Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Scottish Eats

Let’s have some Scottish recipes today!

I’ll add that all three of my Celtic cookbooks have a lot of recipes that feature sea food. These folks lived much nearer the ocean and many made a living from fishing so shell fish and salt water fish were favored. They also enjoyed salmon—which thrive in both fresh and salt water since they swim up river from the ocean to lay their eggs and of course trout and similar fish caught in the many lakes and streams. They also used a good deal of seaweed, something I have no access to and have not tried!

As a desert dweller for the greater part of my life I have trouble visualizing places so green, so wet. Here in the southwest water is precious and rare! Rivers, streams and lakes are almost special treasures and with the last few years of serious drought, many are actually drying up, lakes evaporating away and streams flowing underground. But that is not the case in the British Isles! However since I am not a big fish or shellfish cook, I cannot vouch for most of those recipes and prefer to share those I have tried and enjoyed.

Oatmeal Soup
I admit the name sounds odd but it really isn’t and is fairly easy to make!

2 TBSP medium oatmeal (neither too coarse or very fine)
1 cup milk
½ cup cream
1 large onion
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken stock (bullion cube dissolved in the water will do)
1 TBSP butter or margarine

Melt the fat in a saucepan. Chop the onion finely and cook until soft but not brown. Then add oatmeal and seasonings, cook a few more minutes. Add the stock slowly, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Then put through a sieve or blend mechanically for a minute. Return to pan, reheat with the milk added and serve hot with cream and chopped parsley as garnish. Serves 4-6.

Scots Broth
Another soup, substantial and tasty.

2 lbs neck of lamb (can use stew meat of about any kind)
1 knuckle bone
3 heaped TBSP barley (this is the barley pearls, whole)
1 cup shelled peas (dried split peas may be used too)
1 large onion, sliced
1 large leek –only the white
1 small cabbage
3 carrots, sliced
2 medium turnips, diced
2 TBSP chopped parsley
10 cups water
Sale and pepper

Put the meat and bone in a large saucepan, add water and bring to a boil. Skim fat off the top. Season to taste and simmer gently for an hour. Add the peas (if dried used, cook with meat) and other vegetables except cabbage and the barley. Simmer for 20 minutes. Then add shredded cabbage and taste for seasoning. Add parsley a few minutes before serving. Serve hot. Vegetables may be varied for what is in season, kale substituted for cabbage, etc. Serves 8.

Mutton Pies
This is a Scottish variant of the “Pasty” which appears in various guises all over the Celtic world!

1 lb (4 cups) of flour
1 cup lard or grease from bacon or meat
1 cup water
½ tsp salt

1 lb lean lamb, free from fat, bone or gristle; cut very fine
Salt and pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce or mushroom ketchup
1 small minced onion or shallot
½ tsp ground mace or nutmeg
4 TBSP broth or stock

To make pastry, put fat and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a hole in the middle. Pour the boiling water and fat in and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until cool enough to handle, then form into a ball. This must be done quickly before the fat hardens too much. Turn onto floured board and knead well, then pat into a flat shape. Divide into half and put one half to stay warm. Roll the first half into a large oval and stand a small jar (3” across) in the middle. Mould the pastry up the sides about 3” high, reserve some for top. When it stands well, remove the jar and make the second half. Roll out dough for lids and cut them to fit the tops.

Mix the filling ingredients together and fill the pastry moulds. Dampen the edges and pinch the tops on. Make a slit in the center to let the steam escape. Brush the top with milk or beaten egg. Bake on a tin or sheet for about 45 minutes at 250F.

You can also roll circles, fill and fold in half, crimping edges, the more typical pasty form. When made with beef instead of lamb and using normal short-crust pastry, they are called Forfar Bridies. Venison or other game meat or poultry may also be used for these pasties.

1 comment:

  1. These are great recipes, Deirdre! Can't wait to try the oatmeal soup. That sounds a bit like 'liquid skirlie.' And I'm really looking forward to trying the Mutton Pies. (love the Forfar Bridies version)

    Woo-hoo! I am able to comment in here again. :)