Some of these things I’ve discovered while I’ve lived here in Scotland and some I’ve always found necessary. Ben once told me he didn’t find a past post as interesting to him because it was mostly talking about food and had recipes in it (I think if was the "chicken pie" blog post). I told him that, first of all, knowing me, that shouldn’t come as a surprise, but mostly it’s because my “job” now includes doing a lot more cooking than I used to and I spend a good part of my day thinking what to have ready for Robbie for dinner when he comes home. So, sorry son, this might not be your “cup of tea” (ahh...another food reference!) but you can think up your own list!
Also, one more thing I do need to say, and repeat over to myself, is these are things I am grateful to God for giving me. I try, but I need to be more thankful for the little things that make my life good. This list was partly a product of trying to list all the things I’m grateful for and thank God for.
So...here goes, in no particular order:
1. My “Little Oatie Scrubbers”
4. Cheddar Cheese
I think I have talked about the wonderful cheese over here. I’ve always been a cheese lover in a big way and am happy with cheese in or on nearly anything. The cheddar cheese here is like nothing I’ve ever had before. It’s sort of a combination of sharp cheddar without the bite and with a creaminess to finish. The good stuff just crumbles and you don’t really have to shred it. It can be difficult to get some of it to melt when you cook with it (and sometimes I do miss American cheese and Velveeta!) but I’ve been learning to make a pretty decent cheese sauce. What we in the US would pay top dollar for as specialty, gourmet cheese is just the plain old, store-brand cheap stuff here. Lovin’ that!
5. Stock Cubes
I go through a lot of onions and garlic which surprises me because I don’t remember ever cooking with them as much as I have here. But who can go without using one of these in cooking? Like peppers I use these in a LOT of dishes—more than I ever used to. Just wish we could get Vidalia onions or the like here.
7. Electric Kettles
I know I’ve talked about the wonders of really fast hot water before. I never thought I’d want to waste money on something that did the same thing as a pan of water on the stove but I really don’t think, now that I’ve been spoiled with the quickness of the electric kettle, I’d have the patience any more to wait for that pot, watched or not, to boil!
8. The Internet, especially Facebook, Twitter & YouTube
You’re reading this on the internet and I can find out about what each one of you are doing on the internet. That’s just the beginning of the way I use it and really can’t imagine life anymore without it. I know I’m not alone in this! There have been times we’ve been without service and the difference is amazing. You feel so out of touch, so uninformed, so left out! It’s amazing how many times on the TV they tell you to go to a web site for further information. Many business, or making appointments can only be done on the internet—or at least it’s a LOT easier. Being able to tell people what I’m doing and hearing from others back home is essential and made my move possible. Sometimes I feel like it’s a one-way street, so keep on writing to me—please! I can’t imagine how lonely I’d be otherwise here, so far away.
9. Books, Books & More Books!
10. Good Coffee