Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m dining in Edinburgh this evening, so there’s scant chance of turkey, but that’s okay, for I’m going out to eat with the local humanists.  And for breakfast tomorrow at my B&B I have four options:

1. Scottish smoked salmon and scrambled egg (tempting, but inferior to #3):

2. Haggis with poached egg and potato scone (McSween’s Haggis, with minced beef and sans offal, is good, but that’s not on offer, so I’ll eschew this choice).

3. Traditional Fry (the one I will choose, of course), with my choice (any or all) of bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomato, hash brown, baked beans, and either poached, scrambled, fried, or boiled eggs. The consumption of vile, canned baked beans for breakfast is a moral failing of many in the U.K. I can only surmise that many years ago, in the absence of real breakfast food, someone opened a can of beans, and since then it’s become a “tradition.”

4. Or I could have the Health Nuts’ Choice: continental breakfast.  That’s for weenies.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone about to gorge in the U.S. Here’s a suggestion about what to be thankful for (and a biology lesson):

h/t: Julie

39 Comments

  1. spud2006
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    OK, that’s it. I’ve silently tolerated the dissing of Marmite up to now, but now it’s the humble baked bean in your sights and I’m not standing for it.

    I demand satisfaction. A field of your choice, with your seconds, dawn tomorrow, a copy of Signature in the Cell each. May the best man win.

    • Kieran
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Also eat the haggis it’s lovely, nothing wrong with a bit of offal! Was over in Edinburgh for a stag had a lovely breakfast with haggis standing in for the black and white pudding. Next thing you’re going to say you don’t want to try drisheen.
      I’m with you on baked beans, many a morning it’s gotten me through the first difficult minutes of the day! All though being from Ireland it was bachelors for us.

    • Dominic
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Well, you would win if it were a farting match!

    • Miles_Teg
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. Thre’s nothing wrong with canned baked beans. I haven’t had Marmite for many years but it might be nearly as good as Vegemite, the toast spread of heaven.

  2. Bonzodog
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Try some of the local produce as well … Ardbeg 10 year old is quite lovely!

  3. Bonzodog
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    (I meant not for breakfast of course!)

    • daveau
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      One place we stayed at Loch Lomond had whisky to put in your oatmeal. I thought that would be a staple, so I passed it up, as it was only the first day, and I wasn’t quite used to driving on the wrong side of the road yet. On second thought, maybe that would have helped…

  4. Alex Shuffell
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Us Englishers are raised on baked beans, when I first heard we are the only country to regularly eat them I was in disbelief, I still haven’t recovered from the shock. I now look at a can of heinz and think of a traditional dish of the Philippines called Balut. I wonder to myself whether it’s seen as the same thing, just a quirky cuisine of our culture. But I don’t think anyone claims baked beans make you better in bed.

    • Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      I grew up believing my British tinned baked beans were real cowboy food, onky to learn with some dismay that in that form it’s a Brit thing.

  5. Notagod
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Please pop a plate of #1 up to the ISS with request to drop it in the upper part of south central New Mexico on the next go round.

    Thaannk you.

  6. Lissa
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    You seem to be confused Jerry. REAL haggis is the good stuff, and baked beans (not the terrible, disgusting sickly-sweet American version) are excellent with scrambled eggs and bacon. I do hope your B&B has Lorne sausage rather than link sausage, but if not, make sure you get some Lorne; it is the far superior form of breakfast sausage!

    • Dominic
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I have no Scottish ancestry at least in the last 200 years, but I would marry a haggis if one proposed to me! (I would be quickly widowed…)

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Sorry, Spoken for…

        • gravelinspector
          Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          Cannibal.
          Errr, “Cannibalee .. ?”

  7. Hempenstein
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Will you be there for more than a day? I think I’d go for 2, 1 & 3 in that order.

    & spam’s not an option with 3?

  8. Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I’ll have a can of baked beans (Heinz, of course) for breakfast over biscuits in gravy any day. That was the “special” at the Furnace Creek Inn yesterday… yuck.

    /@

    • Alex Shuffell
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Biscuits and gravy! Or as we would describe it, a wet scone with warm baby vomit.

      • Lissa
        Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        When I first told my Scottish husband about biscuits and gravy he gave me a look like I was insane; the image that popped into his mind was custard creams and Bisto! That would indeed be disgusting.

        • Alex Shuffell
          Posted November 22, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          I had the same idea with Hob Nobs.

        • gravelinspector
          Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Un bouquette pour monsieur Creosote, s.v.p.

    • Marta
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      This is so wrong.

      A great biscuit with red-eye gravy is unbelievably good.

      Biscuits and gravy are traditionally the breakfast of leftovers from the night before; like onion soup or collard greens, it came out of poverty.

