ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Friday, 14 March 2014

A MONSTER. (14/03/14)

All the photographs I’ve seen of the Loch Ness Monster…Nessy….have been of such poor quality that I refused to believe the beast exists. On Wednesday the fish van came round and I bought a small monster._MG_3150 It’s tail fell off in the back of the fishmongers van, thank heaven. They sell these by weight and nobody I know eats fish tails. It isn’t a monster at all but is an Arbroath Smokey. I find them the finest of hot smoked fish. The Haddock is gutted, salted overnight, dried for a day then hot smoked for about an hour. They tie them in pairs by their tails, hang them on a stick in big tubs with smouldering wood chips underneath then seal the lid with wet sacks. You can enjoy them cold with bread and butter. I like them hot with basmati rice flavoured with lime juice.

Today I’m going to make Cullen Skink. Boil some potatoes in milk and a bit of water, chop an onion in, then as the potatoes start to dissolve into the cooking liquid add a few more cut into lumps. When these are half cooked about ten minutes later, the liquid and potatoes should be like thinish porridge or very thick soup, add cream, I don’t, I add crème frais or Greek Yoghurt. If you live in Spain the Creme Cocina is brilliant, you can boil it without it seperating. Flake the fish in being careful you don’t get the skin or bones and the result is a meal fit for a king.

Kings and Queens are a stupid lot. Hereditary power and inbreeding must be the daftest way of ensuring success in anything. Don’t blame me if yours tastes disappointing. My brother was a superb chef, it’s not my fault if it isn’t in the genes.

I woke this morning to the sad news that Tony Benn died in the early hours. In the seventies he was part of an era of entertaining politicians. I miss conviction politicians.

The weather here is warm, windy and wet. Even the night temperature last night was 9oC it’s got to eleven today. The wind is gusting 40mph and the rain is being blown along with it….Not nice.

_V0G8327

_V0G8326 I wish I knew what causes this steam to rise from Pine forests in rainy weather. I used to think it was mist caused by inversion. This morning it looked more like low cloud being caught in the tops of the trees.

_V0G8318 This is in colour. I see there isn’t any, ‘By Gum’ it’s ‘ard up ‘ere.

_V0G8317    I think this is Hard Fern. The brown bits under the leaves are sorris, spill chucker couldn’t help, they may be soris; they send out seeds for new ferns. It’s far too complicated for me.

_V0G8319    Gorse, my first flower of the year. It is invasive but it grows almost anywhere that other plants don’t like.

Have a wonderful weekend.

37 comments:

  1. Gor, Adrian, you've turned into the Two Fat Ladies minus one. Your recipe sounds scrumptious, your photographs are stunning as always (even the colorless one), and your posting from practically the ends of the earth is greatly appreciated by all.

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  2. P.S. - How would you cook Nessie?

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    1. Bob, I would like to be a hairy biker.

      Nessy would be no problem.

      I would get a digger in and make a big hole. I'd fill the hole with all the wood that has been blown down. Set fire to it and then chuck a few big rocks on. After a day I'd pop Nessy on. Cover her with ferns and earth, leave for a day and try her. If she tasted shit I'd invite the royal family to a Nessy BBQ.

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    2. Ah you've obviously been to a hāngi. That's the way Māori cook everything.

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  3. I doubt the folks who sell those fish have any problem getting customers but if they do, they could certainly advertise with your picture. It looks amazing.

    That is certainly a nice picture of the sea(?) and hills in the background. It's good you said it is in color, else I would not have known.

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    1. David, the Scandinavians have twice as many ways of preserving fish than the English and Scottish do. These once were sustenance for winter. Now they are a delicacy. The Cullen Skink is well worth trying if you have trout, any fish and a smoker Haddock is best.
      It's a fresh water lake or Loch as the Scots call them.

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  4. Nice piece of cooking, I will have to go at that. Yes, sad about Tony Benn, he was the best.

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    1. Bob, Cullen Skink is a beautiful meal. I was entertained by Tony Benn and people like him

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  5. -) first I tought you have fished this fish! Than I read that it was bought by the van fish-)! Wow I can imagine the good taste of this smoked thing! Great!
    The landscape is beautiful as ever! Thanks for sharing

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    1. Luara, I learn from you. I purchased the black plate to make the fish look it's best. The soup does look like pale swamp water but tastes divine.

