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Listed below are some of the traditional Scottish foods and drinks:

Arbroath Smokie- Haddock which is wood-smoked and is still produced in small family smoke-houses in the East coast fishing town of Arbroath, Scotland.

Bannocks or Oatcakes- A barley or oat cake baked on a griddle.  Recipes vary and they are still widely produced in Scotland today.

Scotch Broth or Hotch-Potch- A rich stock is traditionally made by boiling mutton(neck is best), beef, marrow-bone or chicken (for chicken broth).  Several different vegetable can be used per your own taste.  Diced carrots, garden peas, leeks, cabbage, turnips and a stalk of celery can all be used.  A handful of barley is added to the broth along with the hard vegetables and cook until almost done, then add the softer vegetables.  The result should be a thick broth , served piping hot.

Black Bun- A very rich fruit cake, made with currants, raisins, finely-chopped orange peel, chopped almonds and brown sugar, with the addition of cinnamon and ginger.

Forfar Bridies- An oval delicacy, similar to the Scotch Pie.  The filling is crimped into pastry case made of a stiff paste of flour and water with a pinch of salt, rolled out into a 5" by 7" oval.  Filling consists of minced beef, onion and a little suet.  Pastry is brushed with milk and baked until golden brown.

Haggis- made from sheep's  offal or pluck, consisting of the windpipe, lungs, heart, and liver--boiled and then minced.  This is mixed with beef suet and lightly toasted oatmeal.  Mixture is placed inside the sheep's stomach, which is sewn closed.  Boil up to three hours.  In modern times the part-cooked haggis is baked in the oven which prevents the risk of bursting and spoiling.

Stovied Tatties or Stovies- Potato based dish designed to use up leftover meat and vegetables.  Several onions are sautéed in meat dripping in large pot.  Leftover meat and vegetables are then added to the onions.  Vegetables were usually peas and carrots.  Six to eight potatoes are peeled and cut into 2" cubes and added to mixture in pot...  Only enough water is added to cook potatoes.  Desired consistency should be that of  lumpy mashed potatoes.  In modern times beef bouillon is added prior to simmering.


SCOTCH WHISKY-or simply Scotch is the best known Scottish drink.  Scotch Whisky is distilled from a barley liquor and flavoured with peat tainted water.  Known as the `water of life' or Uisge-Beatha in Gaelic.

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G Kinghorn

Perhaps the valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself to do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done whether you like it or not.  

It is the first lesson that ought to be learned and however early, a person's training begins, it is probably the last lesson a person learns thoroughly.

Thomas Huxley
British  Biologist

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This is the time of year in New England when the weather turns brisk and heavy frost blankets the ground.  Soon the frost turns to snow and many New Englander's welcome the warmth of a cozy wood fire.  

In the seventeenth century firewood was virtually unknown in Europe, only the most wealthy could afford such a luxury.  Naturally, when the English settlers set foot in the `New World' and gazed upon the miles upon miles of woods, they fell to their knees and prayed for their very good fortune.  They rapidly consumed wood for timber, barrel staves, and fuel.  Twenty to forty cords of firewood  was needed per settler just for heating and cooking.  If clear-cut, and acre of wooded land yielded a year's supply of fuel.  European immigration increased rapidly and by 1800 virtually the entire State of Connecticut had been clear-cut at least once.  It's difficult for me to visualize Connecticut without trees.

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The Windham and Brooklyn Turnpike

A bit of history in regard to one of Scotland's roads.

The road extended from the courthouse in Brooklyn to an intersection with the Windham Turnpike about one mile east of Windham Green.  It was built by the Windham and Brooklyn Turnpike Co. under a charter granted at the May session of 1826, and was probably completed during the following summer.  It served as the direct route from Brooklyn through Howard Valley and the northerly part of Scotland to Windham Green.  A toll gate stood at one time in Scotland and in 1909 the cellar hole was still visible.  The corporation owed an acre and a quarter of land in Scotland.

The corporation endeavored to make money for nineteen years by  moving its gates and altering its location.  Evidently the corporation was successful for in 1845 it was willing to take over the road from Brooklyn to the bridge over the Quinebaug in Danielson.  The corporation bore the expense of half the construction cost of the `new' bridge which was needed to replace the flood damaged old one, thus the Town agreed that the corporation could erect a toll gate with half  tolls.

