Rosemary's Blog

Chill out at the West Dean Chilli Fiesta

In my previous life, i.e as a working girl in Sussex, this weekend would have been All Systems Go as it is the annual celebration of all things hot in the way of capsicums - the Chilli Fiesta at West Dean Gardens near Chichester.

I’ve lost count of how many Fiestas there have now been. I was there at the first, a single afternoon event, and then almost annually until I’d notched up 20 chilli-head celebrations. That was enough, but it was great to have been a part of such an incredible success. This year, 2018, will be sweetly spiced for the gardeners and creators of the Fiesta, Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain. They retire from West Dean at the end of March ‘19, indeed the day after Brexit. Within 48 hours our ‘world’ will change beyond belief. Let’s hope that whoever comes after them will know a bit about chillies!

We were all so young!

We were all so young!

Look, I’ve hardly aged at all! I saw that necklace and had to have it!

Look, I’ve hardly aged at all! I saw that necklace and had to have it!

The Cookery Theatre is always very popular at shows and I see that when I took this picture, making the audience wait for their tasters, I was pairing a Paul John whisky from Goa in India with my Vanilla scented prawns with pasta and chillies. I do remember it being a great success! Occasionally there was a few minutes between dems for me to have a quick look around.

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Then there was the year that Levi Roots came to perform on stage and to promote his sauces. Poor guy wiped his fingers on his handkerchief after dealing with naga chillies, then wiped his eyes with the same hankie. What a pro: he got through the dem (with my help of course) but went straight to the St John tent afterwards. He was ok but do take care. Freshly picked chillies are actually hotter  in higher tempoeratures, a warning for this year Down South.

I must have demonstrated almost 200 chilli dishes at West Dean. The ice cream we served at the first event was mango and chilli. Subsequent favourites have been Coconut, white chocolate and chilli, and Dark chocolate and chilli. I firmly believe that fresh chillies are the only way to make a good chilli ice cream: there are some Dreadful concoctions made with dried ones. There’s also a lovely summer stir-fry or salad of Chilli squid and prawns with baby carrots and radishes with sunflower seeds, and a favourite dish for winter of Kale with chick peas, chillies and pine nuts.

Can salmon get any better?

Researching my August post on www.Orkney.com gave me the chance to catch up on the latest developments in salmon farming in Orkney. The choice of subject was inspired by Scottish Sea Farms, the dedicated supplier of salmon to M&S, winning the retailer's Producer of the Year 2018 Award for the work they are doing with salmon here in the Islands. I have long been involved with, and a supporter of, aquaculture and so I relished the opportunity to get up to date when I met with Richard Darbyshire, Regional Production Manager for Scottish Sea Farms.

Richard is full of confidence that Orkney's waters can support further growth in aquaculture. In the past 10 years their company has grown from 11 to 51 staff, with associated growth for other local businesses including Leask Marine who help with many on-site tasks. In terms of importance to the Orkney economy Richard reckons they are probably second only to Highland Park - salmon and whisky, the UK's two biggest food and drink exports mirrored in terms of production importance here on Orkney. And they are two of my favourite things - it's no wonder that we moved here!

As I have mentioned on Orkney.com, the waters here are ideal for aquaculture as this is where the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, creating oceanic currents that ensure the salmon swim hard, developing lean, firm flesh. Richard is emphatic that Orkney is the best place in the UK for salmon farming, if not in the whole of Europe with only the deep fjords of Norway having similar conditions.

Producer of the Year 2018 is not the first accolade that Scottish Sea Farms has won from M&S: being Global Champion of Champions 2014 for Farming for the Future was, as Richard explained, The Big One. Maybe that was the gauntlet being thrown down to keep on top of innovation in sustainable aquaculture which inspired the work that has won them their most recent award?

The company's farm at Wyre, established in 2015, is where the exciting developments have been happening. This site is the nursery for rearing salmon to smolts, the stage at which they are ready to go into the sea from fresh water tanks. However, to ensure viability of the fish in even stronger tides than those flowing through the sea pens at Wyre, the site grows some smolts on to a viable 500g weight to go into the pens off Eday where the strong spring tides can be like a river in spate with a flow of 1m/sec. Traditionally sized smolts for transfer into pens would struggle to survive in such tides but this ensures really viable fish which will grow to maturity.

