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SKIP!

I've always had an incredible memory for food. Just ask a friend of mine in Redondo Beach, if I don't remember the first meal I had at any restaurant I've ever been to, I'd be surprised. Occasionally that spans to any meal I had during a conversation that covered a particular subject. I wouldn't remember what I was wearing, how we got there or what time the reservations were for, but I could remember the appetizers, the main course, what accompanied the meal and the dessert afterward. Sometimes I can even remember the servers, but mostly it's just the food.

There's one particular meal that I had as a kid though that somehow completely skipped my memory until just recently. Due to a conversation with someone in Scotland before my trip, I started to discover things about Scottish food I didn't previously know and had never been aware of. Some of it could be comfortably compared to some of the meals my mother made when I was a kid.

Probably the most popular talked about Scottish food is Haggis. My mother never cooked anything similar to it as far as I know, but then again I've never had Haggis and have nothing to compare it to. I'm sure I'll be trying it for the first time during my trip in 4 days time.

There's another traditional Scottish dish however that I'm very much looking forward to comparing to something my mother renamed.

Taken straight from Wikipedia,
Stovies is a traditional Scottish dish. Recipes and ingredients vary widely between regions, and even families, but the dish contains potatoes, usually (but not always) onions and often (but again not always) leftover roast beef, mince or other meat. The potatoes are cooked by stewing with fat; stove also having the meaning of stew or to stew in Scots. Lard, beef dripping or butter may be used.

Mom came home from work late one night. She was tired and she didn't feel like cooking. Dad had come home from work early, but had spent the afternoon working on one of the cars. Both were tired, both were hungry and neither felt like cooking.

"What's for dinner," Dad asked my mother as she walked in the door. She tossed her purse in the chair and glared at him.

"We're gonna skip it tonight."

He knew the signs and left her alone for a while. Finally hunger got the better of her and she wandered into the kitchen to see what she could dig up.

She had some ground beef in the fridge that she meant to cook and didn't. She tossed some potatoes in the skillet and cooked them with some bits of onion. Carrots went in the pot then, and when it was done, we had a great meal that she had invented - so I thought. It turns out the Scots invented it decades before.

She served it on plates and set it on the table. Dad squirted some catsup on it, and to him it was a complete meal. Meat and potatoes is all he ever really wanted in order to be happy anyway. As we took our first bites, his eyes lit up.

"This is great!" he exclaimed. "Funny name for it though, Skip."

It happened before I was born and I actually grew up on Skip. I love the stuff and am contemplating making some for dinner tonight. I might if I had potatoes and onions... and carrots. Oh, and some meat.





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