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Some information about Scottish food, computers et all

Home Forums General Discussion Some information about Scottish food, computers et all

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Uncle Bob 5 years, 4 months ago.

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  • November 13, 2008 at 10:09 am #34855

    Uncle Bob

    Some information about Scottish food, computers et all

    Dear Sophie,

    It would be a shame if we all cluttered up Susan’s page with trivia about things eaten in Scotland. After all, the main object of those set of comments was to congratulate her on yet another fine drawing so I’m posting this, here, as a reply to your comment.

    Firstly, yes there are such things as “black pudding” and “deep-fried Mars Bars”. Black pudding, or “blood pudding” is not a “sweet” but is served as a main dish, mainly as part of a cooked breakfast, in Scotland, England and Ireland. It is a type of sausage made with pork blood, pork meat and cereal, such as barley. It sounds pretty awful but is quite nice. There are many variants across Europe such as Spanish Morcilla, Belgium & French Boudin, Czech Jellico and German Blutwurst or Zungenwurst. I don’t know how the European sausages are served but the stuff, here, tends to be cooked by frying, grilling or – here is the unhealthy option – deep frying! For many years, Scots have relied upon too much deep fried food forming too much of their diet and this has led to poor mortality rates, from heart disease, in more deprived parts of the country as most towns and cities have “Chip Shops” where cheaper, deep fried stuff is readily available as takeaway meals. Traditionally, the food was fried in animal fats but less severe vegetable oils are used in some places now. In an effort to improve things folk are, these days, encouraged to eat more healthily and not rely on deep fried food, be it puddings, chips (French Fries), fish or pizza. Some “clever” sods, however, rebelled against this good advice and came up with the deep fried Mars Bar as a gimmick. Unfortunately, this caught on and they have wormed their way into Scottish folklore although I have never seen, or know anyone who has seen, a fried Mars Bar. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep-fried_Mars_bar)

    As to Guinness. This was invented as an alternative type of beer to the more traditional “ales” of two hundred or so, years ago. It is, as you point out, black in colour. This comes from some of the barley, it is brewed from, being rolled and roasted. It has a thick, creamy head which makes it difficult to pour and some barmen (bartenders) have more than one customer waiting at the same time as they slowly get the stuff into a glass. This might explain the ritual you mention. Although draught Guinness is available worldwide it is best sampled in Ireland, particularly, in my opinion, in Dublin where it comes from.

    How can we help you post stuff onto the web site? First of all, please don’t be shy about posting your work. It is completely anonymous and, anyway, no one is going to criticise you. Most people, like yourself, tend to offer complementary comments which has the effect of making one want to produce more stuff, practise regularly and, consequently post more stuff. I am really grateful to everyone who takes the time to look at my posts and offer feedback. You will get encouragement from this too. Although I have been painting for a number of years, my full-sized efforts take so long to finish. Sketches for this site can be quick and spontaneous and I find that producing quick efforts has sharpened my efforts up and encouraged me to produce better, full-sized paintings.

    I agree that acquiring things like a digital camera or a scanner, can be expensive and you might not want to go to the expense of buying these just to post a few pictures. I would, however, encourage anyone to try to get a digital camera sometime. Its a great way of recording information especially if you want to paint a particular scene. Digital Cameras don’t use film so you can take hundreds of pictures of one small thing and dump the shots afterwards, (or save them on a CD). I use my camera in conjunction with my sketchbooks and wouldn’t be without them. Still, they can be expensive so we must try to find alternative solutions for you. Do you have any friends who could scan or photograph stuff for you? If so, then these copies could be downloaded onto their computer and either sent to your email address (which might take some time depending on their and your computers’ speed) or copied onto a portable storage device such as a memory stick. These wee sticks, which plug directly into a spare USB port, are so inexpensive and can hold quite a lot of information – I bought three recently with 1Gb capacity for £10.00 (I intend to put them in Christmas crackers as small presents). Alternatively why not contact your local public library. I’ve looked up New York Public Library service and they will scan stuff for you (might be a charge for this). This is from the web site http://www.nypl.org/

    Staff-Assisted Copying and Scanning

    Copy Services staff will accept copy requests from on-site users. Scanning for print or to computer files is also available through Copy Services at some locations. These files are saved to USB drives or CDROMs as 300 dpi PDFs. Credit card payments are accepted, and mailing services are available. For more information, see Copying and Printing Instructions and Prices.

    If your local library does offer a service they may wish to inspect your storage device first in case you might import a computer virus into their systems. Alternatively they might just copy the stuff onto a CD for you. Since a memory stick or CD can contain a huge amount of your sketches it might be a good idea to have a few ready for copying if this is an option, especially if you have to make a long journey.

    Hope this is of some use to you and, if anyone else reading this has some ideas which might help Sophie please post them

    Kindest regards

    Bob McDowall

    December 17, 2008 at 10:28 am #35626


    Bob, I just found this, what a delightful read! You have taken the fear out of my perception of blood pudding. As for fried foods, it seems to be a way of life stuck to Americans as well. It’s one big deep-fried planet we live on.


    Susan Rudat

    December 17, 2008 at 6:01 pm #35627

    Uncle Bob

    Hi Susan

    I’m glad I’m slowly winning everyone, including yourself, over to the strange and wonderful foodstuffs from Scotland. Now, all I have to do is to get YOU addicted to haggis when you visit our country. The stuff, above, was; you may recall, in answer to my haggis comments on your post of November 11th (Tortilla soup …. )where Sophie thought that I was pulling her leg (Now would I DO THAT?). Did you read the rest of it where Sophie joined in, later, on one of my posts? – November 29th (Christmas Tree). She, like you, hadn’t see my above letter and I directed her towards it. She then announced she was going to, in my worst fears, burn New York down. I have never panicked so much thinking I had planted the original idea in her mind. Fortunately she decided not to fry her own Mars Bars. I’d really like to see some of Sophie’s stuff and have tried to persuade her not to bother what others might think. She seems quite a character – and this is meant to be a complement. As they say in our parts, “What is she like?”. Art is supposed to be fun although, as the above shows, we can sometimes get totally distracted.

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