  9. MKray
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    In Edinburgh, look out for the ghosts of David Hume, Adam Smith, James Clerk Maxwell and James Hutton. In Glasgow, James Watt and his teacher Joseph Black (discoverer of latent heat)

    • gbjames
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      They kept goats?

    • Dominic
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Darwin at medical schoolalso, as well & Conan Doyle…

  10. gbjames
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Seems to me than since it is Thanksgiving you should go for the holiday salmon!

  11. harrystarkus
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I dreaded Haggis the first time I had it ( in Edinburgh ) and I could not believe how nice it was. I wish we could get it from a good butchers here in Dublin. It’s lovely with a small amount of mashed-potato. I am jealous. Its “offaly” good – sorry, such a terrible pun.

    And i totally agree with you on the baked beans – truly a desecration of the great fry.

    Happy thanksgiving.

  12. daveau
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed real Haggis the one time I had it. But not for breakfast. The thing I didn’t like so much was the black pudding, ubiquitous with a Scottish breakfast. I did find out that it depends. I did have one that was quite good, but I can’t remember where that was. Mostly it was just too dry.

  13. Posted November 22, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I’ve often wondered how many people are even remotely aware of hos the American celebration of “Thanksgiving” really began.

    John Two-Hawks tells it like it really was:
    “It is good to celebrate Thanksgiving, to be thankful for your blessings. It is not good to distort history, to falsely portray the origin of this holiday and lie about the truth of its actual inception.

    “Thanksgiving’ did not begin as a great loving relationship between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag, Pequot and Narragansett people. In fact, in October of 1621 when the ‘pilgrim’ survivors of their first winter in Turtle Island sat down to share the first unofficial ‘Thanksgiving’ meal, the Indians who were there were not even invited! There was no turkey, squash, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie. A few days before this alleged feast took place, a company of ‘pilgrims’ led by Miles Standish actively sought the head of a local Indian leader, and an 11 foot high wall was erected around the entire Plymouth settlement for the very purpose of keeping Indians out! Officially, the holiday we know as ‘Thanksgiving’ actually came into existence in the year 1637. Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony proclaimed this first official day of Thanksgiving and feasting to celebrate the return of the colony’s men who had arrived safely from what is now Mystic, Connecticut. They had gone there to participate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot men, women and children, and Mr. Winthrop decided to dedicate an official day of thanksgiving complete with a feast to ‘give thanks’ for their great ‘victory’….”
    ~John Two-Hawks.”

    It’s frightening and hard to believe, I know. Here’s more evidence though:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pequot_War

    • Marta
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday.

      Regardless of its history, what I’m completely confident about is that it would be impossible for Congress to create such a holiday now.

      Imagine: one day out of the other 365 whose only purpose is to eat as well as you can with people you like or love and to shut your pie hole with your complaints and be grateful.

  14. neil344
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    About the cartoon. It was evolution that provided the turkey, but it was intelligent design (human-directed selective breeding) that turned it into “a ball of walking meat”.

    • Notagod
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      While true, that is still a product of the processes of evolution. It is humans harnessing the power of selection of traits, thus evolution. The intelligent part is yet to be determined as it is still questionable regarding the direction of the design (overall, disregarding the fate of the turkey).

      • neil344
        Posted November 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you’re right. It is difficult to imagine that a gelatinous “Butterball” turkey is the product of intelligent design (except, perhaps, that pop-up timer).

  15. Posted November 22, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    You don’t like baked beans? But what do you put on your jacket potatoes?? I mean, grated cheddar and Worcester sauce are good, but they need those beans! :-)

  16. revjimbob
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    You’re right – McSween’s is lovely haggis.

  17. Posted November 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to add that the comic is “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal”, by Zach Weiner, for those who didn’t know http://www.smbc-comics.com/

  18. Nick260682
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m English, and while it is a staple, frankly, I can live without baked beans. I almost feel slightly unpatriotic now!

    However, I take umbrage with anyone who disses Marmite! How can anyone not like the salty, savoury, umami burst? Delicious with hot buttered toast and in Cheddar cheese sandwiches.

    That and Gentlemen’s Relish. Smells like fish food, tastes divine.

    • spud2006
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Another vote here for Gentleman’s Relish.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Someone has an unhealthily close association with fish food. (Not me!)

  19. js
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I am an Aussie but have an English mother so baked beans were eaten at home but not by me.
    Couldn’t stand them along with Vegemite and peanut butter.
    I recently made baked beans from Jamie Oliver’s book using home grown borlotti beans and they were fantastic.
    Also, spaghetti was only ever found in a can along with tomato sauce.


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