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Old 09-24-2008, 07:28 AM   #31
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I was there from April 75 to May 80. I was stationed at Edzell Base (RAF Edzell) during those years.

My #2 & #3 were born in Montrose and #1 was born in Dundee.

If your family was in the military stationed at Edzell, there's a site specifically for us. If you'd like more info, email me at yobtya1@yahoo.com.

Ciao,
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:12 PM   #32
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I've never been there but my great grandparents on my fathers side came here from Scotland.
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:02 PM   #33
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I just got back from Scotland and besides being a lovely, beautiful country, the food was amazing. Tried as I might, I could NOT find a fried Mars bar. I had wonderful curries, fish & chips, lamb. I discovered banoffee pie - and I'm keen to try making it. I also had Ginger Tam which is a delicious ginger, honey and whiskey flavored liquor. I wish I had snagged some of that to take home!

The people, the Highlands and the food was great.

I'm of Scotch/Irish descent so I claim the Scots as my people.
Hi Toots,

The Scottish kitchen is predicated on two things. First, what can grow in the climate. I remember doing some research and found that the grains grown on the the islands were different. Unfortunately, I can`t remember which was which but one grew barley and the other oats (AFAICR) and this gave rise to barley pottage and the other porridge. The latter grain was more suited to the soil and more widely grown and is now well known throughout the world as a dish which is not only flavoursome but also nutritionally advantageous in respect of heart disease.

The second main influence on diet was the arrival of the daughter of Mary of Guise ( formerly Mary Tudor?), wife of the Dauphin, aka, Mary Queen of Scots, who brought with her chefs from the French court. Mary`s mother in law was Catherine de Medici who, when she married into the French court took her Italian chefs with her. From her we have many terms like "asette" or ashette" meaning plate or platter which you would here today and dishes like a "Potage Lorraine" or Sorrel soup". Indeed is the word "Potage" or Pottage" French or Scots and the word ashette is directly derived from the French - assiette(?) meaning plate. It is difficult to know now!

Typical Scottish dishes include:

* Cullen Skink - a soup or in terms of USA food a "Chowder" made using smoked haddock and potatoes - a meal in itself;

* Mussel Brose - a soup made from mussels;

* Partan Bree - a crab soup;

* Collops - fine cuts of beef or venison in a rich sauce. Similar to a Boeuf a la bourguinonne but using sliced beef rather than cubes of beef, and pickled walnuts.

* Sorrel soup - grown wild - well it does in Scotland;

* Partan Pie - devilled crab and delicious - devilled, delicious and divine - letme know if you want a recipe;

* Kippers, Arbroath Smokies, smoked haddock - ways of preserving our bounty;

* Ayrshire bacon;

* Cock-a-leekie soup which when well made would grace the menu of any****** starred restaurant! (The secret is to incude chopped prunes - is this the influence of Mary Queen of Scots?):

* Border Tart:

* Selkirk Bannock:

* Shortbread - which must contain rice flour, and in the proportions of 100gms plain flour, 100gms butter, 50 gms caster sugar and 50 gms rice flour;

* Pitcaithly bannock - similar to shortbread but with almonds and orange peel included;

* Ayrshire shortbread;

* Atholl Brose - toasted oatmeal, cream and whisky layered to give a dessert;

* Crannachan - same as Atholl brose but layered with raspberries;

* Scones (used as in a "cobbler" to top a savoury or sweet dish) and drop scones (aka Scotch Pancakes) - the latter in form and substance significantly like American Pancakes. Did Scots emigrate and bring with them the recipe for this classic USA breakfast dish?

* Tablet - a peculiarly Scottish confection which is much like a fudge but unlike a fudge which one can "bend", this "snaps" and it is beaten to give a totally unique product;

* Marmalade - traditionally made from quinces but in it`s present incarnation is made from oranges and the first factory making this was in Dundee, othewise known as the home of jute!

* Roast Venison and Rowan Jellyor a braised cut of venison in which Rowan or a Blackberry jelly is melted to create the sauce (yum, yum);

* Aberdeen Angus beef - any cut so long as it is cooked correctly;

* Lobsters, scallops and crabs - we have the best.

Scottish foods, Scottish ingredients are divine and the best in the world and I make no apologies for claiming this in respect of meats, fish and game or vegetables where the climate allows us to grow them. There is nothing greater than these. IMHO and if you are fortunate enough to taste a really good Haggis then you have a treat in store as it is:

"the great chieftan o` the pudding race"

The "chippy" and the "Deep fried Mars Bar" are 20th century abberations of the classic Scottish diet which will be composed, in the 21st century, increasingly, on traditionally or native foods. I suspect we will see this surface again in the "credit crunch days now being experienced" of what grows and can be harvested locally or nationally will become increasingly important.

I belong to another Messageboard and the questions asked are not how to make Duck a L`Orange or Tournedos Rossini but how to maximise the food budget. Questions centre on how to use tripe (fantasitc cut in strips in a tomato sauce and served with pasta) or liver and kidneys as these are cheaper! The Scots have always known how to do this!

