Thursday, March 31, 2011

Strawberry Jam

Homemade Bread & Jam
Before today's run, I ate peanut butter and homemade strawberry jam on homemade walnut and sunflower seed wheat bread - I came home from my vacation inspired by the delicious fresh bread and jam I ate in Norway. 

Today after a warm-up, I ran to the bridge for hillwork and into the woods for fun trail running. It was a nice, sunny 50° morning. I saw the Google streetview camera car taking pictures and I smiled for the camera. My 10 mile run went by quickly.

Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe (added later)

Stir 1/2 pouch of 45g Ball® Fruit Jell® Freezer Jam Pectin and 3/4 cup sugar together. Add 2 cups crushed strawberries. Pour into containers. Let sit 30 minutes. Use within 3 weeks and freeze the rest. Makes 20 oz. of delicious jam.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

One Day in London


First stop in London: Paddington Station. Second stop: Krispy Kreme for a glazed donut. Wish we still had one near our house.


Then it was time to begin what turned out to be a 7 hour walk. First, we headed to the British Museum, stopping on the way for a yummy chicken and potato pastie - like having chicken pot pie in a handheld pie pastry.

Rosetta Stone from the Back


We were able to hear a choral choir rehearse in St. Martin in the Fields. Beautiful singing!


We saw thousands of protesters in the streets Saturday, this flowery bus, Big Ben, the River Thames, cathedrals, Hyde Park, St. James Park and finally, Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace
A House Close to the Palace

Many Daffodills in the Parks

We're home now. Thanks for leaving so many nice comments! As soon as I put a dent in my mountain of laundry, I'll see what everyone's been up to. 

From Edinburgh to Aberdeen


We drove from Edinburgh to Aberdeen through Cairngorm National Park in Scotland on Friday. There was snow...


There were castles... I think we saw 4 or 5 - so many castles in Scotland!

Craigievar Castle

Drum Castle
There were cute little towns like Braemar where we stopped for lunch.


Potato Topped with Egg Salad, Salad & Cole Slaw

I ate a baked potato topped with egg salad. I've eaten chicken salad on potatoes here, too. I never would have thought to put those toppings on potatoes. 

Sticky Toffee Pudding
 My favorite food in Scotland was Peckham's sticky toffee pudding. This pretty dish is from Simpson's, but Peckham's had the best - oozing with sweet toffee on a moist date cake.
Edinburgh Castle on the Hill
Before the drive, I ate a currant and cinnamon scone and went for a short run in Edinburgh. I ran along the Royal Mile - the mile from Edinburgh Castle to the Holyrood Palace. Then I ran over to Holyrood Park and down Princes Street, too, with views upward to Edinburgh Castle.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Edinburgh Day 2


Today we visited St Giles' Cathedral, founded in the 1120s, where John Knox was pastor in the 1500's. We wanted an audio device to listen to a guided tour, but they had construction going on and said we could only have a personal guided tour by a volunteer because of the noise. This sounded even better.


As soon as we met our volunteer guide, I noticed her name tag and could hardly believe my eyes. She shared our last name and our name is not very common. Later we walked into the gift shop where one of the employees mentioned someone with our last name, too, and we learned that she grew up on a street which shares our last name!


After attending a short church service, we walked over to Oink where a whole roasted pig sits in the window. The sandwich maker sliced the meat off of the pig when he made our sandwiches. I had a pork sandwich with herb dressing and homemade chunky apple sauce on it. We need an Oink at home!


After lunch we walked to Edinburgh Castle.  


The castle sits on volcanic rock.




View of Edinburgh from the castle...



I had some delicious spicy carrot cake with nuts from Always Sunday restaurant and then we were off on another walk. We took the long way around to the University of Edinburgh - we did that a lot today, 
accidentally.



I think this is a Samson of the Bible thing. Don't worry - we're really pretty normal.


After acting like tourists in front of lots of cool university students, we headed back to the hotel, stopping at a savory pie shop for my first cottage pie - a yummy pie with mince (burger) in a pie shell topped with tatties (mashed potatoes). My husband had a similar pie with puff pastry on top. I make something similar to cottage pie, leaving out the pie pastry. We ate lots of tasty new foods today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Edinburgh


Today we drove from Aberdeen to Edinburgh along the Scotland coast. My husband drove on the left side of the street for the first time - a little odd at first to see the cars coming towards you from the "wrong" lane.


We found little towns along the way, sometimes stopping for pictures or even a scientific experiment: would McDonalds taste the same in Scotland as it does in the US? The bacon in the salad with chicken is real bacon (looks like ham) and tastes good as opposed to the fake bacon bits. They bring the food to you at your table, but they don't give free refills.


And a burger and fries tastes the same - good.


Along the way we stopped to look for this "castle" which has ties back to a family with the same last name as my husband and I and dates back to the early 17th century. After quite a search and help from locals (Google map placed the house in the wrong location), we found it. While wandering around, we met two veterans and their wives who were stationed there while serving in the RAF, the Royal Air Force, which used the house as officer's quarters during WWII.


Finally, we found Edinburgh. There aren't enough street signs here in Scotland and they are often hard to find when they are provided so this felt like quite an accomplishment. We had dinner and walked around.




Now it's time to turn in at the Radisson Blu hotel which sits on the Royal Mile. Can't wait for tomorrow!

20 Miles in Scotland


Hazelhead Park just keeps getting better. Monday I headed back to the park and found...


More forest paths, more creeks and even a deer. Look for the bushy white tail in the next photo.


I was a little afraid of getting lost in the woods so these signs were helpful.


It was windy and hilly and I'm slow on hills, but they're good for me. 


Here are a couple of houses I ran by near the park. Nearly all of the buildings: stores, offices and houses are granite, but sometimes they'll plant flowers or you'll see wild purple and yellow crocuses.






Let's talk food... Most of my European breakfasts have been delicious: muesli, yogurt and fresh berries.


Monday we shared a "true Scottish breakfast". A taste of the sausage, haggis and black pudding (the worst of all) was all that I wanted, but the bacon which looks like ham was very good, especially after my long run, in which I only ate a handful of dried fruit and drank a little water - and without a problem.

The cool temps (40's) and stopping often for photos made this run fairly easy and finding more woods to run in was a lovely surprise.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dunnottar Castle


Sunday afternoon we walked 3 miles to the castle ruins from the Stonehaven train station.


We climbed down a lot stairs and then up a lot of stairs, but it was worth it.






The Castle Reflected in My Husband's Sunglasses

After exploring at the castle, we headed back to the coastal town of Stonehaven, where we ate fish and chips for dinner.


And then it was time to take the 20 minute train ride back to the Aberdeen train station which adjoins the Union Square Mall.


Just before taking the train to Stonehaven, I ate a bean pie (baked beans inside puff pastry) - something I've never eaten before.


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