Tuesday, March 31, 2009

100 foods to try

I was meant to be making dinner, but instead started browsing the internets, and came across this here. There is more explanation here. I thought it was interesting. 

The idea is that this is a list of 100 slightly odd foods (depending on where you live, some are odder than others) and you mark in bold the ones you have tried, and cross out the ones you would never consider eating. The only ones I would never consider are the ridiculously spicy ones like scotch bonnet pepper (but I couldn't figure out how to cross it out!). I'd try the other ones. And now I have a goal to try more of these foods when I have the chance.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
Huevos rancheros
Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
Black pudding
Cheese fondue
8. Carp
 Baba ghanoush
PB&J sandwich
Aloo gobi
Hot dog from a street cart
Black truffle
Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
Steamed pork buns
Pistachio ice cream
Heirloom tomatoes
Fresh wild berries
Foie gras
Rice and beans
Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
 Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
Bagna cauda
Wasabi peas
Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
Root beer float
Cognac with a fat cigar
Clotted cream tea
Vodka jelly/Jell-O
Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
Prickly pear
McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
Dirty gin martini
Beer above 8% ABV
Carob chips
Frogs’ legs
Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried 
Chitterlings, or andouillette
Caviar and blini
73. Louche 
Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
Hostess Fruit Pie
Lapsang souchong
Tom yum
Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-
Michelin-star restaurant.
Kobe beef
86. Hare
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
 Soft shell crab
93. Rose 
94. Catfish
Mole poblano
Bagel and lox
Lobster Thermidor
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dancing Queen

Fiona has been learning all kinds of things recently. Yesterday she hung out with Grandma Ginger and Grandpa Bill while Ben and I had a date. When we got back, she had learned how to climb the stairs! And we'd only been gone for an hour... she must be very very smart! :-)

We noticed in the last few days that she loves to dance to music. As soon as the music starts, she starts bopping around happily, it's very cute. Today we managed to catch her on video... 

It's funny when she does things that make her seem more like a little girl than my baby. I know I say this all the time, but she's growing up so fast! ;-)

Though if she starts showing an interest in clear heels, her dancing days are over

Friday, March 27, 2009

We're back!

Well, we got back last week, but I been so busy washing all of the clothes that Ben saved up for me that I haven't had a chance to post anything. So here's what we've been up to...

Ben took a couple of days off work when we got back, and it was nice to have a mini-holiday with him. It was extra nice when he got up at 4.30am when Fiona decided it was morning! Luckily that only lasted a few days!

After we got back it suddenly got really warm here... it was wonderful! We took a walk and look at what we found...

It's proof!! Spring might still be on its way! Well, it was for a few days, until it got cold again... but I'm not losing hope! It'll happen! If the trees are convinced, so am I.

Fiona had some fun on the swings... 

And Brodie thought it was so warm that he had to have a rest in the shade.

At the weekend we went to the Autoshow. Ben has been going to the Autoshow since he was a little boy. The one here is not as elaborate as the one in Detroit, but it's still a lot of fun. One of my favourite parts is looking at the ridiculously large vehicles... here are a couple of pictures...

Cadillac Escalade. 6.2L V8. This monster is SIXTEEN feet long. This one is pretty good, but I think I'd need something a little bigger... 

Like this! Ford Super Duty. Nineteen feet long. Can tow a tractor. Just case you ever needed to do that... 

I think part of my fascination with the gigantic ones comes from my recent visit to Aberdeen, where the roads are super narrow and the cars are pretty small. I don't think you could fit either of these down the road in Aberdeen, never mind try to park them!

The other exciting part is of course, the sports cars. 

Ben and Fiona test out a Corvette.

Nissan GT-R. 485 hp, 3.8L twin turbocharged V6, top speed 193mph. This is the one I would choose. And it has back seats, so it's totally family friendly!! When I built one to my specifications on the webite, it was only $87,720... that's a pretty good deal! Maybe for my birthday...

We had a lovely weekend together, then Ben went back to work and Fiona and I went back to hanging around the house. Next week, we're having some very exciting visitors, so I'm sure we'll have more adventures to share then!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Update and Granny's Birthday!

In the last few days we've been going for some walks and eating some food. We had mince and tatties (and carrots and yorkshire puddings). The yorkshire pudding is not technically a traditional part of the mince and tatties meal, but they're yummy. I was then able to cross this meal off my list.
We also had bacon butties. For those of you who have endured my whining about American bacon and my crying about missing British bacon or 'back' bacon, here's an illustration of a delicious bacon buttie.

