Passport - Scotland

Travel the world from the comfort of your living room with this Passport to Fun series!  Whether you use these ideas as a date night, family fun night, or homeschool study, you'll be sure to have some fun and bring a bit of Scotland's culture right into your own home!

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You'll remember that I came up with a pretty awesome idea for G's Christmas gift last year.

If you're new here and don't know what I'm talking about, then feel free to wander on over to this post to read all about it.

I'll wait.

Even though we spent all of 2016 traveling to new countries each month, we had so much fun I decided to extend this series indefinitely - so many cool places to learn about and we've even got a list of places we want to return to in the future!

This month, we headed to Scotland -- a spot I'm quite familiar with after this little trek I took several years ago.

G is a pretty big Scotch (whiskey) enthusiast, so he's all for the three of us traveling there someday. That sounds great to me, since I'd love to pick up my little "walk" where I left off and do the Great Glen Way! 

October - Scotland

Set the Stage

I added this stamp to G's passport, then left it out where he'd find it the next morning before he went to work so he'd see where we were going:

What to Decorate With

The flag thing is our go-to wall art for each trip.  It's something fairly simple for Gv and I to do together, uses supplies we already have, and still lends an air of the locale.

What to Dress Like

G didn't have a kilt in his closet, but he did manage to put together a fairly decent facsimile of one using a flannel pajama top.

Initially, the best I do could for us lassies was to don some argyle socks...

...but then I found a plaid scarf in the closet for Gv and grabbed an old blanket to fabricate an earasaid for me.

G said I looked like the Virgin Mary with the hood up like this, but I insisted that "it gets cold out there on the moors!"

Bonus photo of the wee lassie, cuz she looks so darn cute!

What to Listen to

I created a playlist for this month based off of whatever related songs I already had on my ipod. 

This mainly consisted of all of this fiddler's albums (she's technically Canadian, but from Cape Breton, so that totally counts!) as well as a few of her uncle.

This album and this one from the famous movie were perfect.

This Keith Lockhart album worked, too.

And then a little Annie Lennox rounded out the playlist.

What to Eat

I knew we had to have haggis, but I wasn't about to attempt to hunt down sheep's stomach, so I created a vegetarian version. We had neeps and tatties as our side dish and I went with super-easy shortbread for dessert (& G loved having an excuse to imbibe in some Scotch to go along with the meal!)

Vegetarian Haggis

What You Need

1 1/4 cups legume mixture (I just used all lentils)

1 1/2 cups grain mixture (I just used steel cut oats)

3 cups chicken stock

1 chopped onion

1 chopped carrot

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

pinch cayenne pepper

1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 Tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

What You Do

1.  Boil the grains and legumes (separately), using 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of water in each.

2.  Cook the onions in a bit of oil until soft. Add the carrots and cook a few minutes, then mix in all the spices and cook for a minute longer.

3.  Add the legumes to this mixture and stir, then add in the final cup of chicken stock and the grains, stirring well and cooking until the liquid has almost disappeared.

4.  Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and aminos.

5.  Pour into an oven-safe dish and bake, covered, for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Neeps & Tatties

What You Need

3-6 chunked potatoes (any kind you can mash will work and you'll just need enough to match the amount of rutabaga you have)

1 peeled & chunked rutabaga (grab a turnip if you can't find one)

3 Tablespoons butter

salt & pepper

What You Do

1.  All you're doing is making mashed potatoes, but combining them with the rutabaga. Cube and boil both the root vegetables, then mash them up with butter and sprinkle on your salt and pepper.


What You Need

butter, butter, and more butter (actually, just 2 sticks)

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 cups flour (my shortbread's dark because I used whole wheat)

What You Do

1.  Cream together your butter and sugar, then add in the flour. I mixed it all in one of these and just let the thing run until I had a ball of dough stuck to the paddle.

2.  Mush (yes, that is a technical baking term) the dough out onto your baking mat until it's about 1/4-inch thick. Run a butter knife over the whole thing in a grid pattern so that you can bread each piece apart when it's all done. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. Don't let the edges turn brown! Everything will still be soft when you take it out of the oven, but don't worry, because it will stiffen up as it cools.

What to Do

We held our own mini Healy Highland Games, tossing a pool noodle caber and hurling a bocce ball for the stone put.

We were all pretty pathetic, but still had fun.

None of us play golf, but I do have a set of my grandpa's old golf clubs, so we whacked a ball around the backyard a bit.

I'd also thought about weaving a tartan pattern with paper and then creating bagpipes out of a balloon and straws, but we were all too pooped to do any of that after all our heave-ho activity earlier. 

What to Read

I came up with a ton of ideas for what to read this month.

This novel series, of course, is a given, but I also remembered enjoying this appropriate Ken Follett novel, too.

Robert Burns is a no-brainer, as are titles like this one and this one by Robert Lewis Stevenson.

Finally, I discovered these adorable Katie Morag stories for the young laddies and lassies. There are about a zillion of these, so she should keep you busy for quite a while.

In case you read all of those and are looking for something else, you can share this little book with your wee bairns, as well.

What to Watch

You could watch this series if you have the stomach for it (somehow the show makes me a bit more uncomfortable than the books), but we went with a movie, instead.

Titles to choose from include this Hitchcock classic, this cult film, and no-brainer choices like this one and this.

We, however, watched this musical, mainly because we'd never seen it before and it was one that would be okay for young eyes.

And that wrapped up our "trip." It was another huge success and we can't wait to jet off to someplace new next month!

Travel all over the world, without leaving your living room!  Come back each month to see where we head next.  Can you think of any other ideas to add for a trip to Scotland?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of great tips like this and all the fun around here, be sure to sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post delivered right to your inbox.

Want more?  Check out some of our other trips:

Italy - India - France - Africa - Ireland - Switzerland - Canada - Greece - England - Germany - Thailand Russia - China - Spain - Jamaica - Egypt - Mexico Japan - Brazil - Cuba - Australia - Scandinavia

Love this idea, but want the easy, made-for-you-and-all-you-do-is-print-it version?  Click here to get your own pack and see what inspired me to create this series!