Food, glorious food!*

We entered Scotland on Monday night looking for a proper pub with music. No luck. Music is on Thursday’s in the “wee bonnie tooon” (town) of Moffat. We though we would settle for a green salad after our bread- and chocolate-fueled days. We ordered prawn salads. Here is the recipe: Scoop a “wee bit” of mayo- say two cups per serving -and add a generous fistful of tiny prawns. Coat until you cannot find the prawns. Mound on top of a few pieces of lettuce and decorate with two beet slices. Then take a “wee bit” of mayo – at least two more cups – and stir in some shredded cabbage. If you can see anything that resembles shredded cabbage, add more mayo. Mound onto the “salad” ensuring you leave a tiny green center. Raise your glass of local beer or hard cider with a hearty wish of Ith gu leòir! (Scottish Gaelic for bon appetit!)

Jo and Barb enjoying our Scottish pub dinner. Note that Jo chose half a pig instead of the Mayo special.
Wee is the most used adjective in Scotland. We had a wee climb fueled by our wee bit of mayo. We were greeted by a sign just a wee thirty miles into Scotland!
We are certainly not going hungry.
Jo and I picked up venison and vegetable flaky pies for lunch at the Village Grocers.
The nice ladies at the Village Grocers sent us off with a tray of apple crumble and chocolate cake. How could we say no? (Note to those worries about our cholesterol: do you see that bag of spinach? Our dessert chaser.)

At our Scottish breakfast this week, we asked Kiernan, our teenage waiter to explain an item on the menu new to us. We asked, “What are oat cakes?” Kiernan replied, well… oatcakes are… well…oatcakes.” Cindy queried, “So, are they pancakes”…”No. They are not pancakes.” “So, are they good?” (Conversation was flagging at this point…) Kiernan conceded, “They are not particularly popular.” I ordered them. They were two round discs with the consistency – and taste – of a cardboard bike box. I will not order these again!

We have learned to skip the “full English / full Scottish breakfast.” None of us is keen on haggis (sheep liver, heart, and lungs, stuffed into a sheep stomach), or black pudding (made with animal blood). Here is Cindy at a very posh breakfast in England). Although she is certainly capable, she did not eat all this food. We helped her.
We like to stop at churches. We especially like to stop at churches with bake sales. At the All Hallows’ Church in Mitton, England, we bought a lemon cake, apricot bars, chocolate-ginger-orange florentine cookies, shortbread they call “melties,” sugar cookies, and scones. I better stop there.
The church likely raised half their annual budget by the time we rolled away at 9:30am. The kindly minister, Rev Canon Brian McConkey, told us that there are only 30 parishioners remaining in that great big church. Once people get wind of the bake (and garden) sale, I forecast an increase in membership.
My mother asked me what we pack in our panniers. Cheese. Blocks of cheddar cheese. Lots of cheese. Every day we make piles of sandwiches. Not only do the bake-sale ladies love us, but the cows do, too. We have graduated from mellow cheddar to mature:)
What else goes in our panniers?
Chocolate, Blocks of Cadbury chocolate. Lots of chocolate. In the front handlebar pannier, for easy access, of course.
These lads and lasses descended on their local deli as they poured out of school.
(I suspect they might prefer being called something – anything– besides lads and lasses.)
Some comes in funny bags.
Given the number of crisps (potato chips) we have consumed, I suspect Tyrells will reach out soon to inquire about putting our charming smiles on their bags. Time for a Boomer brand update?
Our happy group with fish and chips (not to be confused with the chips above).
And did I mention bakeries? This one in Strathaven, Scotland, has been owned and run for six generations
by the Taylor family: 200 years makes it Scotland’s oldest bakery. We did our part to keep them going at least another generation!

Cindy stopped to ask these blokes (Buddy and Billy) for directions. She came back with a wee bottle of Glenlevit scotch. They obviously thought she needed a lot more than directions to finish this trip.

Food, glorious food (and drink)! Definitely not gruel.

* Thanks to Lionel Bart, British creator and composer of Oliver!

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