Foos yer Doos ? *
I am familiar with the finest chippers** in the north east of Scotland and beyond. If it’s covered in batter and deep fried, I’m your man.
When feeling low I have no need for the comfort of chocolate or tattie*** crisps. Dip it in batter, deep fry it, serve with chips and you can fit a whole fish sideways through my grin …………. pure joy.
White pudding, haggis, haddock or mars bar in crispy delicious batter with chips all rank in my top 10 fine dining meals.
Both my daughters favour a macaroni pie from the chipper and so does my wife which seems strange as she loves fish. She was weaned on fish and I sometimes wonder if she loves it more than me or my lasagne but more on that later.
Haddock is my fish of choice and, I understand, is very much the Scottish fish as opposed to Cod which is favoured elsewhere in the UK. I did some research some years ago to see what the fuss was all about and it was with real excitement I queued then ordered a Cod, chips and mushy peas during a trip to Scarborough. The rest of the family were still reeling as no macaroni pies were on the menu but I settled down like the Observers food critic Jay Rayner and examined the treat in front of me. They say you eat with your eyes and my eyes loved what they saw. A splendid sized fish with a light batter still sizzling slightly, good sized chips cooked to an appealing golden colour then mushy peas winking at me like a glistening Fortnum and Mason fluorescent sauce. I was transfixed, nothing else matter at that moment, stand back, im going in ……….. everything was fine **** but the cod tasted, well, like cod. It wasn’t Haddock and I wasn’t converted. I was full but disappointed, wishing they had Haddock.
Having several Michelin Star dining experiences under my belt along with a 25% input to a little and relatively unknown fine dining club I think I’m fairly well qualified to judge good food. Our food club is exclusive to 4 hungry food connoisseurs, myself, the famous warrioress and our loved friends Ann and Stevie. Both are fantastic cooks although Stevies passion for Aberdeen football club pips his interest in cooking. In between fine dining trips we also cook for each other every few months. Boy have we had some fantastic meals together, great company, great food and sunny lifelong memories. A full Christmas dinner in July complete with a tree and decorations got the elderly neighbours wondering why it wasn’t dark at 10:00 PM but it was a real quality feast and another evening that will never to be forgotten.
On our dining club, we save, we select a venue, we book, we plan our meeting, we dine and finally we discuss and agree a score. Our scoring is split between 4 categories: quality of food, value for money, atmosphere and service. Currently top of our list is The Kitchin in Edinburgh, https://thekitchin.com/ followed by The Fennel in Inverurie. http://www.fennelrestaurant.co.uk/. No one has had haggis or haddock or macaroni pies yet although we did once share a deep fried mars bar.
To be honest being served beans on toast would feature highly in my scoring if that was the skill level of the chef, for me its about the attention, the sharing, the planning and the time set aside for me and the feel good factor the food gives me. I know a good curry makes me feel good and if it’s very good I feel a bit emotional. Good Italian food does the same.
My famous warrioress says it was my blue eyes that made her fall in love with me but I know it was my homemade lasagne so when selecting your wedding meal make it something you want, something that will make you emotional, something that will give you a fish sized grin in the future so why not haggis or a delicious curry ? You will never please everyone, especially if macaroni pies are not on the menu but it’s your day so make sure to please yourselves.
Make it scotch broth and chicken or Scottish salmon, make it chips, make it stovies***** make it deep fried Mars bars, but above all else make it fine, make it yours. This is your day.
Meantime pass me the haggis pakora with a dram****** of my favourite whisky
Thanks for staying with me and feel free to tune into Blog #3, Wedding attire, Clans, Tartans and Nicky Tams appearing at a screen near you soon.
Foos yer Doos ? : How are you
Chipper** A chip shop
Tattie*** A potato.
Fine**** Very tasty, generally associated with food.
Stovies***** Scottish dish based on Tatties and left over meat.
Dram***** A small measure of whisky
Note: A large dram is better than a small one.
Main image borrowed from: cookingperfected.com