Life on an island… makes me hungry.

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A morning view- with rare sunshine- from outside our window.

Life in the city definitely spoils you. You get up, go to your local cafe for whatever caffeinated concoction your heart desires, maybe stop by the local bakery for fresh bread at dinner, and make a quick pit-stop at the gourmet grocer for your produce. Portland was like that. It was all so easy. Being here in Rothesay, Scotland– a small sea village– I’m with and without some of the familiar comforts of P-town.

For one, the whole coffee culture thing is gone, baby, gone. There are cafes, but nothing like the caffeine-junkie houses back in the Pacific NW. The options for my produce, bread, meat and the like are limited. Don’t like the citrus fruit this week at the corner stand? Tough. Florida’s about 4,000 miles thataway, Jimmy. Not to keen on the selection of fresh herbs? Peppers? Toe-MOTT-oh’s? Grown your own vegetable patch…

Luckily, small towns like these have plenty of homegrown food ranging from dairy products, lamb, pork, beef, fish, and a variety of produce. Having these locally grown, raised and caught proimg_10601ducts at your fingertips makes up for any discomfort a spoiled American might feel from not having every possible option at their disposal.

I caught the Isle of Bute Saturday market this past weekend, and while it was nowhere as big as the one many of you are used to in the park blocks, having an ancient castle in the background does count for something. I was able to pick up fresh, local thyme, oregano, sage, shallots, and lamb. Stew’s on the menu tonight. Click here for a quick and yummy recipe for traditional lamb stew (psst- “swede” is rutabaga. I had to learn that one myself…).

I should also mention, there is something about being close to the sea that, shall we say, encourages your appetite. I’m beginning to understand the hobbit’s system of breakfast, brunch, elevensy, snack, tea, and lunch, all before mid-day.

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It’s not only environmentally and economically responsible to visit your local fishmonger or butcher, it’s fun! “What shall we do this morning, love? I know—let’s go see what’s just off the line at Richie’s (local fishmonger)!” And there’s a real art to the way these guys lay out their goods. The crappiest little… crappy… can look pretty appetizing after they get through with it.

I always feel like I’ve done my part for the world when supporting these vendors; it’s a whole lot easier to go “one-stop” shopping somewhere for all your needs, even here on the island. But it’s not always cheaper that way (at least not by much) and you lose any sense of community participation. Go local. Help the little guy out. But don’t complain about anything…

I told you guys last time I’d have some castle footage for you. And I cannot tell a lie. Yesterday, I visited one of Scotland’s oldest castles, perhaps it’s first stone one. Rothesay castle dates back to around 1200 A.D., and has a wild history in terms of Norse occupation, Scottish royalty, and of course, bloody battles (oh yeah…). The castle is mostly in ruins now, but is still a great structure to visit and listen carefully to the ancient voices (and bloody screams) within its walls.

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Before you hit play on the video, please keep in mind that your loving host is not by any stretch of the imagination a video guru, and thus you’ll please forgive him for any odd pauses or transitions between frames. I’m still learning, and they’ll get better, I promise.  Also, you may want to watch the video to the very end after the music stops, as there is some laughable footage of myself practicing the game that Scotland invented- golf. Enjoy.



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Until next time– Cheerio!

Jared



















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~ by Jared on May 4, 2009.

9 Responses to “Life on an island… makes me hungry.”

  1. Nice music! When did you learn to play the bagpipes?

  2. WOW! you’re golf swing is just as bad in real-life as when you’re playing Wii.

    Castle was stunning. Yes i could here the blood curdling screams and battle cries.

    Had a dream we were tasting wine. For some reason you started talking NASCAR. Dream ended.

    gman

    • …BAD DREAM! BAD DREAM! Not the wine part, though…

      I thought of you when I was CRUSHING that golf ball. It’s a good thing there weren’t too many other people at the driving range. They would have stoned me to death with their golf balls.

      Scotch and a stogie on the deck tomorrow night?

      ~The Frenchman in the castle from The Holy Grail

  3. […] jaredwinesup placed an interesting blog post on Life on an islandâ […]

  4. Off to St. Andrews with yee Now!!! As I sit in this Florida Sunshine sweating a bit I actually felt a cool breeze as I scanned the video! Enjoying Every Blog! Especially about the food!
    Ciao
    B.J.

    • Thanks, B.J.

      I just waked to the library– in the pouring rain and driving wind. Lovely. Want to trade some sun and heat fro this?

      Cheerio and enjoy the sunshine!
      Jared

  5. Dude, lose the clubs in the Loch! Tis betta to claim yuv had a wee bit too much Scotch then ta claim ya can play!

    Heavy rain here. Hope you’re havin’ fun. ya bum. Drink a wee dram for me. Single malt only, please.

    • I wouldn’t be worth me spit– and that’s not much mind ye’– if I drank anything other than single malt now, David.

      I’ll be visiting some distilleries real soon here, so I’ll have a couple of drams in your honor!

      Cheers,
      Jared

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