All the best,
Archiduc

Anyone for Haggis?

All the best,
Archiduc
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:56 PM   #34
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Excellent post, archiduc!

I am of Scottish descent, and spent a short three, wonderful, days there as part of a tour.

I would love it if you would post some of your recipes - particularly your favorite, most buttery shortbread recipe, Athol Brose and Tablet.

Lee
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:40 AM   #35
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Excellent post, archiduc!

I am of Scottish descent, and spent a short three, wonderful, days there as part of a tour.

I would love it if you would post some of your recipes - particularly your favorite, most buttery shortbread recipe, Athol Brose and Tablet.

Lee
Hi Lee,

Shortbread is the classic, Scottish, biscuit confection but you need 4 ingredients for this: plain flour, caster sugar (can`t remember what this is called in the USA), rice flour and butter. Now, shortbread has to be made with rice flour, and butter. Don`t think of making SHORTBREAD unless you are prepared to use butter. The mixture may be used to make a "BANNOCK" thick round cut into wedges or used, as I like to make it into thin biscuits. However, for me the critical point is the ingredients and these have to be right!

Many people make shortbread with cornflour and plain flour or just plain flour and this is not correct - RICE flour is the essential and critical ingredient. So, what`s the difference? When you rub cornflour or corn starch between finger and thumb it "squeaks"

You can feel the difference between cornfour and rice flour. Rice flour may be labelled as "Farine De Riz. Reismehl, Rijstmeel, Rismel, Riisijauho, Farina di Riso, Harina De Arroz or Rismjol". When you rub it between the finger and thumb it is gritty like a fine sand and lacks the smoothness and "squeak" of cornflour/cornstarch. Imagine the sand on the finest beach - that`s what rice flour feels like and that`s what you need to make Shortbread.

Now, there are 4 methods of making biscuits: creamed (cream the fat and sugar); rubbed in (rub in the fat to flour and dry ingredients); melted (melt the fat and sugar, e.g., treacle and add to dry ingredients) and kneaded (combine all ingredients simulataneously).

Shortbread is traditionally made by the KNEADING METHOD and uses the heel of the hand. So - where is the heel of the hand? Clench your fist and look at your hand. The bit not covered by your fingers is the heel so this is the point you use to mix the ingredients. Now, lets think about this. If you gather ingredients IN your hand, the inherent heat created by clenching and flexing your hand would/might melt the fat. However, if you work them with the heel of your hand, because this part of your hand is open to the air and not closed or clenched it remains cold or cool and mixes ingredients without melting the fat.

The relationship between the ingredients is a constant:

2 parts plain flour (100gms) ( no raising agent) (sieved)
2 parts butter (100gms) cut up into small pieces
1 part rice flour (50gms) (sieve with plain flour)
1 part caster sugar (50 gms) (sieve with the flour)

Additional flour and rice flour combined in equal proporions are required for rolling the dough.

Oven temperature: 350/180C/Gas 4

Set shelves around the middle - oven position - middle. too high and the biscuits will brown too quickly and too low and they will spread. You can switch shelves as the biscuits cook!

In other words the relationship between ingredients is always 2 parts flour and butter to 1 part rice flour and sugar. This is the constant about which you MUST abide so that if you find you have 75gms rice flour and want to make shortbread the you will need 75gms caster sugar and 150gms EACH of butter and plain flour.

Place a sieve over a bowl and sieve the flour, sugar and rice flour. Add the butter, cut up into small bits. Work together with the heel of the hand until all the ingredients are combined. Do not over work the mixture - all you are seeking to do is combine the ingredients until they JUST form a coherent ball.

Turn the dough onto a board or work surface lightly dusted with a mixture of plain flour and rice flour and knead the dough for about 1 minute (no more) to give a smooth dough. Set aside and allow the dough to relax. In a cold climate or winter, cover with a piece of cling film and set aside for 20 minutes. In a hot climate or summer, refrigerate, covered with cling film for 20 minutes - 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a surface and with a rolling pin dusted in a mix of plain flour and rice flour to a thickness of 1/8 inch or 2mm. Prick the dough all over using a fork. Cut out using a fluted cutter and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown at the edges. Remove from the oven, dust with caster sugar and place on a cooling rack to cool and crisp up. Excess dough may be gathered up, recombined and rolled out again and cut out.

Allow the bscuits to cool before packing in an airtight tin.


For a traditional Scottish Shortbread made via a wooden mould with a cut emblem like a a "thistle" then the instructuctions would be slightly different and oven temperatures would be slightly different. Cook at 325F/170C/Gas 3. Mark into wedges whilst still hot using a sharp knife.

For anyone coming to the UK and seeking to buy a shortbread mould, what you need is one which is deeply cut so that when the mixture is turned out of the mould and spreads, as it will when cooking, it retains it`s shape. The wooden shortbread mould is never placed in the oven!

