Hometown Heroine: Perth

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to endureeverything who is now Following.

My grandmother, the family historian, told me the story of Catherine Douglass when I was a child. Since my gr-gr-gr-great-grandmother was a Douglass, my grandmother [she of the Christmas cookies] thought I should know how Catherine tried to save the King of Scotland and earned the sobriquet ‘Kate Barlass.’ When James I was King of Scotland, he did some things that earned him praise. He also earned the enmity of several powerful nobles [like his uncle and cousins] who determined to kill the king in order to advance their families’ agendas. On February 20, 1437, King James, his wife Joan and a few members of their inner circle were staying at the Blackfriars Monastery in Perth. A group of dissidents decided to use the occasion for assassination, and they had the help of the King’s steward. The King and Queen were in their room, getting ready for bed, attended by her ladies. One of the ladies was Catherine ‘Kate’ Douglass. A commotion was heard in the hall and the royal party guessed that danger was at hand. Someone knew that there was a sewage tunnel under the room, so the rug was raised and the King was lowered into a pit under the floorboards. Once, there had been a tunnel going out to the garden, but it had been walled-off because near-by games of lawn tennis were often interrupted when balls went into the tunnel. As the King hiding himself, Queen Joan told her women to secure the stout bar that would fasten the door to the room — but the duplicitous steward had removed it. Determined to buy time, Catherine put her arm in the brackets where the bar should have gone. Alas, a young woman’s arm is no match to 30 determined assassins — the door burst open, breaking Catherine’s arm. The murderers also knew about the sewage tunnel, the king was revealed when the floor was opened, and he was stabbed 23 times. In the mele, the Queen was stabbed and another lady was injured, but the women escaped to Sterling Castle. The exploits of Kate Douglass were written down in 1527, then repeated in translations throughout the century. Authors of the 1800s from Walter Scott to Dante Gabriel Rossetti amplified the story of Kate Barlass, and she caught the popular imagination. In a play by Sir Arthur Helps and in paintings, Catherine Douglass had her 15 minutes of fame. Her fame continues into this century with a fine song about Catherine and she lives on in the expression, “Katie, bar the door” which means “Watch out — trouble is coming.” That’s my grandmother’s story, and I’m sticking to it.

We don’t usually associate potatoes with Scotland, but both out meals have them as an ingredient. To make the potatoes more healthy, mix equal parts sweet potatoes and white potatoes to use in these recipes.

Tattie Scone with Egg: 145 calories 5 g fat 2.6 g fiber 8.5 g protein 18.4 g carbs 87 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg, scone, and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB  Tattie Scones have been part of a Scottish Breakfast ever since potatoes were considered fit to eat. Easy to make when you have left-over boiled potatoes.

One 2-oz egg 1 tattie scone*** 2 oz apple or pear  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Prepare the Tattie Scone [HINT: Do this the night before and cook them, too.] and keep warm or re-warm. Fry the egg to your liking. Prepare the fruit and beverages. Plate the scone, top with the egg. Plate the fruit and pour the beverages. Almost an instant meal, if you made the scone beforehand.

***TATTIE SCONES makes 3, each at 43 calories ½ cup mashed potatoes, no milk, no butter nb: I have made this successfully with half sweet potato/half white potato 1 Tbsp egg white 1 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 2 Tbsp milk ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp baking powder Stir all ingredients together – batter will look like thin Cream of Wheat. 

Measure ¼ cup portions and pour into a heavy skillet which is well-seasoned or has been spitzed with non-stick spray. Spread out the batter to about 4.5” diameter. Cook slowly on one side until the scones are cohesive enough to turn over. Cook on the other side. Cool and store until you need them.

Cullen Skink:  228 calories  4.5 g fat 3 g fiber 26 g protein 20 g carbs 161 mg Calcium   PB GF  We found this old Scottish recipe to be divine!! Despite the low calorie count, it is very satisfying. Comfort Food with a Scottish dialect.

3 oz finnen haddie [smoked haddock] 3 oz milk small pinch ground cloves bay leaf ¼ cup onion, chopped 2 oz potato, diced 1 oz peas -OR- 3 oz asparagus, cut in 2” slices 1 tsp butter parsley for garnish

Skin the fish and put it in a small pan with the milk and bay leaf. Cook gently until the fish is warm. Remove the fish from the milk and break it into large pieces. Add the onions, potatoes, and cloves to the milk along with a little water. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf. Run the milk and vegetables through the blender [or use immersion blender] to a fine puree. Cook the asparagus. Return the fish to the pan with butter and the puree and heat. Add pepper to taste. Plate the fish and vegetable puree, sprinkle with parsley, and arrange the vegetable around the sides. You will want to eat this again!

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