Scotland Chat #2.5–More Food!


I can’t believe I didn’t post anything in October.

(Actually, I can believe it. October was crazy–but good-crazy. My mom came for a visit, and then later in the month, my friend Tami came to visit. I love visitors!)

Anyway, in our last Scotland Chat, Tami and I talked about the food in Scotland and how it’s different than the US. Here’s the other half of that conversation–and, yes, curry is mentioned.

Tami: I think, as we are here longer, we will learn more about how Scottish people eat. We eat our way still. I want to learn more about their habits and meals.

Wendy: Where do you buy your food? Mostly one store?

Tami: Big things Costco. Then either Asda, which is an offshoot of WalMart, or Tesco. And the little towns right by me have little versions of those kinds of stores, so I pick up small things there when I don’t need a lot. I can ride my bike, walk or catch a bus easily.

Wendy: Cute! I can see it in my mind’s eye. (Although I guess if I had a bike, I could go pick up stuff at the 7-11, but it just doesn’t look the same in my head . . .)

Tami: I know, right? Something about biking through the countryside to get your milk. Stores close early here, but Asda is open late. Tesco is open later than most. But still, shopping doesn’t happen after 7 or 8.

Wendy: That could be nice. It could also be annoying, especially when it’s light later at night and you lose track of time.

Tami: That is true. Now we are rapidly approaching the time of year when it will be darker earlier.

[Editor’s note: That time has now arrived (we had this chat in September).]

Wendy: So tell me about eating at restaurants. Where do you like to go best?

Tami: We have been trying a variety. As a family McDonald’s is good. Different food to some extent. Smaller portions. We get Domino’s pizza, which is fairly comparable. But we need to go back to homemade pizza.

Wendy: Are people less fat in Scotland, then? In a noticeable way?

Tami: Yes, I think so. Rare to see morbidly obese here. Not that there aren’t some, but not as many. The ideal size here is shown in the media as a bit bigger than the US, so more realistic. And I think middle age and older folks are still pleasantly plump, but not obese. I think they walk more, I think they eat smaller portions. They love sweets but I see more moderation in serving size.

Wendy: Nice. And interesting, I mean that their ideal size is better. I like that.

Tami: No Mexican take out here.

Wendy: 😦 But lots of Indian? (I learned that from Monarch of the Glen, so it may or may not be true.)

Tami: Yes. And they like curries and tandoori. I want to try more of that and learn to cook some of it.

Wendy: Phew. I was concerned it might be leading me astray on Scottish living.

Tami: Haha! Nope, seems good so far. I feel more like cooking here, could be that it’s not convenient to eat out.

Wendy: That’s good, I guess. I like cooking. I just don’t like cleaning up so much.

Tami: Chinese food we’ve eaten tastes fresher and less Amercanized.

Wendy: Cool.

Tami: There are no drive thru places. Not banks, not pharmacies. Not food. Thomas said he saw a McDonald’s drive thru but I haven’t seen it yet.

Wendy: I wonder if that shows our fast-paced, go-go-go culture. Along with stores being open later.

Tami: Yes. It does. It is very much less that way here. Slow down, take a breath. Let the person coming down the road turn in front of you. Be home with your family in the evening.

Wendy: I like that. Although I’m the first to admit, especially when I had tiny kids, it was a blessing to drive thru at the bank instead of keep them all corralled.

Tami: I know! I agree. I like the changes and I like what it is motivating me to change. But sometimes I do miss the easier way of doing things.

Wendy: I can definitely see that.

Tami: I love exploring new foods though, so it’s fun. And when you think about my list of what I miss, it’s not a big list. Things aren’t so foreign that we can’t find our own family groove here.

Wendy: “Things that I miss: Root beer, Crisco, Drive Thrus, Wendy” 😉

Tami: Yup! But maybe put Wendy above Root beer.

Wendy: Haha!

Tami: 😉

Wendy: Well, I enjoyed the chat very much. Food is one of my favorite subjects, and to have it with one of my favorite people, well, that’s just icing.

Tami: Haha! Thank you! And over time I will actually know more about Scottish food.

The Carsons are getting ready to experience their first Thanksgiving in Scotland. Since they don’t actually celebrate it there, they’re getting together with some American friends on Saturday and holding their own. So Happy Scottish Thanksgiving, Carson Family! Hope the food is delicious!
That wish goes double for all of my American friends: Happy Thanksgiving! Eat a piece of pie for me!

Scenes to Write–

I was able to go to a writers’ retreat a couple of weeks ago. Picture a beautiful (if frigid) setting, with the forest behind and the ocean in front.

Yes, it was just as incredible as you are imagining, but just to add some reality to the experience, here are a couple of pictures:



I got to see dear friends from my writing group, the American Night Writers Association (ANWA), as well as meet new writers. We caught up, ate, and laughed together.

The best part is that I got a lot of writing done. I’m within spitting distance of “the end.” Like, ten scenes. Of course, that will simply finish my first draft, so there are going to be rewrites and editing after that, but having never finished anything novel-length before, I’m excited about it.

And to all you who are participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)–good for you! (Even if it has taken me three years to get to this point, I don’t resent you pounding it out in a month. Much.)