Monthly Archives: November 2015

Coming soon … Scottish Film Night!

Every year at the meeting closest to St Andrews Day (30th Nov), our book group abandons the written word and watches a Scottish film. We’ve had The 39 Steps (Robert Powell version), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (the Maggie Smith version), That Sinking Feeling, and this year it’s Sunshine on Leith. Utterly corny but lovely, featuring the great Proclaimers. When I saw it in the cinema I was sure I was going to see someone I knew on the big screen because the Edinburgh scenes were so familiar.

Naturally we have seasonal refreshments including the single malt, the shortie, and the Black Bun. If you’ve never sat down with friends in front of a good local film, and partaken of this particular repast, then you really must. It’s a winning combination. This year, I volunteered to make the Black Bun.IMG_8262

I’m not a Black Bun Virgin – maybe seven years ago I had a go and made one to take to Krakow for New Year. I remember then expecting it to fail because how on earth, I thought, could you get the rich fruit cake inside to cook without burning the pastry? Anyway it must have been Virgins’ Luck because it turned out beautifully. Tonight’s – well – maybe my luck has run out. This is it ready for the oven – hearts are definitely not the traditional decoration for anything Scottish – are Scotsmen romantic? Some more than others I guess. But I’d just bought a set of little heart cutters and thought why not? Ae fond kiss and all that.

it came out of the oven 10 minutes ago. This is its North aspect …







And this is its South …IMG_8265

Oh well I suppose it’ll taste good on the night. And the lights will be out. And the malt will make all the difference …


If food be the music of love …

Or the love of music … Or music the love of food? No I don’t think so. Two weeks ago I was at two brilliant concerts, and because my mind works the way it does, I found myself pondering how either of these would translate into feasts with friends.

IMG_8253On Friday night at the Steeple in Newburgh we were treated to a marvellous spread of local talent (some of which pictured right) followed by a gorgeous hour of ‘Floozie Sue’, a jazzy sort of trio who apparently only get together once a year. What good thing I must have done to be present at their annual flowering I really don’t know, but I’m so glad I was. They were made up of Glaswegian-turned-Edinburger Steve Somebody (sorry! sorry! I didn’t take notes! I was enjoying myself too much!) as raconteur, guitar and singer; Hugh Somebody with a wonderful tickle and strum on the drums, and Dave Ford swooning alongside on numerous instruments including his current favourite double bass. Floozie Sue don’t appear to have a website – when I looked it up, I got ‘Floozie Sue: Quarter Horse’ – something to do with horseracing and betting I believe. Must try and find out why the band called themselves this.

Then on Saturday night I went with friends to Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh to hear The Sixteen on their 2015 choral pilgrimage, ‘Flight of Angels’. Their programme was made up of music by Francisco Guerrero (1528-99) and Alonso Lobo (1555-1617) – both Spanish. To my untutored ear there wasn’t anything especially Spanish-sounding about the pieces – they reminded me of the wonderful Byrd (English) and Palestrina (Italian). They were sublime. Close harmonies and no instrumental accompaniment, wonderful stirring stuff.

For the food analogy I reckon The Sixteen wouldn’t be tapas or sherry, for the above reason – but maybe asparagus mousse in filo pastry, with a sharp little seam of anchovy or horseradish running through. Orange curd.

IMG_8257Floozie Sue though? Something low and dirty, but pure at the same time. A wild boar roasted in a pit with a sticky bourbon glaze. Fresh figs split and oozing. Featherlight breadsticks. A dark chocolate Tunnock’s teacake …