After a long and awesome day with C, and accidentally setting off an alarm in Hunter House right before meeting the head pastor of P and M’s church (hi nice to meet you, have an emergency alarm go off, courtesy of, The American), we took one last trip to ASDA before going back to P’s so I could cook them dinner. I decided that they both needed a proper Mexican meal, and what better way to do that than tacos?!
I’m glad that I can say that I have cooked Mexican food in Scotland, but I wish I would have brought my own ingredients! Haha. Everything here is almost anti-Mexican as far as food ingredients go. ;) The corn tortillas here are so yellow and grainy, as if they were pieces of corn bread flattened into crepes. When I went to open my canned “plum tomatoes” (which appeared to be diced tomatoes), they were pureed, so that wasn’t good for making red rice. HMM. It was a good thing we had bought some fresh tomatoes beforehand for some guacamole. I just put those and a lot of taco seasoning in the rice….although I was skeptical about that too, because…taco seasoning in Scotland? Too good to be true. I also had an awful discovery when I found out that chicken stock here is NOT sold in a liquid state, you have to but these little pudding gel-packs and boil it to get it to become liquid. except my chicken stock wouldn’t boil and there were chunks of stock floating around and it was GROSS.
Scottish Chicken “Stock” (chicken stock was for the rice).
P doesn’t have a ton of stuff in her flat, so I made pinto beans in a wok, mixed guacamole with a hand-blender, and flipped tacos with a spatuala (They all broke open). There was a lot of stuff that I could improvise, however just as I was getting ready to fry the tacos, I realized I had NO CHEESE. DEVASTATION. That was one thing that I could not improvise. How did I forget to buy cheese? On second thought, who doesn’t buy cheese as a grocery item? Cheese is such a staple in my house! As soon as I realized it I told P and M and they both just said “Oh, that’s alright! No worries! Don’t need it!” I must have dropped my jaw. “Yes, you need cheese. For tacos. YES.” “Oh, alright, so block cheese is ok? You can just grate it?” I was ready to have a mini-fit. Grate block cheese for tacos? You do know that they sell shredded cheese, right? Wait, do they sell shredded cheese in Scotland? I can’t comprehend that cheese is so far and few between for the normal fridge in Scotland.
Overall I think that they liked dinner very much. I was disappointed it wasn’t ‘just like home’, but considering how different my ingredients were and the improvising that I did, I think it went well. The rest of the night was pleasant visiting and just getting to know M and spending time with P and I’m so grateful that they let me spend time with them before begin their journey together as man and wife. They have made me feel so well taken care of and welcomed, and I am so grateful. What a unique experience.
Saturday was the day of my first Scottish premier league game! We were going to go and see Motherwell FC vs. some other team. Like I mentioned in the last post, the rain here has been really bad, even for Scotland. So unfortunately the game was cancelled because the pitch got waterlogged. I’m not going to lie, I was super bummed when P told me. However, never the ones to disappoint, P and M already had a plan ‘B’ in place, and after some re-arranging of the day’s schedule, we decided to go to a game in the next town over (no cities here, just town and villages. Also, everyone here knows the history of their town or village, which is totally bizarre. “yes i studied the history of Lakewood in primary school, of course”). We made plans for the Hamilton Accies (ack-ees) game later that afternoon, and then plans to go and watch the Arsenal v. Tottenham game at P’s brother’s house and watch Arsenal v. Tottenham live on itv English.
Since the time of the match and location had changed, P and I decided to get some errands done in the meantime. We were all set to go when I opened the door and there just so happened to be a man standing there. It made me jump a mile! Apparently he (A) was coming to the football match and the time of the new Hamilton match had never been communicated to him. After the confusion was settled and a good laugh was had, P and I headed out and ran some errands. Not too much to report on that note. It was fun to run around and see where P would normally go to the store and sort of have a “locals only” experience. We went into a couple of pound shops too and I got some candy! I got flying saucers, which have “sherbet” inside of them….except sherbet is not like the American ice cream, but rather more like a sour, sugary salt thing like the inside of a pixie stick. I definitely wasn’t expecting that. I also got Rainbow puffs, which I haven’t tried yet, but they look like fruity pebbles but in the form of a cheese puff, Mars Bars, and Wham Bars (my favorite out of the ones I bought). Wham Bars are like air heads, except they have pop rocks candy inside of them. I was getting hungry after errands so P got me a sausage roll, which is a sausage inside of a warm pastry/biscuit. Very cheap and sooooooooo so so so yummy!!
“Jazzies” or “jazzie-drops”, found at the American Candy Co. shop. We call these hamster treats, but of course they would be called Jazzies. ;)
Afterwards it was off to the game. With my cami, long-sleeved shirt, my sweatshirt, my wind-breaker, and THEN my coat, a beanie, and leggings under my jeans, I was warm enough for the game. The game was so fantastic. We were at a first division game, so a division or two below the Premiership (pros), but the atmosphere was still really great. The opposing team had their own entrance and stands in the arena, and everyone was buzzing with competition.
The first thing we did when we got in was get a bovril from the stands. A bovril is a steeping cup of super liquified gravy. Almost like drinking chicken stock…except it’s gravy. It’s not as terrible tasting as it sounds, just tastes meat-flavored and supremely salty. I drank mine slowly because it was so hot but I still burned my tongue. However, I didn’t finish it, it was just too much. For the most part, the game was not very exciting to me. I enjoyed the atmosphere more than the actual game, but I would go again in a hot second. I think it’s because I had no emotional attachment to either of the teams. The first thing I noticed was how incredibly loud the opposing fans were. There were only a few hundred people in those stands, filling maybe a fourth of the seats up. I actually asked if the stands had a microphone connected to them because the fans were so loud! Apparently the roof over the top of the stands causes the noise to bounce out very well. I wonder if they did that on purpose?
I found myself incredibly curious and tickled by a lot of my surroundings. The singing crew of fans in the upper left corner made my laugh loads, you always hear the fans cheering on the “telly”, but to hear them in person is quite the experience, they’re very disorganized and just very silly. And this group in particular was just a bunch of teenage boys. They must come every Saturday just for the comradery! The fans did a lot of jeering at one another, just pointing at the opposing team’s fans, yelling nonsense at one another. It’s pretty comical when you consider how unimportant this game and this team were.
The game went on and I chatted away and then A about lots of different topics, then the Accies scored, and the crowd went bizerk! Everyone roared and cheered as if they had won the premiership!! As more goals were scored and the loudness of the crowd shifted between the fans of the team that had scored most recently. During half-time it began to get cold and we got more goodies. I wasn’t going to have another bovril (broth-rill), but I did have a Scotch meat pie, and that was pretty yummy.
Scotch Meat Pie
The game ended with a 3-1 win for the Accies, which was nice, and after that we drove to a different town to watch Arsenal v. Tottenham. Another win! The final score was 2-1. A good game played by the Gunners, but unfortunately Theo Walcott injured himself during the match. As it turns out, he will be out for 6 months, having torn some ligaments in his knee when he fell. That means that he will miss the rest of the season, as well as probably the world cup in Brazil this summer. That’s not a good outcome for Arsenal fans.
The night ended with some delicious dinner at P’s mom and dad’s house. It was really great to meet them after having heard of them for so long. I feel like it was just like meeting a good friend that you haven’t seen in a long time. It was great to see P with her mom and dad as well, to see how she’s like both of them in different ways, and how excited everyone is for the wedding. :)
I’ll write more soon, but Sunday and Monday don’t have too much to report.