A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

Posts tagged ‘seafood platter’

Bikers and Good Food

A couple of shifts in the Inn over the last couple of days and not a lot else to report. Very busy night on Saturday evening with this weekend being the first “bikers” weekend of the year. As well as Applecross where 30 odd were expected today, staying at the Inn and B&Bs around the community there were at least another two big groups, one based at Fort William and another at Nethy Bridge of which a few turned up in Applecross.

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So despite the poorish weather the food flowed.

“Like nothing I have ever tasted before.”

“The best soup I have tasted in 15 years”

“The best food in Schottland.”

“Wonderful.”

This was a seafood platter for a mother who wanted to introduce her two children to some seafood. A fine idea.

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But the best one was the little American boy who kept me in check. “He’s not my Dad, he’s my Mother’s friend.”

Unfortunately one of the bikers heading to us had a bad accident on the Fort William road so put a bit of a damper on the rest of the group.

Applecross Valentine’s Menu.

VALENTINE MENU

Thursday 14th Friday 15th Saturday 16th

Welcome with a Glass of Sparkling Wine and Chef Kenny’s Canapé’s a la Skibo

STARTERS

Mini Seafood Platter, Chefs Selection, served in Oyster shells with salad and bread

Warm breast of Duck wasabi dressing on celeriac remoulade & crispy fried artichoke

Half Dozen Oysters from the Isle of Skye with red wine vinaigrette

White Bean & Ham Hock Soup topped with Truffle Oil

 

MAINS

Tornedos Rossini Chargrilled Medallions of Prime Fillet Steak

Served on a Crouton, topped with Foie Gras and a rich Gravy with Garniture Grand Mere (glazed onions, bacon lardons, sauté mushrooms, potato rissoler)

 

Corn fed Chicken Breast Alsacienne

Casserole of Broad Beans, Baby Onions & Bacon Lardons in sweet white wine

with creamy mashed potato and fresh vegetables

West Coast Fillet of Halibut topped with Local Lobster Thermidor

Served with new potatoes and fresh vegetables.

 

 

SWEETS

Trio of Ice Creams especially co-ordinated by Aron

Pink Champagne, Rosewater & Milk Chocolate

 

Selection of desserts from the board

Cheeseboard with Chutney and Grapes

Coffee and Homemade Petit Fours

 

£30-00 per person for three courses         £25-00 for two courses

Not much to say other than the above will probably rival any where in the Highlands, even Scotland, for a “pub” meal in the next few days.

 

Glen to Shore

Feels a little more settled over the last couple of days although I am sure some one some where will have some thing to say that will jolt me out of any complacency. Taken Dougal and the family up the glen the last couple of mornings and he has had a great time charging about the moors and over by the river. As there have been no deer about I have been able to let him race around and occasionally catch a glimpse of his white coat racing amongst the heather. Both him and his mum, Eildh, love rodent hunting. She has a lot of terrier in her and between them they create havoc in the undergrowth. The weather has been very unsettled, making fishing a non starter this week. Rain yesterday but beautiful sunny day especially this morning. On the way back the corrie above the second plantation was eye-catching with its crevice and shadows in the low sun.

On the way home as the breeze was increasing I called into the shop and went round by Camusteel. Down by the shore, the tide in and even in the shelter of the bay there is a bit of surf coming in on the shore. The contrasts of this place always strikes me. Half an hour before I was walking down an isolated glen and now this seascape is around me.

Went to the Inn this evening and did not expect to stay long as there were only two rooms booked and another three out for dinner. Turned out that we sat down for a meal with Kenny, Jill and Joe, wonderful ox tail and garlic dumplings. Even with so few people in the satisfaction level was high. Got talking to a couple from the south of France and the lady’s description of her family run resturuant made you want to head off there. It was down in the south-west in a little village ,5 kilometers from the sea, which you could see from their place. A family run establishment with a traditional french style of cooking, small menu open for lunch and again for dinner, fresh local produce,menu changing each week depending on what was available. Robert made them an excellent seafood platter which brought the highest praise. Although they had been in Scotland for 10 days they had never come across anything like it. Many photos were taken. Not long after, the conversation had spread across all three tables with guys from France, Lincolnshire, Applecross and Cumbria exchanging pleasantries. So good to be a little part of it.

Company work continues with Alison involved in a telephone conference yesterday morning discussing the possibilities of increasing the kilowatt out put of the hydro scheme and found it very stimulating. Today there was a meeting to discuss the CBS link up and to see how that was going to progress with our own community broadband aspirations.

More Goodbyes

It has been a full last few days even with a lot less fishing taking place. The weather has broken and autumn has definitely arrived with strong winds and rain. Only out on Wednesday but the fishing was not too bad despite large numbers of berried prawns on the grounds. there seems to be a little more quantity this year of all sizes and Wednesday’s catch has lasted through till now. The extra-large in the Inn are raising amazed comments and one or two arguments about their identity. Although it was a wet dull day it was also very quiet and peaceful and 500 creels were hauled. The evening, at the Inn was busy and Jill was on her night off with Judith still out of commission but all went well even with the little blip in the middle. A  spectacular seafood platter and a bottle of Proscetto resulted in a warm hand shake and a hug, so all ended well.

