Monday, August 11, 2014

Tatties and Scotland and Breakfast, Oh My

I am getting my Scotland on – or at least I’m thinking about it.  Maybe it’s the rain – rain always makes me a little homesick for Scotland (can you be homesick for a place you weren’t born to?  I think so).

It’s a Monday and was to be a laundry day (another Scotland reminder when I hang the clothes up to dry in the wind), but the rain has nixed that plan.  So what’s a gal to do?

Well, this gal is proposing to make some potato scones.  I’ll never have any this side of the pond otherwise, so why not?  Turns out they shouldn’t be that hard to make.  But I’ve heard that said about other things (my failed taco attempts being but one example).

I foresee some problems:

1. Just what, exactly, is a ‘mealy’ potato?  And do I have any?  I’m not sure.  The best I’ve been able to figure is that (a) new potatoes probably won’t do, as they need to be shed of their skin; and (b) Martha Stewart (that world-renowned expert on all things Scottish – not) says to use russets, so russet it is.

2. Why, oh why did I not bother to learn the metric system?  Why did we all fight Jimmy Carter so hard on that one?  Then I could just get to it without having to either (a) convert grams and centimeters and such to something approximating what I can understand measurement-wise; or (b) search for a U.S. version of the real thing – I may not know metric, but Martha’s proportions are way off for all the Scots recipes I’ve checked out.  Now what?  How am I to choose?

3. To baking powder or not to baking powder?  I am no Jamie Oliver, hence I have no confidence in my choosing.  I’m going with no baking powder simply because the ones I’ve had where they really do know what they’re doing (in Scotland, of course) don’t (at least I don’t think they do – but can I really be sure?).

But how hard can it be, really?  It’s some potatoes, butter and flour.  Surely I can manage this.  I am a fairly competent cook, so again, I ask (knowing full well the answer before I begin), how hard can it be?  The answer?  Damn hard.  But it’ll be fun trying.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I’ve decided to go with Martha’s version, skipping her recommendation to baking powder the things and foregoing the cheese – cheese?  Really?  These are potato scones, not pizza.  Cheez.

Where is Tesco’s when you really need them?

Wish me luck.