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    2. I'm sure.Men cook to eat and not to look. it's the taste what matters.

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  6. James Martin? Jamie Oliver? The Hairy Bikers?...No my friends, the latest TV culinary star is "The Happy Camper" (Uncle Adrian) who travels the length and breadth of the country in his camper van, rustling up for us the best in regional fayre. Next week Uncle Adrian will be on the Isle of Skye where he'll show us how to roast a stag. (Also available on i-player)

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  7. I love gorse especially in the summer it's smell reminds me of sun tan lotion/coconut.
    You should check out the two part special of an ITV programe called River Monsters by Jeremy Wade who goes some way to explain what Nessie might be, quite a plausible explanation unlike some of the tosh out there.
    It was sad about Tony Benn the first politician I heard talk and thought, I like you, unlike some of the more current champagne socialist, though I never knew he signed off the Concorde project! Great man who'll be missed.

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    1. Douglas, the gorse is a wonderful plant.
      There is no credible sighting or sounding of Nessy. It's a 1930's myth.
      Tony Benn was a star.

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  8. YP, I'm the 'Old Age Hairy Traveller'. It takes ages to cook a good Cullen Skink.
    Mine is on the gas and should be perfect in an hour or maybe two hours. The gas is not what it was since Dithery came to sort it.

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  9. Hope you're enjoying/enjoyed that meal Adrian it sounds excellent?
    I've been out today in amongst the gorse watching my first ever Dartford Warbler. Keith will be miffed, it's only about four miles from his house!! Can't say I'm fond of the smell of Gorse, it's a bit too 'heady' for me....[;o)
    Sad news about Tony Benn, we don't seem to have politicians of that caliber anymore!

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    1. Trevor, you can do it with normal smoked Haddock but not with the yellow stuff, It is good with Yoghurt but tastes sharp. Google a proper recipe for Cullen Skink.

      Politicians these days are just children pretending to be grown ups.

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    2. Dartford Warbler??!!!! Bugger!!!!!

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  10. Are recipes going to be a regular feature Adrian? Certainly sounds rather tasty.
    Sad indeed about Mr Benn. A real politician.

    Apologies for short phone call earlier; my battery died on mobile.

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    1. Keith, no not regular.
      A sad day.
      No worries it was good to speak.

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  11. Good recipe has done to that "monster" ;)
    I like that tree with flower buds.
    good weekend.
    a hug.

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    1. Laura, it was an excellent meal. Gorse flowers almost all year.

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  12. Hope you enjoyed your monster meal ~ sounds like it would be very tasty. Enjoyed looking at your photos ~ don't like the sound of that gusty wind, though!

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    1. Glo, it was grand. The wind is a bit of a pain.

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  13. Oh my, I love smoked fish, I've had smoked fresh water White fish here, but never smoked ocean type fish. The photo makes my mouth water. Enjoy your meal.

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    1. Thanks Horst. If I were a fisherman I'd get a smoker and do my own.

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  14. Some nice almost-monochrome landscapes, and a splash of colour with the gorse. Very nice!

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    1. Jeremy, it's another dull day. Tomorrow is looking better.

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  15. Well...it doesn't look too appealing to me, but what do I know...I like my fish fried in cornmeal. I've seen the strange fog floating through our pines after a rain..I've wondered about that too. Have a good weekend!

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    1. Terri, like all food it's a matter of taste.
      I'll have to find out about the mist. It doesn't always do it.

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  16. The food you prepared sounds fantastic. It helps to have brothers who are chefs!

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    1. Red, I have always enjoyed cooking. My brother was an excellent chef.

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  17. It seems you really enjoy cooking, the eating, too? Lovely photos today, especially the gorse. It's a noxious weed here but is pretty to look at.

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    1. Pauline, I do enjoy both the preparation and the eating.
      Gorse is a weed here. It gets everywhere.

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  18. Next time you are on Lewis you can and cook Cullen Skink (and then start on the falling down water which I'll happily supply). I'm not a king but I love it anyway. For some reason I can catch, gut, prepare and cook fish but I can't then eat it. I'm told it's not because it's inedible and I love fish cooked by anyone else.

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    1. Graham, it is my favourite soup. I find it a meal on it's own.

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