Fruits of the Sea

We have been thoroughly spoilt this past week. Lovely guests, hearty craic and the most amazing local produce.

The Happy Farmer has been on his ‘adopt a tourist’ scheme. Thursday evening saw a gathering of friends grow into a larger party when our lovely guests were able to join us for an absolute banquet of seafood platters at the Lochindaal Hotel. You may have noticed the Happy Farmer turning into a lobster this summer. It may have nothing to do with all of the exceedingly good weather we have enjoyed, months of golden sunshine, but rather to do with the copious amounts of lobster he has been ‘guzzling’. Following his hearty seafood feast on Thursday he was more than delighted when the Jura ferryman called round with a couple of lobster for the pot. The Happy Farmer is a dab hand at cooking the most delicious lobster thermidor, and was rubbing his hands together with glee, those lobster pots in the front field are beginning to pay dividends.

Last Wednesday we were treated to fresh mackerel for lunch, caught in Lochindaal, thanks to Farmer C. A sink full of brown trout greeted us when our taxi dropped us home on Thursday night, thanks to our fantastic neighbour of ‘Fly Fish Islay and Jura’. John provides the ultimate fly-fishing experience for locals and tourists. He takes out individuals and groups, those with no experience and those who have years of experience, on fly fishing expeditions around the islands. I love grilled trout, but the Happy Farmer likes to bake them in a fish kettle with mandarin oranges. You’ll just have to take my word for it, they were delicious.

Last week brought damper weather, which led to an abundance of field mushrooms appearing around the farm. The Happy Farmer arrived back off his latest quad bike ramble with a bowl of fresh mushrooms, simply fried in butter and served on toast they were so tasty.

When the sun decided to peak out once more it was time to harvest the blackcurrants and redcurrants growing abundantly in our garden. Youngest immediately made small pots of berry crumble, adding some of the bilberries she’s been collecting from the hillside. They were delicious, served piping hot, straight from the baking oven of the Aga, and topped with a huge dollop of creamy ice cream.

To top it all the Happy Farmer’s Highland cow finally stopped procrastinating and chose to finally deliver her new calf. Mother and baby greeted a very happy farmer on his early morning rounds, but the Happy Farmer hasn’t been brave enough to take anymore than a fleeting glance, as this wise old girl is known to be fiercely protective and could prove ‘mightily crabbit’ if disturbed at this stage.

Until next time.

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