
So I chose a couple of bottles of Wells Bombardier and a bottle of Marston’s Pedigree both of which went down very nicely.
Finding a movie made and set in England isnâ€™t difficult, but finding one that we wanted to watch and hadnâ€™t seen was a bit more tricky. In the end we settled for â€œThis is Englandâ€, which I thought was a rather appropriate title for the eveningâ€™s entertainment.
- Anthem – God Save The Queen
- Mike Townsend – Tea For Two
- Mike Townsend – Singing In The Rain
- The Clash – London Calling
- The Beatles – A Day In The Life
- The Small Faces – Lazy Sunday
- Rod Stewart – Maggy May
- Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
- David Bowie – Suffragette City
- Eric Clapton – Cocaine
- The Police – Roxanne
- George Harrison – Got My Mind Set On You
- Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill
- David Bowie – The Jean Genie
- John Lennon – Imagine
- The Beatles – Norwegian Wood
- The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
- Led Zeppelin – Rock And Roll
- Ian Dury and The Blockheads – Hit Me with your Rythm Stick
- The Sex Pistols – Anarchy in the U.K.
- The Beatles – Hello Goodbye
- Dire Straits – Southbound Again
- Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
- The Who – My Generation
- The Who – Teenage Wasteland
- The Smiths – Panic
- The Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen