The heat is on at Persabus. Temperatures have been soaring and the island has been bathed in golden sunshine and boasting the most amazing vibrant sunsets. When the pottery closes, the car is packed with dogs and beach bag, and we head for the sea. An after-work swim in the cool ocean waters is just what’s needed to refresh and revive the soul.
The Happy Farmer waved us off the other evening, beer in hand, he had the barbeque lit, with the promise of some of his excellent home-made beef burgers to return home to. He is a dab hand when it comes to barbeques. He is perfecting his secret recipes of jalapeno and tomato burgers, skewered satay and curried chicken, all in preparation for the ‘Persabus barbeque cooking competition,’ in a few weeks, when he takes on his cousin, as the two of them prepare a feast for all of the guests at our annual summer party.
Post swim then, we returned to the farm all ready for a feast of ‘Happy Farmer burgers’. The Happy Farmer greeted us with an extra huge smile as the most amazing aromas of garlic and spices were wafting from the farmhouse kitchen. A hive of activity, our lovely guests, who had travelled all the way from Mumbai to Islay, were busy cooking up an Indian feast. In our absence the Happy Farmer had invited them over for a ‘wee dram’. He invited them to join us for some burgers. When they heard of the Happy Farmer’s absolute love of Indian food however they insisted that he save the burgers and instead they would cook some traditional Indian cuisine for all. The kitchen cupboards in the farmhouse have well-stocked tubs of Indian spices. We have masalas and curry leaves galore, often attempting to cook our own take on Indian food. Nothing could have prepared us for the amazing flavours we were treated to by our guests though. It was so mouth wateringly delicious. So many amazing flavours, but what was even more special was the craic of two families, from very different cultures, and living continents apart, sharing an evening of laughter, stories, drams and fine cuisine. Islay and Indian hospitality at its very best. We are already looking forward to our friends’ return visit and have most kindly been offered beds in Mumbai too.
Today then, we called by Farmer C’s house, on our way to the airport to collect youngest. What perfect timing. It may not have been Indian cuisine, but Farmer C and family were just back from the beach with buckets of cockles. Fresh from the sea, we were treated to the most delicious island snack of steamed cockles on hot buttered toast, island living and hospitality at its very best. Summertime has arrived on Islay.
Until next time….