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binkyboots

eG Foodblog: Binkyboots - playing with food in Scotland

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Hi,

wow, been very nervous about this, but now that I'm at the jumping off point it doesnt seem so bad, lol.

Welcome back to Scotland, Edinburgh again in fact, although hopefully, a different view of our city and eating.

I live with my husband and mum, my sister and her little girl are here for most meals during the week, I also look after her little one after school so I'm usually on lunch duty too.

My main enthusiasm is baking, I love making bread, cakes and cookies, however I do not partake as I can only eat a soft/pureed diet.

I also make jam, I have an occasional stall at my niece's school market.

On the agenda this week, a trip to a pick your own orchard, jams and jellies, haggis, a dry run on making a pumpkin shaped cake and international talk like a pirate day!

arr.

I have to scoot out but will be back shortly with (hopefully) a laptop cable that will allow me to post some pictures of today's eating!

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Looking forward to your blog, binkyboots, from lovely Edinburgh. It will be fun to get another perspective following Adam's nice blog.

Jams and jellies, visits to orchards, sounds great!

edited for sp...


Edited by ludja (log)

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hey guys!

yes indeed, born in Edinburgh, lived pretty close to here all my life, bar a few years down in the Scottish borders near my grandparents. They had a farm, it certainly made an impression on me as far as food and cooking went, there was no such thing as a cup of tea without sandwiches, cake, fruit, cheese, meat and biscuits :blink: my granny cooked like a woman possesed, probably the result of raising seven hungry kids and one shepherd.

As a family I'm aware we dont eat enough fish *sigh* my sister is very picky, doesn't like fish unless it's from the chip shop. My mum eats fish, just grilled or maybe herring rolled in oatmeal then fried. Adam's blog was very inspiring though, Edinburgh has some nice fish shops and I ought to educate myself.

Generally our meals are pretty homely, mince features a lot, in various guises depending on how much time I have to prepare it. I cook in the mornings usually, the house is quiet and I can concentrate on what I'm doing.

The afternoons are for breadmaking and doing things with Natasha (my niece, she's seven) She loves to cook and shadows me in the kitchen, picking things up as we go along, my sourdough starter is her "baby" she feeds it, burps it and tucks it up in the fridge (ha, who needs baby born!)

I failed to find my laptop cable and so will have to spare you guys pictures of our pasta bake from tonight's dinner.

I made a meat sauce, beef, milk, tomatoes, onions etc, mixed it into some fresh spiral pasta, did a bechamel sauce, dotted and swirled it on top, baked till the whole lot was turning slightly golden. I like meals like this, leftovers turn into tommorow's lunch for natasha and mike (my husband)

I'm heading for bed now, tommorow is going to be pretty busy, we've got some visitors and I have to do a little taxi work, lol. However, tommorow afternoon I'll be making rolls and hopefully working on baking the cakes to sculpt into a pumpkin.

oh yeah, the pumpkin thing! I love halloween, love it, we have a big party and dress the house up, not so common in Scotland. This year I was given an old article from a Jane Asher magazine on making a sculpted pumpkin cake, needless to say I love the idea, but I dont trust my decorating skills enough to leave this until the last minute! so we will be having pumpkin cake #1 and #2 (on the big night) #1 will be nobly sacrificed and sent round to our local old folks home.

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Hi Binky,

Looking forward to your blog especially after reading your posts on the cheap but not nasty topic. I have fond memories of your city, was there in 1994 for the festival.

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Fond memories from here as well! I got my degree from Edinburgh Uni:I was there from 1971 to 1974. Lived three years in Pollock Halls and one year in a flat on Clerk Street above the pub with the bright red door!

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Hey, binkyboots! :smile:

Do you eat Tikka Masala and other (Anglo/Scot-)Indian food much?

Enjoy your week of blogging!

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binkyboots, I hereby bequeath to you the eGullet Foodblogger mantle. Wear it proudly and remember to have lots of fun this week!

:smile:

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Oh binky, please share recipes for Mince!! My mom and I make it quite frequently, but never stray from my grandma's recipe. I would love more. I'm looking forward to another foray in Scotland. Now, I expect to see some black puddin'.

