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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Plaid as a Fashion Statement

I hadn't been in Scotland in about 30 years and I had forgotten how omnipresent plaid is in those parts.  Plaid pants, plaid kilts, plaid carpet...  It's all there and on display.

I happen to love plaid and I must admit a man in a kilt can be quite attractive.  Sean Connery can rock a kilt like nobody's business.  It's probably not Ted's look, but for the Scots it works well.  Ted kept telling me that there's Scottish blood in his family but I don't think it's quite enough to pull off even the plaid pants.  My view is that if he wants to display his somewhat limited Scottish heritage he should go with a cashmere sweater.  I have no Scottish blood whatsoever and I wear cashmere all the time.  Works for me.

Some of the plaids are quite zippy and bright.  That's a good thing because the weather in Scotland is awful.  We had rain every day.  The strange thing was that it would rain and then the sun would break through and it would be beautiful for about a half hour, and then the rain would come again.  This would go on all day long.  Just about the time I closed my umbrella and took off my raincoat, the rain and wind would return.  Needless to say, you don't go to Scotland for the weather.

As a result of all this rain, everything is green and lush.  The rolling hills of the Scottish Highlands are breathtakingly beautiful.  Besides spending time in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, we stayed in two lovely country inns.  The road trips to get to each of these inns were well worth the trip and braving all the rain and wind.

Despite all the farmland, the Scottish do not feature a lot of salads in their cuisine.  The funny thing was that I really missed them and when I got home I found that I was really in the mood for one.  Tonight I made one of my favorites, a caprese salad, with lots of creamy mozzarella cheese, heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and even some kalamata olives.  It was just what I was craving after all that Scottish salmon and sausage.  The salad was so good that I saw plaid.

Recipe:  Caprese Salad


Heirloom tomatoes. sliced (I usually figure 1 or 2 per person, depending on their size)
Fresh mozzarella, sliced  (enough to layer 1 slice on each slice of tomato)
1/4 cup kalamata olives
Handful of fresh basil, chiffonade
Fruity olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Beginning with a slice of tomato, layer one slice with a slice of the mozzarella.  Repeat with all of the tomato slices and all of the mozzarella slices.  Arrange decoratively on a platter.  Arrange the basil chiffonade on top of the tomatoes and mozzarella and then sprinkle the olives over that.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over everything.  Serve at room temperature.


  1. Ted mignt or might not look good in a kilt, but his maternal grandparents gave him a somewhat more than "limited" Scottish heritage! hmr

  2. Am soooo glad you're back! My dinner choices were just not as inspired without your fabulous, pithy blog and recipes! Am sure your "limited" or "more than limited" Scottish husband is delighted to return to your fabulous unlimited cooking!