One day I read about an Adopt-A-Blogger event hosted by Kristin of Dine & Dish and immediately thought it would be a fun thing to do. The goal is to introduce and pair up experienced (that would be Holler) and newbie (that would be me) food bloggers with the purpose of nurturing, learning, and cross-promotion.
And so it is how I got to meet Holler who resides in Scotland, surrounded by hills and castles. Though we’ve only spoken by email, I just know she’s got a lovely Scottish lilt to her voice.
On the personal side, Holler is a trained artist who studied graphic design and printed textile design though she says that pursuit has been relegated to leisure time these days. She and her husband, Graham, have just celebrated one year of wedded bliss, are both vegetarians and enjoy holidays in Cyprus, Turkey and Gran Canaria.
The ‘foodie’ scene in her area is limited. There are about 14 supermarkets that she knows of, but specialty food stores are scarce and most folks are not as food-obsessed as Holler and her U.S. counterparts. She doesn’t get the Food Network or Top Chef, but she told me about a show called Come Dine With Me where 5 strangers are brought together to throw dinner parties for each other in their homes and at the end of the evening, the guests give the host’s food and hospitality a score. Sounds like a fun experience.
Holler’s award-winning blog Tinned Tomatoes is a cornucopia of vegetarian delights from her most recent Chunky Plum & Apricot Chutney to savory delights like Mushroom & Nut Roast and a rich Curried Parsnip & Sweet Potato Soup. Her most popular post (based on the number of reader comments received) was Mango, Rose Wine & Cinnamon Sorbet…which looks luscious. Tinned Tomatoes’ readership is global with many fans in the U.S., Canada, Australia and, of course, Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. And, it’s no wonder. Her recipes are interesting and her photography makes them sing out.
In addition, Holler co-hosts a blog event with Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen called No Croutons Required which sponsors a soup and salad challenge. She says the last round-up called for soups or salads including fruit and there were some fabulous entries.
And ‘the verbatim’ in response to the rest of my questions:
What is the national dish of Scotland? Your area?
“Neeps and tatties [huh?], veggie Scotch eggs [looks delicious], Haggis, Cranachan, Clootie Dumpling [huh? huh? huh?], Scones, Oatcakes, Tablet and some of the most delicious cheeses such as Cheddar, Crowdie, Caboc, Strathdon Blue, Strathkinness and Bishop Kennedy.”
Do you have any suggestions for someone who is considering becoming a vegetarian?
“Have a good look at some of the truly fabulous veggie blogs out there. You will not be stuck for ideas and you will probably wonder why you didn’t think of it before!” Here are a few of her favorites: Lisa’s Kitchen, Diet Dessert and Dogs, Green Gourmet Giraffe and Nourish Me.
Do you have suggestions for new bloggers?
“I would say to new bloggers, just have fun! Don’t worry about how little you feel you know, you will learn so much, so quickly, and most bloggers are happy to give a helping hand if you are stuck. Visit blogs you like, leave a thoughtful comment and you will soon have lots of new friends and be part of the most fantastic community.” [Amen!]
Have you ever been to the U.S.?
“No…I would like to go, but I don’t think I will be visiting soon unless I win the pools!”
To which I reply:
You certainly wouldn’t have to spend $$$ on meals. You’ve made so many foodie friends who I’m sure would be happy to host a dinner (vegetarian, of course) for you in your travels. You could start in South Florida!
Click here for Holler’s post about me and foodalogue.