Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pudding & Perthshire

credit: my friend, C

Hey guys. I went away this weekend. I was going STIR CRAZY so I ran away with one of my best friends here at uni. We jumped in her car and booked it out of StA as fast as possible and didn't stop til we got to the highlands. The air was fresh, the weather questionable. We didn't go far but it was a shock to the system just to be outside of St Andrews for a little while. We walked together and talked together all weekend. It was so good to get away. Good for the soul.

This is in Dunkeld, a small town at the edge of the highlands. We wandered over its banks and hugged its trees.

credit: C

credit: C

credit: C

I'd never heard of stovies before this weekend. After ordering one from a local pub, I'm not sure I like them. I'm totally sure that I didn't like this one. It was gross as hell. Imagine mushed up, over-boiled potatoes in the texture of chunky porridge. 

But I flapped and clapped my hands when I was served sticky toffee pudding. My adoration for sticky toffee pudding and banoffee pie goes deep, real real deep. They're the rich kind of desserts that coat your stomach and warm your soul. This one was gorgeous and lavish with its treacle and cream, just how I like it. I was humming with happiness with pudding in my belly and beer in my hand, chatting with my friend as we watched the river swim by. 

The next morning we explored more of Perthshire...


The Hermitage in Dunkeld

The roads in rural Scotland are crazy twisty and narrow. I honestly have no idea how cars don't crash every second on these roads. It's impossible to tell if a huge bus is about to emerge from the next corner. I suck my breath in and unconsciously lean in the other direction when that happens. Hats off to everyone who can drive safely and deftly out here. I couldn't do it. 

It was a joy - although sometimes nervewracking - to be in a car running along the rolling hills of the country.

Loch Tay

I had a great, lush carrot cake from Hettie's, a Pepto Bismol colored tea room in Pitlochry. I didn't think to take pictures (the pink walls are seriously garish), but if you like a generously sized, almond carrot cake, this one's for you. 

And when our legs wore out we marathoned Sex and the City episodes, drank our complimentary wine, and meticulously painted our nails. All in all, a good weekend.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Test kitchen: lemon herb chicken

I'm trying to reduce my meat intake... not doing so well. It's just that I get SO HUNGRY. I had couscous and vegetables for lunch yesterday and then felt murderously hungry by 3 pm. Vegetarians, I don't know how you do it. I've never been hungrier. I was possessed.

I rebelled by roasting a chicken. I even got fancy salt for it (Maldon), which I went a bit overboard with as this roast was pretty salty. Oops! I'm trying to perfect my chicken roast so I can pull one off as easily and deliciously as possible. I'm still not there but I'm enjoying every try. I'll hold off on posting a recipe for this until I've really perfected it.

Next time:
  • pat the skin dry before seasoning
  • move it down a shelf in the oven
  • acquire a baster as I don't have one in the UK(!!!)
  • baste the shit out of it

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Instagram catch up

I grew up in landlocked suburban Minnesota so living by the sea is truly surreal. St Andrews is all the more romantic and swoon-worthy. It's so different from home. Are you ready for some scenic St Andrews? Let's go...

sallies quad in the spring sunshine

a charming b&b

castle sands

north castle street, my favorite

overlooking west sands beach

brightly painted doors

sunset over the scores

taken while wandering one Sunday afternoon

and of course, a picture of something I ate

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lamb chops with mint gremolata

Sorry for the silence this week. I've been busy learning that when you pay a fortune (£8 for 4 lamb chops) for nice meat DO NOT OVERCOOK IT. And get pieces that are UNIFORM IN SIZE. I am usually very good at not overcooking (too good maybe as I've given myself food poisoning). I need a food thermometer.

When you rub vinegar and loads of fresh herbs on meat you really can't do wrong. I mashed two recipes together for this and it smelled heavenly.