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...I do not partake as I can only eat a soft/pureed diet.

I may have missed this if you explained this elsewhere; why is this so?

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Hi Binky,

Looking forward to your blog especially after reading your posts on the cheap but not nasty topic.  I have fond memories of your city, was there in 1994 for the festival.

Me too!!! I am looking forward to this one, as I have enjoyed your cheap foods thread. This is a subject dear to my heart.

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Excellent, I am looking forward to this. :smile:

Re:Halloween, I love the fact that pre-Americanisantion of the event, swedes were carved as Jack-o-lanterns, you still see then for sale at the supermarkets where they look like Mexican day of the dead sugar skulls. Did you ever carve a skull from a swede blinky?

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Good morning!

ok, questions first....

yep, turnips or swede were the carving media of choice in Scotland until fairly recently, I always carve a couple because the smell of burning turnip in central to halloween happiness (for me, for other people it's reminiscent of burning socks)

you can buy precarved turnips in Scotmid, our local (and comletely unimpressive) supermarket. if I'm feeling lazy that's what I do as carving a turnip can cause bruising, scarring and outbreaks of swearing.

cheap foods, yay! lol, budgeting is something I shall keep out of here as far as possible, but will perhaps ressurect the cheap foods thread sometime.

Mince, sure! we have it brown (lol, sounds so gross, but the folks love it) which is my granny's way, and then with tomato sauces, shaped into fiery little meatballs, turned into chilli, packed into a tin for meatloaf and sometimes on a pizza. Recipes for some of the above will follow over the course of the blog.

Mooshmouse, thank you, your blog was amazing, the food looks delicious (my photos are less than gorgeous usually!) and little mouse is such a cutie!!

Pan, I cant eat curry, spice really disagrees with me, but Mike loves it, korma usually, he's a bit timid with spices.

I used to enjoy a curry, but mostly what I loved were the onion bajis, the breads and so on, I always thought they were more interesting than the main course.

Which brings me nicely to why I dont eat solids, I had a vertically banded gastroplasty nearly three years ago now to help me lose weight. I'll not bore you with the details, but I lost roughly 7 stone and am so much happier and healthier! but, most people eventually go back on solids, I cant, if I eat large lumps of things it results in me being pretty sick. I have learnt a lot about soups though, so there's my silver lining!

I still cook for the family, I love to cook, though it's not something I did much pre op, perhaps due to my raging self esteem issues, I pretty much existed on ready meals, frozen thingies and so on. I felt I didnt deserve to enjoy good food.

I dont regret for a moment having the surgery, I'm free of worries, free from thinking about calories and graphs. lol, I shall end this here though, this is a blog about food not stomach stapling!

mmm.. black pudding, your wish is my command! tonight we shall be having a full scottish breakfast (for dinner)

black pudding, tattie scones and maybe some haggis shall feature.

But first breakfast, this morning I'm having porridge, it's by far my favourtite breakfast, it's filling, tasty and actually good for me!

The way I make it is very much the way my granny used to.

take half a cup (she had a little china teacup, I use a cup measure) of oatflakes, one and a half cups of milk, I use skim but feel free to use whichever you like, a pinch or three of salt, a spoonfull of sugar and a small knob of butter. I throw in a spoon or two of oat bran as a nod to getting in some extra fibre.

combine the whole lot in a pan and heat very slowly, I get up early so my porridge can blip away for a good tewnty minutes. when it's creamy and thickened take it off the heat and eat it.

I eat a quarter to maybe a half of this usually and use the leftovers in whatever bread I'm making that day, I'll do that and post the recipe (and pictures when the darn cable surfaces!) today.

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oooh, another UK baker.

Baking traditions in Scotland are a little different to England

Indeed, of course our finest tradition is the Aberdeen buttery (it's a Scottish croissant!) I have yet to master the making of this delicious treat, but will buy a few in (mum wont mind, lol) so you can see them.

I think the other Scottish tradtition is plain bread, it's a weird tasting and kind of compacted loaf.... Mike will want some with his dinner tonight so I'll get a loaf while I'm out.

