My title comes from Mary Oliver’s poem, ‘And Bob Dylan Too‘. We read it in our discussion group after the service yesterday, and like all her poems it shouts out ‘Inclusive! Connected!’ I love Bob Dylan too but I don’t recognise the quote, will have to go seeking. One of the lines in the poem is about the sheep ‘honouring the grass by eating it’, and we had a good wee blether about nose-to-tail eating and not wasting food and being lucky to be so well-fed.
I told them about my previous day’s outing to Loch Leven’s Larder with Hilary. We’d been for a (short and windy) walk along the lochside and then needed sustenance while we caught up with all the news. After said sustenance (egg mayo sandwich, very good indeed) we were strolling back to the car when we spotted a new hut with a big sign outside, ‘Smokery! Welcome!’ (or words to that effect’. In we went for a nosey, and met Andrew Miller who has just started up his business with four shiny new smoking towers and a pile of fabulous fresh Scottish produce. The towers look a bit like gym lockers; I half expected a pile of smelly trainers to fall out when he opened the door to show me – but instead there rested a side of coral pink salmon, quietly absorbing some gentle fumes. I like to think it’s a nice place for such a proud beast to end its days.
I bought some smoked cheese, hailing from Aberdeenshire and nearby Anstruther – Andrew has Scotland cornered – and enquired about the three gleaming salmon he had been pin-boning as we arrived. Well, to be more specific, I asked what he was planning to do with the heads. With a certain embarrassment he said he was just going to throw them out, as he doesn’t have time to deal with all the extras at present. So I offered to take them off his hands, and very generously he filled a bag for me. And here is their portrait.
I poached them up with some fresh and dried fennel, bayleaves and peppercorns, and came up with a good plateful of salmon-endy-bits which for the present I have frozen and will in due course concoct into some kind of a mousse.
The cheese also was a delight so well done Andrew on having the courage and vision to set up a new business in the tail end of a recession. Your produce is great and I wish you well. So long and thanks for all the fish …