My neighbor brought over a plate of shortbread this evening. His cheeks were rosy with cold and he is a kindly man, a bit of a Santa without the whiskers tonight. His wife makes shortbread every year and blesses the neighbors with this treat. I love shortbread better than chocolate, by far.
I have a lovely memory from a visit to Scotland nearly 30 years ago. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in Killin. The host was a distinguished looking gentleman of about sixty, who wore a kilt at all times. His guests were all invited to tea in his beautiful library at 10 o'clock in the evening. This seemed rather late for tea, and the tea was strong. I once heard of a Scottish granny who described proper tea as "strong enough to trot a mouse on". This was it. The shortbread was still warm from the oven. To me, a footsore tourist, this was heaven. Did I sleep after that strong cuppa? You bet!
Our kilted host explained at breakfast that his family eats a somewhat different type of oatmeal from that which he served us. Their Scottish oatmeal was made with a starter, and fermented overnight in a special insulated drawer in the kitchen. It is apparently an acquired taste. I wish I had tried it.
Killin, by the way, had a crumbling church with a tower. An owl was peeping sleepily from the ruined belfry. It was a romantic spot.