Make up your own title

Please allow me just a moment in which to wax lyrical about last night’s meal. It was, as ever, a bit of a scratch affair. Nothing that I make here is ever the pinnacle of perfection because there is so much that I cannot lay my hands on. Hence it was dried Tarragon, not fresh, that made its way into the sauce, which itself was made with Elmlea because there was no fresh cream to be had and so on…

The thing is… those Scallops. Oh, those Scallops. The moment that I opened the packet I knew that these were beasts of a different order to any that I had handled before. They were so plump and firm. Little fleshy cushions, smelling only of the sea.

I confess to having little experience with this ingredient. I am still at the fearful stage, always panicking in case I overcook these expensive gems, so I took things very carefully. I made the sauce first, sweating a little garlic in olive oil and then throwing in a goodly portion of a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and leaving it to reduce. I added the Tarragon at this stage so that there was plenty of liquid to draw out the flavour. Once reduced, I added the No Cream (HHGTTG reference, always to be worked in when possible). I had trimmed the corals from the scallops and lightly sautéed them in butter. I passed them through a sieve and added this cream to the sauce to enrich it.

Leaving the sauce to sit and thicken on the simmering hob, I cooked the Tagliatelle (dried, from a packet, I’m afraid) and only when it was almost ready did I direct Mr L to drain when appropriate while I turned my attention to  a very heavy frying pan and the hot hob. I did it like the TV chefs do, hoying a huge lump of butter into a very hot pan and then dropping the scallops in for  a minute or two each side, basting enthusiastically.

They coloured up perfectly. I could have done a little dance of joy but I feared going too far with the cooking and facing chewiness. I served the meal with haste. There was a rather ad hoc salad on the side, which included raw sugar snap peas and thinly sliced fennel (a stroke of genius that turned out to be.)

It was pretty delicious. It could only have been bettered if I had the fresh tarragon, fresh cream and some proper home-made pasta for my dish but I digress. Let’s speak of the The Scallops. Oh, wow. What a revelation they were – so sweet, just as Greg Wallace describes them on the telly 🙂

In short, this is all about how pleased I was with the fish van’s appearance on Friday and to say I almost cannot wait to cook the Cod and to see how good that is. I am so pleased now that we booked a regular call by the van when it is on the island. Fresh fish is so very different to the tired stuff that comes from the supermarket. I like it also that the fish has provenance, Kirkwall Bay Shellfish post to Facebook, detailing what catch they have and from which vessel. This is going some way to make up for our disappointment when we moved here and found that we were unable to simply wander down to the harbour and buy fish from local boats as we had been doing in our imagination since we planned the move to Orkney.

Let us move on.

Yesterday was a glorious one. As mentioned, previously, we hoped to visit the Lifeboat in the pm and this we did. We strolled down to the village in sunshine and we both took our cameras out with us. This pleased me enormously. I enjoyed seeing Mr L stop to photograph the wonderful cloudscapes.

Orkney Clouds
Orkney Clouds

It made a very different experience, for me to be the one trying to keep out of the way of his lens.

On the way up the road we saw something very unusual – a whole family of Grey Heron, just standing in an open field. The photograph is terrible because they were beyond reasonable reach of my lens but I do feel that proof should be shown…

Herons on the field
Herons on the field


Here’s a wee gallery of Lifeboat pics

The bonus shot today is of the moth that I almost trod on outside the back door last evening. It was a new one to me.

20150801-IMG_4899 20150801-IMG_4900_FB

It is a Magpie Moth. Pretty little thing. It is suggesting a yarn inspiration to me. I conveniently have the yellow/orange on the wheel at the moment.  If I add a piebald batt to the mix, I could easily come up with something… using Jacob seems a good idea?

Today is another one of sun and cloud. I was planning to bake bread for tea and then to wash those skeins from the two coned yarns that have been sitting around all this year. However, Mr L is inclined to make hay with this sun and we are going to take the hounds for a short stroll, which is all that Suzie can cope with. We shall call in at the Community Shop in the hope of finding a bread product for later. I turned the Aga off again and must now find shoes and socks.

In Knitting News: I have a new project on the needles but do not panic, it is a small one. It will be my ferry project and is made from sock yarn, knitted in the round, but is neither a sock nor a glove. There is a small amount of handspun included. It will not take me away from completing the Pavonated Curl. There may be enough of the new project to photograph tomorrow.

We have rain forecast for tomorrow so perhaps I should try to wash my skeins this afternoon after our walk. Tomorrow should be a good day for me to tackle the inaugural floor wash. I have quite enjoyed this period of being forbidden to mop the new tiles but apparently it is now safe to do so. Lucky old me. If I do get my washing done today I shall retire to the van during Mr L’s teleconference in the afternoon tomorrow and I shall wind skeins into yarn cakes.

Oh, and why are people so wound up about having had a Blue Moon? It is not all that unusual, is readily predictable and well, it’s no different to any other moon. It’s just numbers. Maths. 28 days is a shorter period than a 31 day month. Simple. The media has gone mad. Then again, this is the traditional Silly Season and they can’t be writing about Corbyn 100% of the time when all is said. Perhaps the press should feature my Herons instead – that situation has to be far  more rare than a Blue Moon 🙂


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