The Turnpikes of New England by Frederic J. Wood. copyright 1909.

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Nicknames Associated With Connecticut

Connecticut enjoys quite a number of nicknames.  Sometimes it is called the Blue Law State from the unenviable fame acquired by the first regulations of the government of New Haven Plantation, known as the Blue Laws.  The Freestone
State  was derived from the valuable quarries of freestone to which the State was largely indebted for its revenue and the Nutmeg State, from the famous speculation of wooden spices, immortalized by 'Sam Slick'.  Additionally, to George Washington, Connecticut was known as the Provision State  because of the supplies contributed by Gov. Jonathan Trumbull.  The only colonial governor to support the cause of America's independence from England. Presently, the State has adopted the nickname of The Constitution State. This nickname was derived from the "Fundamental Orders" of 1639.  A Democratic principle based on the will of the people.  These "Fundamental Orders" were said to have been the first written constitution of a democratic government.  
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In December 1997, according to an exchange of letters excerpted in The Wall Street Journal, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, acting on the complaint of a neighbor, scolded a Montcalm County landowner for "construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond," reminding him that a permit is required for such "inherently dangerous construction" and threatening him against any further "unauthorized activity."

Subsequent investigation by the department revealed the dams to have been built by beavers.   Microsoft Word Picture


G Kinghorn
Our recent trip to Florida was as all other past trips marked with at least one `blooper'.  This trip resulted in coining a new word, Draggage for which our luggage will be forever known as.

Upon arriving in Naples, the last leg of our air travel, it appeared that we would emerge unscathed from mess-up's, lost luggage and forgotten items. We smiled and breathed a sigh of relief as we loaded our luggage into the rent-a-car and proceeded to Fort Myers.  We took a no frill flight so we were looking forward to a nice lunch after getting up at 4:00 a.m. to meet a 7:00 a.m. flight with not much to eat all day.  I don't count the low fat vanilla breakfast bar given to us on the plane. a.k.a. vanilla flavored sawdust.  We quickly unloaded the luggage at the Condo and went to lunch.  That evening my wife was looking for our small carry-on luggage and sent me to the car looking for it.  Not in the car! Must have left it in Naples airport.  Rushed back to the airport, no one could help. We would have to wait until morning but with our luck the luggage contained all our under garments, so-off to the Big K to purchase enough necessaries to hold us over a day or two.  Luck has it that there was a message on the answering machine at the Condo from a person who found our bag in the middle of the road in the Condo complex. It appears that we left the bag in back of the car in the carport because we couldn't carry everything at once and forgot about it.  In our hurry to eat just backed over it and dragged it down the road under the car.  The bag was in pretty good shape in spite of it's ordeal, several scrape marks and one small hole. The camcorder inside survived.
In the fall when we go back we will have to be sure that all the Draggage is packed properly so it can stand the endurance test.  The older we get the more forgetful we get so it could happen again

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Deer Problems?

This year the deer have decimated the shrubs, plants and trees in our yard and in the surrounding community. Here are a few tips from folks that may help with your deer problem. Like with all experiments, you will have to monitor the effectiveness of your strategies. Chances are the deer will get used to the deterrent and you will have to change to Plan B.

Deer love tulips, so to prevent them from eating every one, this person hung aluminum pie plates from a bush above the plants. It worked!
No bush near by-use a stake system.

Discourage deer from munching on young trees, by attaching white plastic bags, (the one you get from the grocery store), to some of the branches. The white color and the fact that they rustle in the wind throws up a caution sign to the deer. Hanging wind chimes in the branches or laying a large circle of chicken wire around the base works for some people.

Try spraying your plants with `hot sauce' mixed with water.  The deer will eat it once but usually don't come back for more.  The problem with this method is that you must do it quite often to keep it fresh.  We found that spreading stinky stuff around the base of plants and shrubs -didn't work.  Save your money.

A motion detector security light with a radio plugged into it is another method used by some. Get a motion detector with two sockets and a four-second `test' setting. Put a light bulb in one socket and a radio tuned to a 24 talk show in the other. When motion is detected, both radio and light will come on for four seconds.

I bought black deer netting and wrapped my tender shrubs but not before the deer ate most of the shrub.  Our holly, yews, and even the PJM were devastated.  I'll wrap in late fall next year and not wait until first snow.  


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