When I first visited Orkney to look at aquaculture I visited a bar with my hosts to meet members of the team and hear about how the industry was helping to sustain and create jobs in the local economy. This is very much part of the continuing challenge and Scottish Sea Farms created 6 new jobs on Eday and are also making opportunities on Rousay. Some jobs go to people moving up to work in the sector and the challenges of island life are not for everyone who comes (when we moved here our removers told us that they reckoned to move one in two people back to the south: we intend to stay). The Islands do provide a great environment for family life and bringing people to the outer islands can be a big boost to the smaller communities.

Everyone loves to spot a seal in Orkney's waters - apart from the fish farm managers. These soulful mammals have been a challenge to fish farmers for years as a damaged pen or one stocked more densely than is the practice in Orkney following the strictest welfare protocols is an invitation to a fast food restaurant for a seal. High frequency sonar deterrents are not allowed and no-one wants to shoot seals. Scottish Sea Farms have developed an outer netting for their pens with a mesh reinforced with steel which the seals cannot bite through. There is also no anti-foulant needed on the nets due to the materials used in their manufacture and they are cleaned weekly with high pressure seawater from the inside of the pens, a great way of maintaining the health of the seabed. In addition, the company are working on a low frequency deterrent system with St Andrew's University that will be outside the normal hearing range of the cetaceans that we all hope to see in Orkney's waters. This project was also part of the package which won the company their latest award from M&S.

I have always been impressed by the level of innovation in aquaculture. I would describe salmon as sweet, succulent, versatile and delicious. Those in the industry might also add that it is the most resource efficient protein - hardly a mouth-watering descriptor - as its environmental footprint including feed to protein conversion ratio is the best/most efficient when compared to other widely eaten proteins such as beef and chicken. The current growth in veganism is undoubtably linked to environmental awareness and modern aquaculture provides great quality protein for those of us carnivores trying to balance our diet with environmentalism.

If you would like more information about Scottish salmon farming practice across the industry look out for the booklet Reported Versus Reality: a pocket guide to Scottish Salmon Farming. Also take a look at my blog on Orkney.com and there are a selection of my favourite salmon recipes here on My Orkney Larder.

Rhubarb ‘cranachan’

Despite the dry weather - it has even been affecting Orkney - rhubarb is still growing well. If you have run out of ideas for recipes why not try this simple dessert? It is as good for family meals as it is for entertaining. I know it's not a Real cranachan, but it is similar - and what else would I call it?!

Serves 3-4

A traditional cranachan is made with raspberries but it is gorgeous with rhubarb. Add the ginger to the cold rhubarb if using. The colour will be much better if you can choose pinker sticks and I had used forced rhubarb for this picture.

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  • 3 tbsp pinhead oatmeal or flaked oats from Birsay MIll (if you are here on Orkney)

  • About 300ml double cream

  • 3 tbsp honey, runny or soft set

  • 350g cold cooked rhubarb

50g crystallised ginger, chopped (optional)

1. Heat a non-stick frying pan until hot then add the oatmeal and ‘stir-fry’ until golden brown - it will be slow to colour at first but, like pine nuts, will change suddenly so keep a careful eye on it. Turn onto a plate to cool.

2. Whisk the cream with 1 tbsp honey until thick but not stiff. Fold in 1 tbsp of the cooled oatmeal.

3. Assemble the cranachan in individual glasses, layering the rhubarb with the oatmeal, honey and cream. Finish with a little rhubarb before serving.

Grace Mulligan - grace in name and nature

We have only decorated one room in our new home so far. We wallpapered it and, owing to the shading of the pattern, made a bad job of the joins behind the door. An easy solution to avert the eye from our inadequate skills was to make a collage of photos of my career so far and there, right in my eyeline, is a picture of my friend and colleague Grace Mulligan and I on a Guild of Food Writers trip to Venice. Grace, the beloved presenter of Yorkshire Television’s Farmhouse Kitchen series, died recently and was one of the kindest, most genuine people in the food writing and television cookery world. Unknown to many of today’s younger foodies, she was gentle, generous and graceful, both in name and in nature.

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A doctor’s wife and mother to four children, Grace came to the notice of Yorkshire Television through her association with the WI, in much the same way as Ruth Mott, the presenter of The Victorian Kitchen, was ‘found’. In fact, the three of us once had a sugar-rush afternoon sampling frozen desserts together. The desserts weren’t so good but we shared a lot of laughs and some good gossip.

