The last week of the long summer holidays is always bittersweet. I look forward to a return to some kind of routine, and to stopping the crazy juggle of work and childcare after seven weeks, but I’m also sad that there are no more long lazy days in the park or beach with a picnic, or just hanging around the house in PJ’s eating biscuits. Last week we celebrated a good friend’s 40th, and the end of summer, with a week of Glamping in Cornwall with friends, and of course with all the glorious fresh food that part of the world has to offer.
My personal highlight was Mackerel fishing – pulling these stripey blue, black, green and silver fishes out of the sea, then onto the BBQ within a couple of hours is something quite magical. As is often the case with the natural world, the sea showed us who is boss by making us wait for nearly 2 hours before giving up any of it’s bounty, but once we felt the first bite we had almost 20 fish in as many minutes and returned to the Glampsite to feed the crowd.
A quick marinade of Soy, Lime, Chilli & Ginger and 5 mins on a hot BBQ. Literally some of the best tasting fish I have ever eaten.
I almost can’t bring myself to spill the beans on this hidden secret of a restaurant, but if you are ever in North Cornwall here is a cracker of a recommendation. Scott&Babs Wood Fired Food at Retorrick Mill in the valley of Laherne is a gem of a place cooking up a storm using a wood fired clay oven, a spit roaster & a barrel smoker. You have to call ahead to see if they are opening that day, or if they are off surfing instead, but if you strike lucky your food will be as memorable as the woodland location. We shared rare beef with a salsa verde, a platter of fresh plaice with King Prawns, garlicky roast potatoes and a rich silky ratatouille, rounded off niecly with a plate piled high with chocolate brownies.
No time for books this week, but a couple of lovely food blogs that I have come across:
www.kaleandcaramel.com – because I need to redress the balance of eating my way through the Summer holidays with some vegetables
www.sproutedkitchen.com – for some back to school lunch ideas
www.gastrofotonomia.com – to get me inspired to get stuck back into work again
And a thought provoking article about a Swedish farmer swapping a percentage of his livestock to grow oats to make an oat milk drink, but his “ditch cows, drink oat milk and save the planet” approach has been causing controversy. Wow no cow is worth a read.
Finally, this weeks The Simple Things magazine has one of the articles I shot in it, all about growing and cooking with Fennel, with lovely recipes for Pork & Fennel Meatballs, Apple & Fennel Granita and a Fennel infused Fig & Rum smash. If that’s not the best way to welcome Autumn, I don’t know what is.
Happy September everyone, see you next week.