The crisp onions were making a great crackling,
and on a cold night the smell was enough to
draw water out of dead teeth.
Here’s a better idea. Read some authentic Scottish fiction, written by a Scot. You cannot improve on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped; I am especially fond of John Buchan and his sister Anna, who wrote under the pen name O. Douglas.
She had the natural air of
dispensing life’s mercies.
Morning Tide, a coming-of-age story set in an impoverished fishing village takes you to the shore of the sullen, relentless sea and into the cottage of the MacBeth family.
while her husband was saying grace
without destroying the moment’s harmony,
as if wisdom dwelt also in her movements.
Life is harsh, difficult, but not without comfort of onions and the pleasure of practical jokes. Twelve-year-old Hugh MacBeth is always hungry, often running, impatient with school, and coming to grips with the reality of a harsh life.
He [the schoolmaster] was clever,
there was no doubt of that.
And he could speak seven languages.
Seven. Ay, ay.
The old men nodded their heads.
Learning was a great thing.
They looked far beyond one another.
A great thing, learning.
A far and wonderful thing.
There was no denying that.
It was a strange thing, too.
Its strangeness excited them a little,
and its wonder.
Love of learning was in their marrow.