There's also a very short article about bacon here. The bacon has a lot more meat and less fat than american bacon, and is extra delicious :-). Mmmmmm bacon.

It's Granny's birthday today, but she left yesterday, so while she was down visiting, we thought we'd have a birthday party on Sunday. Here's Granny!

For birthdays in our house we don't have a normal 'meal', we have a variety of party snack foods... like these! I missed the very start of dinner because I was putting Fiona to bed, so some of the food was eaten and missed having its photograph taken.

Sausage rolls... sausage meat with puff pastry wrapped round it. these are bitesize, and are called 'party' sausage rolls. I love these.

Kilted sausages... mini saisages with bacon wrapped round them. YUM!! These are very popular and many were eaten by the time I arrived.

Mini chicken and steak pies... mmmm mmmm mmmm. Also clearly a big hit (there were 12 to start with).

Brie and cranberry filo parcels. Delicious!

Crackers and a variety of cheeses. The one in front is wensleydale with blueberries. It's my favourite.

Raiya can't eat wheat, so we also had... wheat free pizza...

Smoked salmon wrapped around fish mousse (these were really good, but I know my description makes them sound a little dodgy).

And prawn cocktail... but I forgot to take a picture of this.
After the savoury snacks we had ice cream and Ali's homemade toffee sauce. It is wonderful, but I was so lost in toffee sauce euphoria that I completely forgot to take a picture. So you'll just have to imagine it. We also had jelly. I made a super fancy double layer green and orange jelly, but when I tried to turn it out onto a plate, I totally mangled it, and some people described it as roadkill. So I didn;t photograph that either. I was too busy crying in a corner.

After this (yes, there's more!) we had cake. I think Granny is 83 (don't tell) so we gave her 8 candles to avoid creating a fire hazard.

And she blew them all out! Then most of us ate some cake. Some of us claimed to be too full. I was not one of them ;-)
Granny had a lovely day, and we very much appreciated the chance to have birthday tea!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

That doesn't make any sense! #3

Apparently Aberdeen City Council has decided to place an importance on cycle lanes. In theory, this is a great idea. Cars need to keep out of the cycle lanes in order to make it safer for cyclists. However, it seems that whoever decided to add cycle lanes to this road needs to have their brain cleaned...

Yes, they have taken what is already a very narrow road, and dedicated half of it to bikes. Leaving half for cars. But the car half is only about 3 feet wide for most of the road, which requires the cars to drive in the cycle lane anyway.

That doesn't make any sense! Cycle lanes only work if the road is wide enough for both cars and bikes to exist on it at the same time! I feel like whoever was in charge of this project threw darts at a map on the wall to choose roads in order to meet their annual cycle lane quota. It's completely pointless, and just a big waste of red road paint.

Scotch Pies and Swan Lake

There haven't been many updates recently... we haven't really been up to much. Fiona's been finding the time change a little difficult to adjust to, and has not been sleeping so well, so there hasn't been much opportunity for blogging, and we haven't done anything that exciting in the last few days.

But yesterday... in my continued attempt to eat all my favourite foods... was Scotch Pie and Macaroni Pie day. I was pushing for triple pie day, but I was vetoed, so we'll have to just have pie again another day. Scotch Pie is an individual sized pie made of thin, hard, crunchy pastry, and is filled with some kind of peppery meat, traditionally mutton, but sometimes mysterious meat. It has pastry on top, and you can eat it alone, or with hp sauce, or ketchup, or anything you like really. You can read more here. I like to eat mine with baked beans on it... mmmmm yum!

Here is a picture of the inside... mmmmmmmm!

Macaroni Pie is the same pastry, but filled with macaroni cheese with cheese on top. I LOVE them. I like to eat them all alone though. I don't like any beans to touch my macaroni pie. Here is a picture I found online...

SO good.

In the evening Fiona stayed in with Uncle Robbie and Uncle David, and Great-Granny, and Mum, Dad and I went to the Theatre to see the ballet 'Swan Lake'.

It was performed by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia, and was really good! The story highlights are... Prince needs wife, meets woman who has been turned into swan by bad guy, falls in love. Told he has to marry someone 'proper'. Is tricked into agreeing to marry bad guy's daughter. Is not meant to kill bad guy or swan spell cannot be broken. Duels with and accidantally kills bad guy, and dies in process. Woman stuck as swan forever.

