Expat Thanksgiving: how to make pie from pumpkins

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There are certain laments you hear amongst American expat communities the world over. “I miss peanut butter!” “Why is there no good Mexican food here?” “Where can I find canned pumpkin?” After several years out of the country, most of us learn to adapt to these grueling hardships one way or another. There are expats who lug giant suitcases full of ranch dressing and jello back from every visit to the US. There are those who just fill the peanut-butter-cup-shaped hole in their lives with exotic local sweets (Cadbury Egg, anyone?). And then there are those of us who use such deprivation as an excuse to expand our skill sets. Which is why I know how to make pumpkin pies without using canned pumpkin. Continue reading

Western Highlands: the lost days

WesternHighlands sheep

After Durness and Faraid Head, we spent a couple days slowly making our way back down the west coast of Scotland. Continue reading

Edinburgh: Nighttime at the Botanic Garden

Night in the Garden

As if trying to prove to us that ever-earlier darkness isn’t such a bad thing, Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden is putting on a special nighttime event this month.

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Spookiness at the Edinburgh Dungeon

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We’ve been alternately curious and skeptical about the Edinburgh Dungeon since we moved to town, so when we were invited to check it out, we gave it a go.   Continue reading

Scottish Highlands: hiking the dunes of Faraid Head

Faraid Head hike

Back to our road trip through the western Highlands. In our last post, we drove the beautiful strip from Ullapool to Durness. Continue reading

Cakes! Scones! Sponge! Learning to bake like a Brit

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If there is one thing we have learned about the residents of this island we live on, it’s that they love baked goods. Cake comes up in conversation even more frequently than the weather. One of the most popular things on TV is the Great British Bake Off, a show which I suspect we’re going to have to start watching if we ever want to truly assimilate. Continue reading

Scottish Highlands: driving the northern west coast

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If you look at a map of Scotland’s west coast, you’ll notice that it’s awfully jagged. One can’t exactly drive along it for any significant stretch; instead you just kind of drive near it, wherever the (often single-lane) road takes you. Continue reading

There’s something going on in Scotland

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Our tiny little home country is parading about on the world stage these days. Even American news outlets seem to be aware of the upcoming independence referendum in the land of haggis and bagpipes. As usual, the news jesters seem to be doing the best job of covering this story. Here’s John Oliver’s take: Continue reading

Western Highlands: Ullapool

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Sunset in Ullapool

When we moved to Scotland, we started asking everyone we met for travel recommendations. “What’s your favorite place to visit?” “Where should we go first?” Often the answer ended up being something along the lines of “just drive up and down the whole west coast of Scotland.” The first chance we got, we did just that. Our first destination (after a spontaneous stop for a tour of Dalwhinnie Distillery) was Ullapool. Continue reading

Life in Edinburgh: jumping from summer to fall

Edinburgh Festival Fireworks

The fireworks signifying the end of the Edinburgh International Festival (as seen from our new kitchen window).

August in Edinburgh was a whirlwind of activity: long days filled with festivals, tourists, and fireworks. And then September comes, and the sunsets are suddenly much earlier than they have been, and there’s a tiny, delicate whiff of fall in the air. But that’s not all that is different.

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