For cooking a shortbread in a mould, (bought in Scotland) the average quantity of ingredients are 100 gmsflour, 50 gms butter, 50gms caster sugar and 100 gms butter. The dough should be mixed, pressed into the mould (which has been well dusted with rice flour), inverted and the dough turned out of the mould prior to cooking. In other words, a wooden mould is used to shape the shortbread but NOT used in cooking - it never goes into the oven!

Hope this helps,
Archiduc
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:36 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Steve A View Post
I was there from April 75 to May 80. I was stationed at Edzell Base (RAF Edzell) during those years.

My #2 & #3 were born in Montrose and #1 was born in Dundee.

If your family was in the military stationed at Edzell, there's a site specifically for us. If you'd like more info, email me at yobtya1@yahoo.com.

Ciao,
Thanks Steve.
My dad was in the Navy. I can't remember where he was stationed but I have to assume it was Montrose since that's where he met my mom.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:24 AM   #37
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Wonderful, archiduc! Copied and saved!

Good project for a cold winter day - thank you!

Lee
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:45 PM   #38
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Wonderful, archiduc! Copied and saved!

Good project for a cold winter day - thank you!

Lee
Hi QSis,
Or may I call you Lee?

I feel very passionate about Shortbread. So many BAD recipes exist! Well made it is a food from the gods. One can roll the dough out to thin biscuits or bake in "fingers" etc. The critical element is the rice flour which, when mixing prevents strands of gluten developing and keeps the mixture "short" and crisp - hence the name - "shortbread".


I`m not sure where in the US one would buy rice flour. In the UK it is possible to buy it in the major supermarkets but the best place is in a Chinese, Indian or South East Asian store as these give best value for money.

If making biscuits, remember to roll to a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch and prick all over. Cut out using a cutter dipped in rice flour and try NOT to twist the cutter. Gather the scraps up, knead gently and re-roll.

Let me know if you try the recipe. IMHO, it is glorious and perfect with a dish like Syllabub, poached fruit served with quenelles of cream, layered with white chocolate mousse and raspberries or broken up and mixed with vanilla cie cream and serve with a berry coulis. If you are employed as a chef and would like some ideas for serving shortbread biscuits with desserts, or using them in a dessert, let me know. St Andrews night, (November 30th) is coming up shortly! You could even combine a vanilla ice cream, crushed raspberries and broken up shortbread biscuits and get a really good ice cream.

In my previous post, I said to cook for 20 minutes - depends upon the type of cooker. For a fan assisted oven one would cook at a loxwer temperature. The bscuits need to be golden brown at the edges. Remove from the oven, leave for a minute of two and then place on a cooling rack. As the biscuits cool they will crisp up in the centre.

Hope this helps,
Archiduc
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:58 PM   #39
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Archiduc, thank you for the nice information. I make an awesome shortbread but not with rice flour, I use corn flour, butter, white flour and powdered sugar. I'll give yours a try-I need to find rice flour and castor sugar.
By the way, I loved haggis in Scotland. I'd like to make some here. ~Bliss
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:46 PM   #40
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Excellent post, archiduc!

I am of Scottish descent, and spent a short three, wonderful, days there as part of a tour.

I would love it if you would post some of your recipes - particularly your favorite, most buttery shortbread recipe, Athol Brose and Tablet.

Lee
Hi Lee,

Posting a recipe for TABLET ain`t no problem!

Tablet is a Scottish sweet confection composed of granulated sugar, milk, butter, condensed milk and vanilla essence, which are cooked to slightly browner than a light oak or beach kitchen top, door or work surface! The order in which you put the ingredients in the pan matters! BUT, BUT, BUT, the temperature to which one boils the ingredients, (how and when you add each to the pan is easy) is critical and you need a sugar thermometer or a knowledge of different stages of sugar boiling, and how they feel between finger and thumb.

A fudge, (in so far as I understand the term in the UK) when cooked, cooled and separated (cut into squares [marked when cooling]), after cooking "bends" and curves. This is the result of boiling to a particular temperature, composition in relation to ingredients, and beating, or not beating the mixture after achieving the said temperature. A toffee when cooked, like Hellensburgh Toffee or Treacle Toffee "snaps" cleanly. A Scottish tablet is in between.

This is why one need`s to mark in squares. Use a sugar themometer or know about large pearl (160C/225F), blow(110c/230F), soft ball (110-116c- 23-240F), hard ball (119-122C/246-252F), small crack (129C-132C/264F-274F) or, hard crack (143-168C/289-224F) and caramel (150-180C/320-356F)l which are definitions in respect of sugar and boiling sugar. Of course the problem remains - which temperature should one take as being cooked.

For a Scottish tablet which has neither clean or cut edges unless deliberately made so until bowned, I take it to 116C/240F and beat until it grains and I can hear those grains being made - grainy, sandy bottoms and then pour into the tin whilst hot and liquified. Allow to cool and with increasing cooling cut further and deeper.

Cut into 1 cm squares and dip in dark and rich chocolate - preferably - rich and dark. Cut, square to an even shape and dip in temepered chocolate.

Hope this helps,
Archiduc
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