Friday, January 31, 2014

Spice Shop in Aberdeen and a Yummy Mango Recipe

Looking for spices in Aberdeen? I have the place for you! Fair Deal Food City. Here is the address:
2 Powis Place, Aberdeen AB25 3TX, United Kingdom. Beware though. If you put the address into Google Maps, it takes you to George Street. Yahoo Maps got it right.
When you get there, you'll need to go around to the back for the entrance. There is a small car park if you drive there.
Front of building

Entrance in the back
We found some harder to find spices such as Hing and the supposedly yummy (says Andrew Zimmerman) Thai Chili Sauce (Photos from Google Images):

Just For Fun:
I was at Nature's Larder a couple of days ago, and Alan, the owner gave me some dried mango. He told me to put it in soy milk with some cinnamon. I was a bit skeptical but I gave it a try:

I let it sit overnight per his instructions. They were so good! Give it a try. Yum!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Expat life is like reading books

Our lives are stories. Just like stories in most books, we have many chapters. We group these chapters together to form books. When I'm reading a great book and come to the end, I'm always disappointed. I feel like I've been cheated. Perhaps I had this building anticipation that needed to be satiated. Perhaps I became attached to the characters and feel like I've experienced the death of a friend. Perhaps I never received the closure I felt was needed.

Expat life is like reading books. Like the great books you discover, you find so many great people, but also like these books, your time with them will come to a close. Like books, you put them away and occasionally talk about something you remembered from them. Like books, you occasionally look at their pictures and titles, and you keep in touch by remembering those great stories. I went to three leaving-do's this past week. Three stories written in my life that are being closed...

Bon Accord Teresa.

Bon Accord Julia.

Bon Accord Falene.

I look forward to reading the next books of your lives until our stories merge again.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Highland Cows and the Glenfiddich Distillery

One of the days that Philip was here, we decided to tour Balvenie Castle and Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown. It's about an hour or so from Aberdeen. On the way there, we had to stop at one of my favorite places: The Pitstop!

Our next stop was Balvenie Castle. Unfortunately it was closed. Fortunately, the highland cows didn't get the message. Prepare for cuteness.

It was really muddy in some areas! They walked through like it was nothing. Nae bother.

Lastly, we walked across the street to the Glenfiddich Distillery. The tour is free, and you get to taste three drams of whiskey at the end. I learned that "Glenfiddich" is a Gaelic word meaning 'valley of the deer'. If you don't want to see pictures inside the distillery, you should not scroll any further.

A peek inside!

Tasting time! I liked the 15 year best.

"Let the rain sing you a lullaby"

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. 
- Langston Hughes -

A lullaby. That is exactly what this rain has been for me over the last week. We have had seemingly non-stop rain for days and will continue to have it....or snow... for the next few days.

Normally, I'm pretty good about keeping myself from becoming a house zombie, but I lost myself these last few days. Even though I get up around 7:30-8:00 AM, I end up napping around 10AM and feel like there is NO possible way I can or will move from my couch and snuggle puppies. I feel like my head is in a fog, and my limbs and eyelids are tied to bags of sand. I have been exercising regularly, but I haven't been sleeping well. I can't seem to shut off my brain. Even so, I usually can keep moving during the day. *Sighs* I look outside and can't seem to do it. Cloudy. Grey. Wet.

Then, an idea struck me. I haven't been taking my vitamin D supplements. No sun = no vitamin D = fatigue. I started taking them again yesterday, and hopefully I'll get a boost soon. In the meantime, I'm trying to fight this wave of exhaustion by taking more walks, even in the rain. Getting outside helps so much, especially if you are walking toward coffee and friends!

So my advice to you on these cloudy and rainy days is to get up and get out! You may just find yourself again... even in the rain.
What can you see in a puddle?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Need a tailor in Aberdeen?

Well, I have you covered! Personally, I like Golden Stitches on John Street. They have altered a long black dress for me, including adding clasps to hold my bra straps in place even though they'd never done that (my friend Pam explained to them what to do), and they've sewn stripes on my Kung Fu belt (£5/belt for stripes stitched at both ends). They are meticulous and have done a great job. They have a quick turn-around too. They are also right around the corner from John Lewis, so if they don't have a certain color of fabric/ribbon that you need, you can just pick it up at John Lewis!

From: Google
Other recommendations from the Association of American Women of Aberdeen are:
  • A Z Alterations Tailoring at 11a Bridge Street, AB11 6JL
  • New Stitches at 180 George St, City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1BS
  • Superior Sewing on 28-30 Claremont AB10 6RA

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Foodstory Cafe in Aberdeen - Vegetarian and Vegan Options Available

The Foodstory Cafe is located on the corner of Thistle Street and Rose Street. Get there early or get there late for lunch. If you are right on time, well, let's just say so is everybody else.  If you're wanting a sandwich, grab one from the cooler. They will toast it at the counter. They offer vegetarian and Vegan sandwiches. The coffee is yummy, and the gluten-free brownies are mushy goodness. Here is a link to their Facebook page.  Give it a try, eh, tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Deep Fried Mars Bar and What Mars Has to Say

The deep fried Mars bar is something we hear about almost every time we talk to somebody about Stonehaven. While we were there for the Fireball Ceremony, I decided to try one of these.
I didn't like it. It was REALLY sticky. It felt like my teeth were being cemented together. Everyone at the table who tried it had the same reaction. HAHA. You know it. You start smacking and stretching your mouth open wide because everything is sticking together.

To each his own, but this was not for me. On a funnier note, I found an article with a statement from Mars, who had written to the restaurant about improperly using their product name. You'll love it.

"For two decades, it has been a firm favourite of tourists and peckish schoolboys. But it seems the deep-fried Mars Bar is not so popular with the firm behind its key ingredient. 

Confectionery giant Mars has written to the Scottish chip shop which created the calorific snack asking them to make clear on their menu that is not ‘authorised or endorsed’ by the company – because it does not meet its ‘healthy’ image.

The letter says Mars is ‘flattered’ that the Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven has chosen to feature its chocolate bar, but adds: ‘As you may know, we have recently reduced the saturated fat level in our Mars Bar recipe. Deep frying our Mars Bar product, of course, counters this significantly.’.....


Hahahaha... "healthy" image... HA. Please.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Slains Castle and the Bullers of Buchan Near Sunset

Click on pictures to enlarge them. Enjoy!
The owners are using scallop shells instead of rock on the dirt road, and we found their stash!

I like this picture of us.

I love these cliff pictures! I'm in this one. :o)

Philip and I on the cliff!

Philip and I walking to Steve

Nice little waterfall across the way (You may need to click to enlarge.)

On the right - The camel's back

Steve and Philip walking around the Pit
The Pit - Collapsed sea cave

See Steve and Philip behind me? I was having a coffee break.
The muddy walk

View from the car park