Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eating Locally in Aberdeen

Rich and I just moved to Aberdeen, Scotland from Berkeley, CA.... and we're foodies. (gasp). Scotland, land of the deep-fried Mars bar and where haggis stares you in the face on every pub menu. Yet, we're determined to eat well, locally, seasonally during this year abroad. We have to do this on a tight budget, because for now, Rich is unemployed. This just means we'll be eating in a lot, which is fine by me really. I love to cook. Growing up on a Mediterranean diet (my family is from Malta) means that I've always been largely a vegetable eater and not too big on meat. While I had a vegetarian stint during college and still eat largely vegetarian today, I do eat meat on occasion. This is largely because the spouse has many food intolerenances/hypersensitivies and allergies and meat is one thing that doesn't make the boy feel sick. Just to give you a sense of our day to day culinary adventures, here's a list of what he can't eat:

most raw vegetables
most raw fruit, except for berries, apples, and pairs
dark beans
peas/dal (yellow and green)
a lot of dairy
tree nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds

The only one that will lead to a trip to the hospital is the nut allergy, and luckily, I haven't yet had the pleasure of experiencing seeing his face blow up like a balloon. The other foods in the much coveted "Rich List" (featured on many a friend's refrigerators) yield a variety of symptoms, including severe chest pain due to gas, waves of abdominal pain, headache, and a type of frustrated moodiness. So we have quite the list to avoid and thus, I've resigned myself to eat a little meat every now and again, although more times than not, Rich will eat meat while I'll have a veggie or fish substitute.

Unfortunately, Aberdeen does not have as strong a web presence as we have in the Bay Area. We're spoiled, really. This is one reason Rich and I decided to write about the local food culture in Aberdeen.

Thus, this is my attempt to chart our culinary adventures, in a tiny kitchen with few kitchen tools and appliances. Those are locked away in boxes in my parents house in California for the year... (Oh food processor, how I miss thee). We do have good knives, which we brought over from home, and an immersion blender, which we bought here. I did in fact bring our immersion blender to the UK, but wrecked it by forgetting about the wattage difference here vs. at home. This is why we can't bring our hairdryers to Europe, people...what am I saying, I don't use a hairdryer.

Hope you enjoy reading!

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