Scottish Frugality

Yesterday was one of those days where it seemed that it went from good to bad to good to bad – repeatedly.  As is customary here in the States, it is tax time. This year things did not pan out the way I would have thought. We had a few mistakes last year that caused us to owe money. It is not a fault or blame. It is just the way it happened. We live and learn. As the pendulum would swing, from the bad to the good, I became aware of an opportunity from my alma mater, that there is a summer job that would allow me to make twice what I am making now. There are details to the opportunity that would be too hard to pass up. As things evolve, I will be more forthcoming with the details. Let us just say, that it could possibly open a few doors for us “across the pond”. Not wanting to jinx anything, we will leave it at that for now. So what do these things have to do with Irish/British food? Not much. 

Frugality was the theme of today’s post. Funds might be a bit tight for the next few weeks. So I wanted to see what I could “use up” around here. Everything I needed for a cake was already in house. It was time to put the culinary skills to work.

We happened to have a few parsnips left over in the kitchen. Parsnips outside of their savoury context make me think of parsnip cake. We used to make one using the same recipe as our carrot cake. We would substitute parsnips for carrots and toasted walnuts for pecans. To finish the cake, we would do a butterscotch frosting on top. Those elements in a cake make me think Scotland. Scotland, of course, makes me think of frugality. With tartan day a few days away on the 6th, it seems befitting to pay homage to our Scottish ancestors.

It was not much to look at, but it turned out well. The frosting recipe, as listed in our recipe journal from the restaurant did not turn out the way I expected. My recipes back then were just ingredients with no directions. That form of journaling is a blessing and a curse. It is great as long as “I” remember the method. Once I forget, the recipe is rather useless. So I had to readapt it to make it usable. It could still use a bit more tweaking.

This frugality in a sense makes one a better cook and chef. These cuisines were built around this mentality. This is especially true before the opulence of the Victorian era. This is how housewives cooked for their homes. They utilised what they had. I feel that this type of cookery makes for some of the best food. This is the type of food that makes me enjoy doing what I do best.