Grace was a proud Scot and a willing judge at my friend Anna’s Young Cook’s of Britain/FutureCooks competitions, judging the Glasgow heats despite being based in Goole where her husband was in practice. A great baker and champion of Scottish recipes and ingredients, Grace was also a no-nonsense family cook who was always up for a challenge.  I remember her leading a workshop on toffee apple making for children in a marquee at a food festival in Chichester that Anna and I ran. Risk assessments would probably preclude such an event now but Grace got the children through it safely and with a great sense of achievement at having mastered a really technical skill. While Grace was in Chichester for that event I remember her sheer delight when Anna’s husband took her for a spin in his recently acquired not-quite-vintage Mercedes convertible. I can see her now with a headscarf on and the widest of smiles, emerging slightly windswept from the passenger seat.

A holder of the Guild of Food Writer’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Grace loved the Guild trips and was always great company. Apart from our glorious trip to Venice I particularly remember her at a sourdough workshop at the School of Artisan Food and also at a wonderful trip, just north of York, to an exquisite garden which also grew some produce for the owners gastro-pub. I also remember her at Billington’s Sugar events when un-refined sugar was newly widely available and we were all keen to assess the effect of it on the flavour of our baking. 

Grace was a kind host to anyone needing B&B and I particlularly remember her warmth and welcome when I became a Catholic as her faith was so important to her. She met me in York once and took me to a fascinating house run by a religious order where we ate in the cafe and toured the building rich in history from the time of the persecution of Catholics in York after the Reformation. After we split up to go our separate ways Grace had a bad fall and I felt awful that I didn’t know about it for several weeks. But that was Grace - she was never one to make a fuss.

My friend Grace was graceful, knowledgeable and unflappable - and the common link there is ‘able’. Which she most certainly was. 

Salsas to dance summer into your kitchen

It seems that I have caused a bit of a rush on Orkney Craft Vinegar’s Honey & Meadowsweet condiment. OK, it wasn’t quite the Delia Effect with the liquid glucose for chocolate tart, but Kirkness & Gorrie reported a rush after my Rhubarb Riot demonstration at Orkney Library & Archive, were I used it in a Rhubarb and rosemary salsa. Then Cousin Andrea shared a picture of her bumper redcurrant harvest which put me in mind of a favourite Beetroot and redcurrant salsa. So I thought that, while we continue to bask in summer sunshine, I’d share both recipes with you as they would be great for barbecues. Yes, it is warm, even here in Orkney!

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My kind of salmon

It was salmon that first brought me to Orkney. I had a consultancy to Waitrose supermarkets and was asked to come north to talk all things salmon and to find out if there was a story behind Orkney aquaculture that would interest Waitrose customers. There was!

Salmon remains one of my favourite ingredients and these are some of my favourite ways of cooking it to date: I am certain that there will be many more ideas in the years to come.

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Salmon with strawberry sauce is one of my 'signature dishes', in as much as it has been a real success for me over many years and right back to my time at BBC Pebble MIll in the early 90's. It's a taste of summer for a buffet or just an easy supper dish. The sauce is made by heating some chopped berries, about 150g for 2 people, in 2-3 tablespoons of white or sparkling wine until they lose their gloss. Blitz to a sauce adding tarragon or chervil (or some flat leaf parsley, but it won't have the same aniseed flavour), salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. You will also need a splash of vinegar: Orkney Craft Vinegar's Honey and Meadowsweet is perfect but white wine vinegar will also work. The colour is as delicious as the taste!

Salmon curries are brilliant and the fish holds it's shape pretty well if cut into large pieces and poached gently in the sauce, turning it over just once. I rub the salmon with salt, turmeric and cayenne and then leave it for an hour or two to 'cure'. Poached in a spiced tomato sauce it is fantastic. Top the salmon and sauce with fried onions in a casserole dish and a generous layer of cooked spiced Basmati rice to bake for an easy curry when entertaining, an easy take on a traditional biryani, a dish of celebration.

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Try a Salmon Pie using a packet of ready-rolled puff pastry and a simple filling of cooked salmon and vegetables, with some cherry tomatoes and herbs bound in soured cream or thick creme fraiche. Asparagus, Tenderstem broccoli and broad beans all work really well with the salmon and adding some chervil or tarragon makes the pie extra special.

