Sunday, August 10, 2014

Scottish Tablet Recipe

Scottish Tablet


1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light cream (or milk)
4 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

1. Line a 9x9 pan with wax paper and set aside. 

2. Stir condensed milk, cream (or milk), sugar, and butter in a large (4 qt) heavy bottomed sauce pan (or pot). 

3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly (approx 20 min). 

4. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to cook and stir until a sugar (or meat) thermometer reads 234 to 240 degrees F. This is known as the soft ball stage (approx 20 - 25 min).

5. When the mixture reaches this temperature range it should be a light tan color. Remove from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. Stop when the mixture turns grainy. 

This is the tricky part. You want to mix enough so that the tablet isn't chewy. But if you over stir, it won't pour. I filled the bottom of the sink with cold water and put the pot in it to speed the cooling. 

6. If you want to add chocolate chips (4 oz), peppermint, or other flavorings, do it here. Just mix it. 

7. Pour into a prepared pan. Allow to cool for a few minutes then score the top with a serrated knife into 1" squares. Let cool for 6 hours or overnight. 

8. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Trip to Memphis

Here are some comments on my recent trip to Memphis.


I made my first visit to Graceland today. I must say it was a lot more interesting and better than I was expecting. For $30 you can take a tour of just the mansion or for $4 you can also add a bunch of small exhibits to your tour. Fortunately, I found this coupon for $4 off the Platinum package, so you essentially can get those extra exhibits free!

The mansion tour itself is self-guided tour using an MP3-like device and headphones. The audio was very well done, sometimes pausing automatically as you move to different parts of the property and then giving you options for listen to small snippets of things like one of his award acceptance speeches. One thing to note is that the mansion is actually across the street from the Graceland complex where you buy tickets. Fortunately, there are plenty of shuttles to get you there and back.

The tour content is very interesting, which is saying something since I am really not a big Elvis fan. The tour ends at his grave site and it was surrounded by flowers and other memorials from people around the world.

The other exhibits are not nearly as good. Here is a quick summary of them:

  • Airplanes - This is the best secondary exhibit. You walk through the length of the Lisa Marie and see his custom designed aircraft he used when going on tour. There is also the smaller jet Hound Dog II which is of only passing interest.
  • Automobile Museum - This was my number three favorite. There is a significant number of cars, motorcycles, and even snowmobiles re-equipped with tires so Elvis could drive them around Graceland!
  • Elvis in Hollywood - This is a small exhibit that features costumes and original scripts used by Elvis during his Hollywood years. It is worth a look.
  • Elvis Lives - This is a free exhibit with a short video showing many Elvis references in movies and commercials. There is also a spot where you can sing with Elvis.
  • Private Presley - This is another small exhibit in the separate strip mall called Graceland Crossing.
  • '68 Special - This is the lamest exhibit of them all. It is simply a gift shop with a few of the clothes he wore for the 1968 television special that marked his comeback to performing after many years in Hollywood.

On our second day, we went to the Memphis Zoo. I had thought it was in a bad part of town, but it is actually inside the beautiful Overton Park. The entrance way and courtyard is themed as an ancient egyptian city. The animals themselves were very active. I'm not sure if it was because there was low attendance, cool weather, or good animal care, but it was fun. We had warthogs, wombats, and monkeys coming up to us (and no we did not offer them food!).

The highlights of our visit was seeing the pandas and watching the polar bears play with each other in the water tank. We saw the polar bears right after they had been fed, so that might have been great timing. The sea lion show was also very good. It of course isn't like Sea World, but it was very entertaining. We also got to see a hippo regurgitate his lunch - something I could have done without!


One of the best free things you can do is watch the Peabody Duck March that is held at 11 am and 5 pm everyday. There is a parking garage at the opposite corner of the Peabody hotel, if you aren't going to be downtown otherwise.


There are plenty of places that people claim have the best Memphis barbeque, but one name I heard consistently was Central Barbeque. We stopped by there on our way back home and were very glad we did! It is in an old building on Central Avenue. We got the pulled pork plate and thought it was excellent! They also make their own BBQ-flavored potato chips were are also great. Judging by the license plates in the parking lot, from states all over the country, they definitely have a national reputation.