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Monday, 10 December 2012

A Flying Visit

I spent a lovely weekend in Forfar. Surprising, I know, to hear "Forfar" and "lovely" in the same sentence, but it was. From discovering Strawberry Bouvrage at a Farmers' Market to catching up with an old friend, and fellow Weekend Notes writer, over a delicious dinner (which you can expect to see on a Recipe article near you soon).

In fact, I will be very disappointed if I don't see that article, because it was so good that I feel compelled to plan it into my festive menu.

Josie and Granddad Cook watching the birds.

Talking of which, do you do festive menu planning?

Mine leaves much to be desired:

Christmas Day: Turkey and stuff to go with turkey. Essentials: no sugar cranberry sauce, bread sauce, my roast potato recipe Optional: Everything else - whatever falls into the shopping trolley

Boxing Day: Turkey pie with a cream sauce and puff pastry

Lori's Birthday: Chorizo stew

New Year's Day: Roast Ham

All the other days: chocolate, left-over cheese and biscuits and anything else we can find.

Last year Santa brought me a festive recipe book, and I feel that I should make some of the recipes rather than leaving everything to chance and whim. I'm going to start looking through it tonight, and planning recipes and shopping lists. It's either that or the ironing.


  1. Did you have a Forfar bridie? I had heard about Forfar bridies, including the debate(?) about which of the two places in Forfar that makes them (McLaren's, maybe, and I can't remember the other one) is better. When I tried one, I'm sorry to say I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. It was OK, but certainly nothing that I would crave or long for. The next time I was in Forfar, I did go to one of the bridie places again, but that time I had a cheese toastie instead. By the way, one of the many reasons I love Scotland is that what we would call a grilled cheese sandwich, or just a cheese sandwich on toast, you guys call a cheese toastie. That, and the fact that every sandwich, toastie, filled roll, etc. seems to come with a cute little salad on the plate.

  2. I didn't this time, but I sometimes get friends to bring them down. I can appreciate that they are nothing special if you didn't grow up with them (minced beef, onion, and pastry - hardly inspiring!). but they have a nostalgic taste for me. And you can't get proper ones South of Dundee, so I do miss them. It's Maclarens for bridies, Sadlers for cakes, :).

    Here's a question - we call a sandwich made in a toastie maker a toastie, i.e. the filling and the bread are all cooked at the same time. However, we also have cheese on toast. This is whereby you toast only one side of a slice of bread under an old-fashioned grill, then turn it over, load it with cheese and cook that side. What would you call that?

    And yes, that salad. Sometimes it's crisps (potato chips), sometimes salad with a bit of coleslaw. It's quite a feature of a Scottish cafe, the quality of that side salad and crisps is really an indicator of how up-market the cafe is.

    I love a cheese toastie - you should try one with cheese and another filling. Tomato can be a bit volcanic, and burny-mouthy but cheese and onion, or cheese and pickle (that's not gherkin, it's a savoury jam) are both delicious.