 
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Salmon is rich and oily which makes it ideal with strong spices. 'Blackening' salmon with Cajun spices before pan-frying, flaking and adding to your favourite ingredients for tortillas makes an easy, informal meal. Cajun spiced salmon tortillas are perfect summer wraps and the spice mix, which has ground allspice in it, is available in most good food shops.

 
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Salmon is also a perfect ingredient for salads, working as well with leaves or grains. Either fresh cooked salmon or smoked salmon offcuts are great and don't feel you have to add 101 ingredients to make an interesting salad bowl: sometimes crisp lettuce, chives, croutons and salmon with a herby dressing is all you need.

Squids In!

The thing about squid is you either cook it very quickly or very slowly: any other elapse of time during the cooking and you get the rubbery result that has, wrongly, put so many people off this fabulous mollusk. When properly cooked it is either meltingly tender or retains a very slight bite: there should be nothing of a thick rubber band about squid at all!

I buy my squid from the Kirkwall Bay Shellfish Company; friendly, knowledgeable people operating from a shed in the food park on the Hatston Industrial Estate. They are the only people that I have yet met who sell monkfish filleted off the bone, which is apparently how many of their customers prefer to cook it. But I digress - it is squid that I am writing about today. These were caught off Westray, which seems to be where much of Orkney's fish comes from, and they looked fantastic. Always such fun to show in a demonstration with the moment of pulling the quill from the tube guaranteed to be a first for someone in the audience, my first two large squid came completely cleaned but with their lovely tentacles to add texture to my dishes. One squid was a feast for two people, so we had two lovely meals from our 'catch'.

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First up was a version of Salt and pepper squid, with a few chilli flakes for good measure. The flesh was cut into batons which were then coated in milk - cream works better but I didn't have any - before being tossed in medium beremeal with plenty of seasoning. The tentacles were sliced across and prepared in the same way. I then cooked the squid very quickly, in small batches, in a wok in a little coconut oil, draining each lot on crumpled kitchen towels. Squid is cooked as soon as it becomes opaque: have courage - whip it out of the pan at that stage. Keeping it warm in a low oven I then very quickly wilted some baby spinach in the oil and juices left in the wok to make a bed on which to serve the squid, sprinkled with cracked black pepper and flakes of sea salt, and just a few chilli flakes. Serve with a dollop of mayo if you will but, if the squid has been cooked quickly, it will be moist enough without.

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The remaining squid made a delicious 'store-cupboard' risotto, enhanced by glorious yellow saffron and bringing more than a touch of sunshine to our dining table. I cut the squid into rings and then the larger ones were cut again, in half, for easier eating. With Spanish cuisine in mind - they tend to opt for onions or garlic and seldom both - I unusually opted for the latter (with my whisky tasting hat on I try to keep my palette fresh and therefore usually avoid garlic these days). I know risotto is Italian but I find the onion/garlic idea a good one to follow for Mediterranean cookery in general! After heating a large frying pan and adding olive oil I drew it off the heat before adding the finely chopped garlic: that's the top tip for stopping it from burning if there is no onion in the pan. I then added the squid and cooked both over a low heat until the mollusk was opaque before adding the risotto rice with a good pinch of saffron. Once the rice was well coated in oiliness it was just a case of adding boiling water (no stock was available and no extra flavour required) and cooking until the risotto was almost ready: you need tender rice which retains just a bite in the centre. At that stage I added some defrosted (frozen) peas with a little salt and pepper. Once the risotto was of the cooked consistency that we prefer - some like risotto dry while others prefer it almost souplike - I added some grated Parmesan and then finished the seasoning. Then a little more Parmesan on top and the feast began.

Once again Orkney's rich larder provided me with a fabulous main ingredient for two very different dishes. Living here is a constant culinary inspiration.

Making yogurt at home

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We are so enjoying all the friends and family who are heading north to stay with us in our new home on the island of South Ronaldsay in Orkney. Breakfast, such an individual meal when it comes to likes and dislikes, can be a challenge but we tend to keep the offer to either porridge, made with the delicious flaked oats from Barony Mill (which is also the producer of the unique Orkney beremeal) or homemade granola and yogurt. Then, of course, there’s Nick’s lovely homemade bread, creamy yellow Orkney butter and my homemade marmalade. It is the yogurt, however, that is the subject of most conversation and so I thought I’d share some hints and tips for making yogurt at home.

