Scotland the Great

Ω December 5th, 2011 Ω Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Ω 37 Comments

Before we get to the greatness that is Scotland, I’d like to thank all of you for your insightful comments in my last post about eating “real” food. I enjoyed reading about your food philosophies – a selection of comments (bold by me):

While I am a huge fan of many processed foods (ahem, peanut butter, canned beans, canned soups, etc) I thank my mom for getting me started young at taking whole and fresh ingredients and cooking with them and using them any recipe. I honestly think it’s lack of cooking skills that prevents so many people from buying fresh foods, and resorting to packaged pre-made foods. It’s tough when you’ve never learned how to even use a stove! (The Candid RD)

I heard [Michael Pollan] speak about two years ago, and I really liked that he was “real” and admitted to not being “perfect.” He also made a real big point about cooking real, healthy, and cheap foods like beans, etc. I think too often people say eating healthy foods is too expensive and too difficult. But it really doesn’t have to be. (Andrea’s Wellness Notes)

I have something more to add in the food philosophy question: eating while relaxed and calm is hugely important to me. I never have lunch in a hurry or standing or at my desk while working if I can avoid it (and I am planning my day in a way that I can), because the time pressure and stress make me not eat well at all. (Christa)

Keep the great comments coming!

On to today’s post: Many moons ago (and by “many”, I mean “three”), my family and I traveled to the west coat of Scotland, including the Outer Hebrides. Why did I wait three months to share my pictures with you, dear reader? I’d like to write that in the midst of various projects of dubious importance and uncertain relevance, I lacked time; but, the truth is … I forgot. Oops.

Let’s look at those pictures!

I didn’t realize that the knee-high leather boots I brought to hike in were so unusual until we were hiking down Ben Nevis (the tallest mountain in the British Isles) and a man who had passed us earlier in the day came up behind us and commented, “There’s the lady with the great boots!”  I thought I looked pretty snazzy myself – or, as my sister D said: “You look like a 1890s mountaineer.”



Yeah, okay, I guess I can see her point.

A few more highlights of western Scotland and the Outer Hebrides:

Gallan Head, Isle of Lewis:

Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris (yes, Scotland has wonderful beaches!):

“Cave” on Uig Beach, Isle of Lewis:

Near the Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye:

On the Isle of Lewis:

Yes, I went inside the abandoned stone house – in retrospect, perhaps that was a poor idea (note the collapsing stone roof – I won’t post pictures from inside the house, because I want to preserve the illusion that I have some common sense (hint: see gallery below for evidence that I do lack sense)):

Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis – unlike Stonehenge, you can actually walk up to these (as evidenced below):

A gallery of more Scotland images (Note: The pictures should have captions, but apparently they don’t show up unless you click the “i” icon in the upper right corner of the gallery):

Around Scotland

[img src=]26430Near Fort William.
[img src=]350Area around Fort William.
[img src=]320Around Fort William.
[img src=]340Around Fort William.
[img src=]300Waterfall near Ben Nevis.
[img src=]180View from Ben Nevis.
[img src=]200Waterfall near Ben Nevis.
[img src=]170On Ben Nevis.
[img src=]160On ferry from Ullapool to Stornaway.
[img src=]230Inside Arnol Blackhouse, Isle of Lewis.
[img src=]130Gallan Head, Isle of Lewis.
[img src=]130Gallan Head, Isle of Lewis.
[img src=]100Gallan Head, Isle of Lewis.
[img src=]120Gallan Head.
[img src=]170Sign on Galan Head.
[img src=]100Gallan Head.
[img src=]90Gallan Head.
[img src=]60Uig Beach, Isle of Lewis.
[img src=]60Uig Beach, Isle of Lewis.
[img src=]80Rocks on Uig Beach, Isle of Lewis.
[img src=]60Dunes on Uig Beach.
[img src=]90Near Uig Beach.
[img src=]90Cemetary near Uig Beach.
[img src=]130Sea urchin shells.
[img src=]90On Bernera, near Isle of Lewis.
[img src=]70Replication of Iron Age House on Bernera.
[img src=]50Bernera.
[img src=]50Heather-covered slopes.
[img src=]50Bernera.
[img src=]60Bernera.
[img src=]60Bernera.
[img src=]60Bernera.
[img src=]50Callanish.
[img src=]130Abandoned house.
[img src=]160Inside abandoned house. Perhaps I should not have gone inside.
[img src=]60Outside abandoned house.
[img src=]90Typical fence - animals can't cross, but people can.
[img src=]90Detail of typical fence.
[img src=]80Callanish standing stones.
[img src=]80Callanish standing stone.
[img src=]50Callanish standing stones.
[img src=]50Lichen-covered rock.
[img src=]30Lewis cows.
[img src=]30Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris.
[img src=]30Cuillins, Isle of Skye.
[img src=]20Old Man of Storr, Ise of Skye.
[img src=]20Hiking Old Man of Storr.
[img src=]40Talisker Distillery, Isle of Skye.
[img src=]60Eileen Donan, Isle of Skye.
[img src=]90Crannog Center, Rannoch Moor - reproduction lathe.
[img src=]100Crannog Center, Rannoch Moor - trying to start a fire with friction.
[img src=]305000 year old yew tree, Fortingall.
[img src=]40Black sheep, Bunrannoch House.
[img src=]30
[img src=]30Edradour Distillary.
[img src=]20Fermenting barley at Edradour Distillary.
[img src=]20Copper stills at Edradour Distillary.
[img src=]20Storage room at Edradour Distillary.
[img src=]80Edinburgh.
[img src=]50Edinburgh Castle.
[img src=]60Edinburgh.
[img src=]70Edinburgh Castle.
[img src=]50