Despite the less-than-cheerful ending, it was very entertaining, partly because the dancers kept doing things that I thought were physically impossible with their legs!

Such as this...

And this!

Then when we got home, Fiona had had a lovely time, had eaten all her dinner, and had learned how to play solitaire on David's phone. Robert even had to change a poopy nappy, so I'm happy to have had a night out for that reason alone! :-)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Walk on the beach, and double sausage day

Fiona and I have been having a fun time. On Thursday we went to the beach for a walk with David and my Dad.

It was your typical Aberdeen day... chilly and windy, but with occasional warming sun appearances. When the sun comes out it turns the sea from grey to sparkly blue. It's pretty. After a short time some scary looking clouds appeared, so we walked a little faster.

This is the 'windows to the sea' sculpture. It's frames things in the distance in an interesting way. Of course, in a picture it's hard to tell, but that speck is a boat.

Fiona was tired so she slept the whole time.

During this trip, I'm trying to eat as many of my favourite foods as possible. On Friday, we had 'flat sausage sandwiches' for lunch. Also known as 'lorne sausage', this is one of my favourite foods. You can read about it here (yes, it has it's own wikipedia page!).

Here is my sandwich. I like mine with ketchup. Yummy!

In the afternoon Fiona and I went into town with my Mum and Ali. We browsed a little, but I'm not as good at shopping as I used to be, so only bought socks and underwear (I only ever buy these from Marks and Spencer, so I needed to stock up). We had to get something for dinner, so I suggested... sausages! I really like sausages.

Thus, double sausage day was born. But the dinner sausage was round, not flat, so I think it's ok. For dinner, we had our sausages with heinz baked beans and mashed potato.

It was very very delicious.

So I'm working hard to cross my holiday goals off my list. I'm hoping to have a triple pie day some time next week. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Duthie Park Adventure

When we were little, we'd go to Duthie Park a lot, usually on Sunday. there are lots of paths for walking, swings and chutes and things to play on, and the 'winter gardens' which is a big indoor greenhouse with fish and plants and cacti and a big frog that jumps up out of a pond and scares you. There's also a really big hill to climb, that makes you super tired by the time you are at the top. So today Me, Dad, and Ali took Fiona there for a walk.

The first thing I saw was... spring!! Which gave me hope that one day flowers will once again bloom in my garden in Minneapolis.

Then we walked to the giant hill... but wait... it shrank! What happened to the hill that took 20 minutes to walk up and required a rest on the bench halfway? Yet another sacred childhood memory ruined by adult perspective.

Next we visited the Winter Gardens. It was also smaller than I remembered, but still fun. Fiona really liked looking at the fish. Next to the fish, nestled subtly in with the flowers, was the world's most polite sign... it said "please refrain from feeding or handling the fish. Thank you". I wish more signs used words like "refrain". I think it would create a more genteel world, where people open doors for others and cover their mouths when they cough...
We walked round and found the pond where the big frog lives... here he is, lurking...

After quite a wait, he leaped out of the pond... no... wait... he quietly rose to the surface and bobbed about sadly for a minute before sinking back down... I'm not sure if I remember it was much more exciting when I was 2, or if McPuddock (yes, that is really his name) is just tired from jumping out at children every few minutes for the last 25 years, but it was an exciting moment of nostalgia nonetheless.
And speaking of nostalgia, here I am at the winter Gardens with my Mum and Granny (Mum's Mum) back in the day...

Fiona seemed disinterested in McPuddock, but did have a good time hanging out with Aunty Ali.

We then had some fun playing on the swings and see-saw. Fiona loves the swings!

And after that it was getting cold, so we headed home. Here is one last picture. She had fun at the park!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We made it... barely!

Fiona and I are in Aberdeen! This post may be a little long and nonsensical, because I'm very tired! I also did not manage to take any pictures, so I'll be illustrating this with random pictures.

We left on Monday. The flight was at 3.15pm. Fiona was meant to take a nap around 2. No such luck. She was laughing and smiling and playing, but not napping.

3.15... flight leaves. The captain tells us the flight time is 7 hours and 20 minutes... crazy tailwind! I think... "that's not too long, we can do this!". I'm a fool.