 

In 2018 I took part in a Plastic-Less Lent which was a revelation - in our house the greatest amount of plastic waste is from milk containers. Many island communities are trying to encourage their local dairy back to glass bottles. It is said that the bottles must be used at least 8 times to be more environmentally friendly than plastic - I’m sure it’s a debate that will run and run up here but, of course, the best ingredient to start with for yogurt, however it is packaged, is good local milk; preferably blue top or whole milk and as fresh as possible.

In the first instance you also need some commercial live yogurt - I always seek out the green label whole milk variety from my friends at Yeo Valley. You need 3 tbsp of that in the base of a 1 litre bowl. I use a beautiful china pudding basin from Highgrove - but I think the recipe works in other containers! 

Warm 1 litre of milk over a moderate heat to at least 87C - I have found that the hotter the milk gets the thicker the yogurt and often let it get to 89C or even 94C under a watchful eye. A good digital thermometer is pretty essential equipment for yogurt making. Once heated up - yes, you have to cool it down again, placing the pan in a sink of cold water until it reaches 47C. This is the critical temperature - that temperature is necessary for the yogurt to ‘ferment’ so keep an eye and if the temperature drops too far, do reheat to 47C or the yogurt may not thicken.

Tzatziki is even better with home made yogurt

Tzatziki is even better with home made yogurt

I set my china bowl with the yogurt starter in it in the middle of a fluffy hand towel. Pour the 47C milk into the bowl and stir to combine with the yogurt. Cover with cling film, wrap the towel around the bowl and quickly place it somewhere warm for 5 hours. We use our airing cupboard now but used to set the bowl on the back of the Aga when we had one. You can leave it for longer and up to 2-3 hours does not seem detrimental for us but how warm your ‘incubator’ is may dictate the total time without storage. Unwrap and allow the container to cool, then chill the yogurt for at least 3 hours and preferably overnight for the best texture.

From then on, just keep 3tbsp from the end of the current batch to start your next lot of yogurt. I find that works for about 5 or 6 batches then a new Yeo Valley starter is required. You should aim to eat the yogurt in about 5 days.  After the glorious moment of breaking into a new bowl of yogurt it does often split with some whey separating out. That can easily be poured off and is good for baking but use it that day. It can also be stirred back in. If the yogurt splits badly it can be strained through a scalded nylon sieve which will give a much thicker curd, a little like a homemade Greek-style yogurt.

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When we had an Aga we didn’t have an airing cupboard - although I understand that there are some households that have both! So when we turned our Aga off in the summer we had to be resourceful to continue making yogurt. At this stage the electric seed propagator was called into play. I forsook my Highgrove bowl for an enamelled pie dish for maximum possible heat transference, and put the towel over the top of the dish on the propogator. It worked well but sometimes took a little longer than 5 hours. 

The flavour of homemade natural yogurt is much milder than many commercial offerings and is completely different from the acidically bitter taste, rather like gloss paint (not that I eat gloss paint - you know I mean, the smell/imagined taste) of natural yogurt when it first arrived on our supermarket shelves in the 1970’s. So be prepared for if you start making yogurt yourself, you and your family will probably want homemade for ever! 

 

 

The perfect mixing of avocados and hard-boiled eggs: remembering John Brookes MBE

I am writing this during the funeral of John Broookes, one of the most influential garden designers of the late 20th Century. I cannot be in Sussex today and so I am remembering a lot of fun that John and I had together - mainly on trains when our journeys to London coincided and we would gossip all the way from Barnham or Arundel to Victoria. Our conversations must have provided wonderful eavesdropping! We also worked together for a number of years for The Friends of The Aldingbourne Trust, a charity for adults with learning difficulties that is situated close to where we both lived. The Trust uses both cooking and gardening as activities for their clients - hence John and I got to know each other.

My most enduring memory of John is what he taught me of the synergy between creamy avocados and one of my all-time favourite foods, hard-boiled eggs. Well, not so hard-boiled, as I like my yolks for this to be still a little on the soft side. 