And, a gallery of what I’m sure you’re most interested in: FOOD! I’ve noticed that whenever I travel to a new place, many of my travel plans revolve around trying local foods – what better way to learn about a new locale than to sample its delicacies? For more examples of eating my way through new locales, check out THIH’s Travel Page.

As seen in the album above, I sampled several Scotch whiskies at the Talisker and Edradour distilleries and found that after a dram or two, all whiskies taste pretty much the same. I also had the opportunity to try both black pudding and haggis (black pudding = delicious! haggis = okay). Recently, I acquired some canned haggis (yes, canned) so that I can cook it up over the holidays with some neeps and tatties (that’s rutabaga and potatoes, cooked and mashed separately). Stay tuned for my disastrous attempt at cooking haggis!

In the meantime, click through the album below for some delicious meals I enjoyed while in Scotland:

Eating Through Scotland

[img src=]12530Typical Scottish Breakfast: Fried egg, fried tomato, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, sausage, black pudding.
[img src=]420Black pudding: oatmeal, spices, and ... blood. No, I'm not kidding.
[img src=]450Museli and milk.
[img src=]410Toast with ginger preserves.
[img src=]450Kippers and fried tomatoes.
[img src=]280The best scrambled eggs and smoked salmon I've ever tasted.
[img src=]270Triangle sandwiches. You can find them everywhere - even in the pharmacy.
[img src=]190Homemade fish pate.
[img src=]210Roasted vegetables.
[img src=]200Venison.
[img src=]160Blueberry roulade.
[img src=]140Typical shop in Edinburgh.
[img src=]220Yes, I ate (almost) this whole thing!

Finally, during our Scotland trip, I had the opportunity to swing down to London and meet a dear friend with whom I’ve corresponded for seven years, but never met in person until this past summer.  Hi, Christa!


Take care, gentle reader!

Q: Have you been to Scotland? (I know YOU have LeQuan ;) ) Have you ever tried black pudding or haggis?


Where is your dream place to visit?

More Happy 'n' Healthy:

» Filed under Favorites, Life, New Foods » 37 Comments

37 Responses to “Scotland the Great”

  • Your pictures are amazing. Scotland looks so beautiful and a great place to visit to experience some gorgeous landscapes.

  • Christa says:

    Hi Jessie! :)

    Let me say again how lovely it was to finally meet you, and I’m looking forward to meeting you again (hopefully on your home ground) :)

    As a matter of fact I HAVE been to Scotland, though I daresay it’s easier for me, living on the Isle itself. I went there in March this year and I loved it more than I can say. I went to Edinburgh which is super cool and has some very nice relaxed bars to hang out in, actually the whole of Edinburgh was incredibly relaxed compared to hectic London, which I appreciated a lot. I also went on a day trip (no time for more than just a day trip sadly) around some parts of Scotland including Ben Nevis, Fort William, Stirling Castle and of course, Loch Ness. We had the extra perk of a snowy landscape which was magical. And speaking of magical, I also saw a bridge used to film scenes in Harry Potter! :)

    As for the food, I wasn’t adventurous enough to try black pudding, but if you say it’s good I’ll trust you and try it next time I go. The very idea of Haggis makes me sick, sorry. I did try Scottish pancakes which are thick and fluffy and yummy, and also a very nicely cooked pork in a bun with sage butter and apple sauce. Another thing I remember from Edinburgh is the Saturday open market, from where our friend and kind host bought her groceries, meat (locally produced = the best in Britain) and also an incredibly moist homemade lemon drizzle cake which I have been trying to recreate ever since with no luck (recipes welcome).