Thursday afternoon saw us head down to Dumfries to say goodbye to Margaret. Needless to say in Applecross with the weather beautiful and 300 miles away you are not caught up in the immediacy of the emotion and loss of the people close to her but that was to change. On the way over the Hill the views were breath-taking and I had to stop on the bottom hairpin to take a moment out. No wonder this has made the National Geographic as one of the top six routes in the world.

Arrived after a fairly uneventful trip although a turn round Stepps and going in to Dumfries from Lochmaben was uncalled for but you must remember I am a teuchter. After staying the night out at Kirkpatrick Durham and a good chat about the pros and cons of sovereignty and independence,unresolved, we went back to Dumfries. I left early as Ruariadh wanted an extra 10 mins to tune up his pipes so checked out the destination and delivered him to a nearby lay by to tune up. Arriving with most of the crematorium full it was a quick entrance and sit down before Ruariadh entered leading the coffin in playing Leaving Lochboisdale. Suddenly through the sound of the pipes you were physically transported to the sense of loss and emotion of the moment and literally left breathless as you realise why you are truly there. Raymond read a hill walking poem which spoke of hills, herons, ptarmigan stillness and scenery but the last three verses were so poignant.

I pick a careful,solo path

across the boggy bits

of hill, trying to look ahead

to walks without you.

I shake my head and look away:

the prospect is dizzying,

it is so blank and bare.

Heaped up snow is in the air.

The silence is all-enveloping

here on the moss today.

This reading along with Ruariadh reading the eulogy meant that I have never been in the company of so many tearful men a testament to the little lady. Kenny and I working on saturday meant that a long haul up the road after tea and lots of kind words was in order. Arrived back about 10.30 pm to find that Jill had done a fine job with cat dogs and hens all thriving. Day involved landing the rest of Wednesday’s catch, washing a fleet of creels and working in the Inn. Good evening despite the weather, The Bealach Mor had to remove the Hill from the race on safety grounds because of the wind speeds. The season has taken a bit of a dip as the schools have gone back but busy enough for customers to have to wait for tables. And the Swedes were still playing music when I left after 11 pm. It was another goodbye in that our doctor Mark is away next week. Another little era over and it was good to get the opportunity to say good-bye. I know most of the community have a lot to thank him for and appreciated his time here. Although I they are still called our boys it has become apparent they are now our “men”.

Academia, Iron Age Housing, Diving and back at the Inn

Sitting here winding down after a stint at the Inn and a couple of packed days. Did not start too well yesterday morning with what seems to be  migraine headache. Bit of a pain in the butt so to speak as I’ve only started getting them last year. Anyway dragged myself up and out with Dougal and Co, fed the hens and did a bit of tidying up for the visitors Andrea and Ruth. Spent a couple of hours chatting about fishing, the relationship between fishermen and the civil service and lots more. Sometimes when you feel that cabin fever is coming on you don’t have to get out but guys visit and give you another burst of enthusiasm. Went up to the Inn where I continued my recovery with a curried parsnip soup, probably the best soup in the world, while Ruth and Andrea tucked into a Seafood platter for two,which included, scallops,prawns, oysters, haddock, herring, and crab. It was ok. The chat is often better in the Inn and really enjoyed Ruth’s company. I have made up a new term which described the conversation as Eastern blue sky thinking. Chat involved yoga, shakti dance, the environmental/economic balance and much more. Alison made it back from Dunkeld and joined in. Turned out Andrea knew Brian who was in building the next stage of the Iron Age House, Sam joined in as well and it was a night of connections.It was a very warm evening in the Inn as Ewen and Mary were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary with their family.

Today went up with Dougal, his Mam and Gran to the roundhouse where the roof timbers were going up.Although the weather was pretty dreich everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.After getting the dogs home it was off to do my prawn dive. Probably broke every rule in the book but after a longer than expected look I eventually came across them all neatly tied together with just a few on the outside of the boxes ending up as gourmet food for the crabs and dog whelks. a bit of manoeuvering with dingy and they were tied back onto the Varuna minus predators. There is always a silver lining in Applecross and as I was looking for the prawns I came across a few scallops which will be tea on monday.Watched a cracking game of rugby with an extremely tense ending but good that Scotland were not playing. And then it was off to the pub and although it was not busy very enjoyable. There is a M.O.D. trail on just now involving surface and submarine activity on the Range and the hotel is booked up with the guys running the trials. Getting to know some of them and the banter was good. A few locals came out later and the Jaeger bombers were in evidence. My oldest, Kenny arrived back from his two and a half months in South Africa with his girlfriend Jill. Good to see them back looking fit and healthy. I never really know what the boys get up to or where they are but they always seem to turn up now and again and it’s always good to see them. I like Kahlil Gibran’s description of your relationship with your kids in The Prophet. You are the bow and they are the arrows and you fire them off into the world. That way they live their own lives and not yours. Enough of the philosophy and off to bed ready for another shift tomorrow.

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