A Tale Of Two Roads
Hullo from Scotland!
It’s a bright, sunny day in Glasgow. People are drinking pints at outdoor tables and I’m one of them. I’ve got my book, some salt & vinegar peanuts, and a few hours before I meet Scott for dinner.
It’s hard to behave myself at dinner in this country. The food is good. So good that I shouted inappropiate things at a venison pie the other day, and now Scott gets nervous when I eat in public.
I can’t help it! Have you had a venison pie? Please. I’d steal one from a baby.
Tomorrow we’re heading out to the countryside and up the west coast.
Our last foray into the countryside was exciting– in an “isn’t it exciting that we’re lost and might have to sleep in that abandoned barn” type of way.
We started out from Edinburg, heading for Loch Lomond.
I don’t know about you, but I was under the impression that there is ONE HIGH ROAD and ONE LOW ROAD that lead to Loch Lomond. You know, like in the song: “O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and Ah’ll tak’ the low road, And Ah’ll be in Scotlan’ afore ye. . .”
There are, like, 289 roads near Loch Lomond. We took approximately 73 of them, in the wrong order, because:
- we did not have a map;
- I was supposed to be reading the signs but I am easily distracted by sheep;
- there were sheep everywhere;
- some of the sheep had baby sheeps; and
- it is a life goal of mine to touch a baby sheep.
So I missed some signs. Specifically, I missed the signs for the 73 roads that go to Loch Lomond.
After passing the same whiskey distillery three times, we asked for directions. An hour later, an old man told us to drive toward a town that sounded like “Sandra Bullock.” This seemed to make sense to Scott. He listened carefully, nodded at the man, and drove the rest of the way without incident.
To sum up: this map–which we didn’t have at the time–doesn’t even BEGIN to represent the road situation.
It was more like this:
We got there just in time to rent a boat. Scott rowed us out into the water, and it was vast and blue and perfect (pictures to come later). My only suggestion is they could stand to put some sheep babies on some of the little islands out there. That would really take Loch Lomond to the next level.
In short, we’re having a blast. I can’t thank you guys enough for the recommendations–for every last comment and email, including the invaluable guide to Glasgow that I got from Rock Salt’s Carol Anne. Scotland is a wonderful country.
The recipe below is no venison pie, but it comes in handy on busy nights. It’s an easy, extremely quick cheese sauce that we like to put over broccoli, or cauliflower, or tortilla chips. And when you pour it over pasta, you get a quick, no-bake mac ‘n’ cheese.
Scott’s Quick White Cheddar Sauce
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
a dash of nutmeg
salt & pepper (preferably white pepper but black is fine)
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 1/4 c. sharp white cheddar, grated
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Turn off the heat and stir in the flour, the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. I used 1/2 tsp. salt and over 1/8 tsp. white pepper, but the amounts will vary depending on the sharpness of your cheese–mine was sharp, so I didn’t need that much salt.)
Turn the heat back on to low. Add the milk in three parts of 1/2 c. each, stirring each until blended. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and smooths out, about 5 minutes.
Add the cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and serve immediately. The sauce will get a little clumpy when it cools down, so just reheat it and stir it up again later if you need to.
Yield: 2 cups.
Serving ideas: Serve over vegetables (like broccoli), or with chips, or use it as a pasta sauce. When you pour it over pasta, it’s like a no-bake mac ‘n’cheese. My mom likes dipping apples in it like fondu.
The word from home is that Thunder is carrying on as usual at my parents’ house: snoozing and eating treats.