    I’m surprised you didn’t put up any photographs of a Hamish cow, as it’s a common sight in Scotland:

    • Jessie says:

      You’re right, Christa – I should have included a picture of those unique Highland cows (although none of my pictures is quite as good as the one in your like, hehe). YES, please do come and visit! :D

      I didn’t love the haggis, either, but I was bound and determined to try everything I could lay my hands on. I don’t think I tried any other food you mentioned on your list (Scottish pancakes sound delicious!) – I guess I’ll have to go back to Scotland ;)

      Take care, dear Christa!

  • Wow, how much fun!!! I would LOVE to go to Scotland!
    And yes, those are quite some fancy boots. I love them! And hey, those moutaineers were stylish!! :)
    How neat that you got to meet your friend. What a fun experience!
    Scotland and Ireland are up there on places to visit. I also would love to go to Greece! One day!

  • Monet says:

    I have not been to Scotland, but it is on my to-do list! What a wonderful post full of pictures and memories. I especially love those brown boots of yours! Perfect for traipsing the green hills. Thank you for sharing!

  • shaheen says:

    Ah the Baked Potato Shop in Edinburgh – they’re haggis samasos are something special.

  • Aletheia says:

    Yay, Travels! It’s my new thing now. Food + travel = even better! :) I’m intrigued by the black pudding, but I can’t say yet whether or not I’d be brave enough to try it. I’d probably first need answers to questions such as: Whose blood is it? Does the black pudding taste different? Is that a result of the blood?

    Other than that, I love this post. Traveling is my new obsession and I’m glad to see it incorporated into one of my all-time fave blogger’s blog. :)

    • Jessie says:

      I’m not actually sure WHAT kind of blood is in it – so much for knowing what’s in my food! Places in Scotland also offer white pudding, which is the same thing as black pudding, only without the blood. I’m not sure if it would taste different (I didn’t try it), but I’m guessing I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

      I hope you’re doing well, Aletheia! :D

  • courtney says:

    here sheepie sheepie sheepie….
    i should totally be a hand model.

  • It’s just about time you went on a holiday and took a break – and what a fantastic one, at that! I have never been to Scotland – but it IS absolutely on my list! I cannot wait, as I am of Irish decent and haven’t been there yet, either – though have been to Italy – oh – 9 times now. Silly, I know. FYI there is one Stonehenge tour that you can take – you leave before dawn and arrive at sunrise (once a month) – or arrive just at sundown (option 2 once a week) and these tours are before and after the regular public hours – so you DO get to walk up and around and in between and touch. We did, and it was worth it… so I do understand your joy here, too. I love the photo of you in the cave – and the one of the stone house – all possess the look of that country I want to find myself in one day.
    PS I couldn’t find your popover recipe to list on my site. Do you have a link for it?

  • LOVE your boots!

    Looks and sounds like a fabulous trip!

    I’ve never been to Scotland, and I don’t think I’ve ever had any Scottish food… Love that you are so adventurous and tried all kinds of local foods! :)

  • How wonderful!!! I didn’t even know you were visiting Scotland. Thanks for sharing your trip with us (and the food pictures are so fascinating). I’ve never been to Scotland, but where I would really love to go is Italy, since that’s where Nick’s mom is “from” and my dad is “From” (a couple generations back).

    Enjoy your week, and Happy Holidays!

  • Sarah says:

    Gorgeous photos!

  • Melinda says:

    What a great looking trip! So glad you got to take a great trip with your family. I have one planned this Spring and I can’t wait. Thanks for sharing all of your pics (even if it was late, trust me I know, I am so far behind that I even have some stuff left from the island). I have never been to Scotland, but I have been to England. I am working on planning some dream trips right now. I have 2 coming up in conjunction with nutrition conferences (AODA in Israel and ICD in Australia). I have planned a few top locations, but at the top of my list for must see destinations, and likely out of reach because the flight to Israel from there is too pricey, would be Dubrovnik in Croatia. Don’t worry, I’ll let everyone know soon where I am planning to go, assuming plans don’t get changed around. I think my real dream vacation right now is Fiji and also Spain with my husband. I want to experience Spain with him since he has never been. I’m headed there this Spring for a wedding, but likely without him. You got me started on this topic, LOL! I’m in trip planning mode so all I want to do is talk about travel.