Fiona plays, and smiles at the other passengers. The seatbelt sign is on because they keep having turbulence. I feed Fiona her dinner. she seems to enjoy it. The crew start serving dinner. Stewardess gives me my tray, and peels off the lid and opens my cutlery for me. Nice. Fiona then projectile vomits her entire dinner back up, over herself, me, the chair, her booties, and half of her toys. Awesome.

Stewardess takes my dinner away (luckily unvomit covered) and puts it in the back for later, and I clean up as much as I can in the three foot by three foot aeroplane bathroom. Change Fiona into her emergency outfit. Resign self to smelling like barf for the next 10 hours.

I manage to inhale some nasty chicken standing in the back before they tell me to go and sit down. I take my roll, crackers, cheese and oreos, and finish my 'dinner' at my seat.

Seatbelt sign goes off! Yay! I stand up and start rocking my cranky baby. She is just nodding off when they tell me I have to sit down because they are serving the coffee. Ok... They promise I can stand up again soon when they are finished. Fiona is awake.

They finish with the coffee, and immediately the turbulence really gets going. Even the crew are asked by the captain to sit down. For an hour. Fiona is very tired, but will. not. nap. The seatbelt sign stays on for the rest of the flight, and every attempt at standing up to rock Fiona to sleep is thwarted by stewardess. We manage to survive the next few hours, and then they serve 'breakfast'. It's nasty rubber egg on dried up english muffin. It's revolting. I'm not feeling that good, so I pass. Just the smell is making my stomach turn. Unfortunately the combination of the stomach bug Ben and I have, and not really eating anything all day, catches up with me, and I start to feel really lightheaded. When I think I might actually pass out, I call the stewardess who brings me juce and crackers and takes Fiona. When I am feeling better, I got to get her, and she asks me "if it's ok for Fiona to have some orange juice because I gave her some..." Ok... well, I hope so. She's never had it before, but hopefully she'll be fine.

Nope. Not fine. We sit down, and she immediately has volcano vomit episode number two. And it stinks. Like orange juice. Wonderful.

We finally land in Amsterdam. We both stink. I think "thank goodness it's a short connection". Idiot. We get on the plane, and she finally goes to sleep. But... wait. We're not going anywhere. The captain tells us there will be a 20 minute delay because there are protesters on the runway at Aberdeen airport and it will take 20 minutes to remove them. Ok... I can wait. Fiona's asleep, they passed out cups of tea and cookies...

We wait. And wait. Captain tells us the flight is cancelled.

We all get off the plane. Fiona wakes up. She's not happy. We're all re-booked on the next flight, leaving in 50 minutes, boarding now. We're told to hurry. We HURRY. We have to all go through security again and are crammed into the pre-boarding room like sardines.

We're told there will be a short delay because they can't locate the pilot.

Half an hour later, we're boarding. We're flying. We're landing... we're here!! And I'm told when we arrive that the reason for the protest was because Donald Trump is building a hotel/golf course here, and they're against that, and the planned expansion of the airport to allow larger planes to land. So they thought that they'd protest on the runway. Personally, I think the most effective way to have removed them would have been to have landed the plane anyway. I bet they'd have moved themselves pretty quickly then!

So all in all, it was not the best day. But we're both here. And now I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Fiona and I are leaving for Scotland tomorrow, and I have a really long list of things to get done before we go. So I thought, what better time than now to attempt to make a pair of booties!

Fiona has some booties, but they keep falling off, and I was worried that one of her feet would be cold on the plane (because by the time we made it through the airport and onto the plane, I guarantee that one of them will be lost). So that's why this project couldn't wait. Really. It's not becuase I loathe packing and am a horrible procrastinator...

I had some really cheap fleece that I bought for sewing practice, and it seemed like a good thing to make booties with, so I thought I'd give it a go. I tried to draw round her foot, but she just thought it was a tickle game, and kept wriggling away, so I guessed the size I needed to make them...

It took a few attempts, but I think the first one turned out quite well, considering that booties are more complicated than napkins...

The difficulty came when trying to create a matching bootie... The second one (on the right) was significantly bigger, and looked kind of deformed...

Ben said they looked like Smurf shoes. I assumed that was a compliment. Still, I thought they'd probably do the job, so once Fiona woke up, I tried them on her feet...

After I knew where her feet were inside them, I trimmed the sides down a little (or a lot on the oversized one!) and now they fit really well. See, it was two hours well spent!

And now I need to get going, because between making the booties, and blogging about the booties, there's a lot left on my to do list!