I'd love to figure out why it tastes the way it does :hmmm: I suspect lard is a key player though!

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Lots of other regional baking specialties as well:

Baps, black bun, scotch (mutton) pies, bannocks, barley and oat breads, oat cakes to name a few

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Mince, sure! we have it brown (lol, sounds so gross, but the folks love it) which is my granny's way, and then with tomato sauces, shaped into fiery little meatballs, turned into chilli, packed into a tin for meatloaf and sometimes on a pizza. 

Ah, the vast mince repertoire! I also make mince round (mince in a plated pie, made on a chipped + scarred old Pyrex dish), and stovies (mince, potatoes + onions, cooked all in the same pot, thickened with Bisto, obligatorily served with HP Sauce. God forbid you should brown the onions.)

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One of my favourite childhood teas was mince rolls - browned mince with onions in a soft, floury, Scottish morning roll. Tomato ketchup optional.

Love Plain bread too...

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Please educate an ignorant Canadian--is "mince" minced meat? How is it prepared, and what is it typically served with? :smile:

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Excellent, I am looking forward  to this. :smile:

Re:Halloween, I love the fact that pre-Americanisantion of the event, swedes were carved as Jack-o-lanterns, you still see then for sale at the supermarkets where they  look like Mexican day of the dead sugar skulls. Did you ever carve a skull from a swede blinky?

:shock: Carving Swedes' skulls? :shock:

yep, turnips or swede were the carving media of choice in Scotland until fairly recently, I always carve a couple because the smell of burning turnip in central to halloween happiness (for me, for other people it's reminiscent of burning socks) 

Oh, so THAT's what Adam meant! :laugh: What a relief! Thanks for the translation for our side of the pond! :raz:

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Yes, the mince is mincemeat or ground beef.

Sorry, I meant minced meat, not mincemeat. Probably just confused everyone more


Edited by Jenny McClure (log)

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Lots of other regional baking specialties as well:

Baps, black bun, scotch (mutton) pies, bannocks, barley and oat breads, oat cakes to name a few

of course, lol, that's what I get for posting with people under my feet, my memory develops large spaces that should be occupied by scotch pies, clootie dumpling and their ilk.

We did in fact have a traditional Scottish lunch, from the bakers :shock: I'm afraid my first day as a blogger went terribly wrong, I shall amend this tommorow!

for lunch we had scotch pies, macaroni pies (that is, macaroni cheese in a hot water pastry case, a spinoff from the traditional lamb scotch pie, you can also get curry pies and baked bean and potato pies)

This evening nobody had any dinner as I had to go to emergency dental clinic, been there for three hours observing dental patients slugging back our nation's other drink, irn bru. a sugary concoction of e numbers and colourings. It tastes of fruit and metal.

The folks are now having a snack of fruit cake spread with philadelphia cheese, not traditional at all, the result of me not being here to cook, lol.

so... the plan for tommorow is cake! I need to make four sponge cakes in sandwich tins, stick them together and carve into a ball. This sounds like something I could do, but time will tell. If you would like to suggest a fairly sturdy cake that wont go to pieces as I cut it please feel free to wade in with a recipe! my victoria sponge recipe is rather light and crumbly for this I suspect....

is "mince" minced meat? How is it prepared, and what is it typically served with?

mince is ground meat, usually beef or lamb, though pork, chicken, turkey and, if you're lucky, veal can be had.

One of my favourite childhood teas was mince rolls - browned mince with onions in a soft, floury, Scottish morning roll. Tomato ketchup optional.

:cool: I thought that was a shameful family secret, mince rolls rate right up there with chip butties for comfort food.

ok, I'm heading to bed as my face is completely numb, no yoghurt or porridge for me tonight.

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Feel better, binkyboots!

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If you would like to suggest a fairly sturdy cake that wont go to pieces as I cut it please feel free to wade in with a recipe! my victoria sponge recipe is rather light and crumbly for this I suspect....

I recommend Sarah Phillip's "Best Butter cake" recipe. Rises evenly, slices cleanly, good flavour, and sturdy.

butter cake recipe

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