    • Jessie says:

      Haha, I do like your enthusiasm for travel, Melinda. The more travel you do, the more I get to vicariously live through you, so travel away! ;)

  • Joanne says:

    I’ve never been to Scotland but I’m always interested in seeing the food of another culture! And the gorgeous scenery you photographed doesn’t hurt either!

  • LeQuan says:

    I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for this post! And your best excuse was that you forgot???? LOL. Ok since you’re so sweet and adorable as usual, I guess I’ll forgive you. Loved all the beautiful photos you took, my dear. Really brought back memories of my Scotland trip. They DO have some beaitiful beaches, don’t they? And um….every once in a while you just have to make my heart stop, don’t cha? Yes, I’m refering to you going into that broke down deserted house and that China post/video of you going down those steep stairs while videoing. I’m not gonna say you have no sense because i totally would’ve done exactly the same thing. Haha! We would make very good travel companions, but very dangerous ones also…teehee.

    Loved your food photos. When I saw your museli and milk, I did a double take coz I read mussels and milk. Lol. And you’re a very brave girl to try haggis. I really should’ve (cease the moment type of thing), but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Almost like the stinky tofu in HK. Sigh…one day…one day. Haha. I still cannot believe we missed each other in Scotland!!! Now I wanna go back to Edinburgh and try that potato…looked really yummy! Thank you for sharing all your photos with us and your experience of Scotland. It really is a gorgeous place, isn’t it? I would love to go back with the kiddies when they’re a bit older. Hope you’re doing well, my dear! By the way, DID you ever get that fire started? Teehee. Biggest hugs!

    • LeQuan says:

      seize the moment, not cease. lol.

      • Jessie says:

        OH, yes, the infamous “stumble down the Great Wall” trick – I imagine if we traveled together, there would need to be some sort of general travel warning – “Warning: Crazy Gals Coming to a Travel Destination Near You”!! No one would be safe ;)

        And, no, I didn’t get the fire started – THANKS FOR RATTING ME OUT, LEEQS. I wanted to give the impression that I could start fire with merely two pieces of wood, but you have shattered that illusion. THANKS.

        Yes, bring K + L to Scotland – they’d love the castles, I’m sure! HUGS!

        • LeQuan says:

          Teeheehee…oops! That’s ok, probably more safe for everyone around you and comforting to know that you CAN’T start fire with two pieces of wood because now we also all know how dangerous you can be. Hahaha! Always great joking around with you, Weiner. :P

  • What a beautiful trip, love these photos! I could have spend an entire day playing in that stone cottage :)The food sounds quite interesting. I always wonder if I travel…will I find enough veggies ;)

    Lovely post and you do look pretty snazzy in those boots :)

  • William says:

    You get to travel to so many interesting places! Keep taking pretty pictures and having fun-

  • Faith says:

    Wow, Jessie, what a post! Your travels to Scotland look amazing! This is one place that I’ve wanted to visit for as long as I can remember (my family is Scottish on my mom’s side)…for now I’ll have to enjoy it virtually through your stunning photos. (And those really are fantastic boots!)

    Thank you so much for the kind message you left for me the other day on Facebook…it meant the world to me.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season, my friend!

  • Ameena says:

    I am finally catching up on your blog and Jessie your photos of Scotland are gorgeous! I can’t wait to visit there one day…so beautiful. As are you in every picture. :)

    Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season so far…Happy Monday!

  • What a wonderful trip! So happy I found you through a fellow foodie, you’ve got yourself a new follower! xo Jessica @ Cajunlicious

  • FOODESSA says:

    Not yet had a chance to adventure towards Scotland. However, after this post, you’ve certainaly convinced me to hike it up my travel-wish list ;o)
    Keep up your great spirit ;o)

    …Dear Jessica
    Just briefly passing by to wish you and your loved ones the finest of Holiday seasons.
    I’m very much looking forward to hopefully soon joining my Foodies again ;o) Until then, all the very best towards a desirable New Year.

    Flavourful wishes,

  • eatingRD says:

    wow what gorgeous photos! So neat to visit places like that and try different cuisines. I have been to Edinburgh back in 7th grade. I would love to go back to visit more of Spain and Italy and make a trip to Greece. Happy Holidays!

  • Happiness says:

    Jessie, Christa, and Melinda, I definetly consider you lucky since you all have visited the Great Britain. Great Britain is the dream vacation spot for me. Being a golfer, I would be in heaven.

    Jessie, the explanation for eating real, healthy food while being economical is excellent. There many inexpensive healthy foods available to consumers at grocery stores. Options like potatoes, beans, and even frozen fruits and vegetables offer an array of happy, healthy options.

  • susan says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland, it looks so beautiful there.

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