John had invited Nick and I to supper at his home in The Clockhouse at Denman’s, the garden which he created and which was open to the public for many years, complete with award-winning tea-room and, of course, plant sales. We were planning a fund-raising evening for the Trust about chickens - keeping them and cooking them - with the owner of the near-by smallholders supply company doing the ‘live’ hints and tips while I cooked. To set the scene while we discussed details John produced a starter which has provided inspiration for my cooking many times. There was a lot of 60’s and 70’s avocado-ness about John’s home, the colour was part of his coming of age and formative era. Who reading this remembers the struggle to keep hard water marks from an avocado bathroom suite?! The fact that he chose to serve avocados was no surprise once we were at The Clockhouse.

You simply need a ripe avocado, some lemon juice if making this in advance (I think it is better without, but you need to keep the colour so make it fresh or add a little lemon), salt and pepper, a boiled egg (see above!) and lots of freshly chopped parsley. It is as simple as this: cut the avocado in half (the moment of truth), remove the stone and scoop out the flesh, reserving the shells. Mash the flesh in a bowl with some salt and pepper with a fork. Peel and roughly chop the egg, then add it to the bowl and mash it into the avocado with the fork. Add as much parsley as you dare, at least 2 tbsp per avocado, and check the seasoning. Avocado and eggs both benefit from a good seasoning of salt so be bold with it. Pile the mixture back into the avocado shells (in little avocado dishes if you still have them), scatter with more parsley and serve with warm brown toast.

Thanks John, for the recipe and for inspiring us to think of our gardens as rooms outside and a truly important part of our homes. 

 

 

Who knew that seaweed, lamb and oranges was A Thing?

Laura Mason and Catherine Brown surely did, ages before me, as their seminal book Traditional Foods of Britain inspired my first attempt at cooking North Ronaldsay lamb.

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A legend in gourmet circles and a harsh reality for the farmers that raise it, the lamb comes from North Ronaldsay sheep which are almost feral. They live on the rocky beaches of the northernmost Orkney island, kept from inland pasture by a 13mile long stone dyke which is repaired each year as part of the North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival in early August. The hefted sheep have evolved slowly and now seem perfectly adapted to a diet of just seaweed on the beaches which are their home. To my palette the lamb has an earthiness and attitude which not apparent in the salt marsh lamb of South Wales or Normandy. The lambs are also a very different shape in terms of carcass, with small legs and little in the way of belly meat or muscle in the loin and best end.

My first attempt at cooking the lamb was with a boned-out shoulder from last season, which I managed to buy when there were still Seville oranges for sale here on Orkney. Mason & Brown inspired me with the observation that a sauce of Sevilles is a traditional way of serving the lamb. How that came about requires research that I have yet to begin, yet alone complete, but it inspired me to slow roast the lamb on a small pile of beremeal (to start thickening the gravy at the end of cooking), with sprigs of rosemary and 3 sliced Sevilles under the meat. With the lamb resting I then finished the gravy with the vegetable water, sieved it and added marmalade with seasonings. The flavour was Fantastic but I was relieved when our new friends Susan and John announced that North Ronaldsay lamb is not known for it's tenderness! There is always a big worry for a cook when you entertain new friends and think they will expect too much. These guys passed the test well with their kind comments!

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My second attempt was much more successful as I opted to stew the lamb. We were back in Sussex and I had invited foodie friends to dinner so took another boned out shoulder with me - frozen, in hand luggage, which was good as our suitcase somehow did not travel with us!! By mid-March Sevilles were long since gone and so blood oranges and marmalade had to provide the citrus notes in the dish. I stewed the meat slowly for 3 hours on the hob with onions, the sliced oranges with their pith and some fennel seeds. I then let the stew cool and skimmed off the surface fat before adding a small jar of marmalade and cooking for a further hour. Meanwhile I had dried and crushed some more orange peel - which was not necessary but delicious - and added that with some kale (another Orkney staple) and some cavelo nero. I had also cooked some shredded kale with a little oil to make a Chinese-restaurant style crispy topping which I then mixed with some shredded wild garlic leaves, the first of the season, for the top of the stew when serving. Wow - what a success, with spicy potato wedges and a fresh salad of baby leaves: it was a meal which got our friends to realise that we have not moved to an ingredient abyss and that the food scene on Orkney is every bit as good as I had been telling them!

PS - of course we all tucked in far too quickly for me to take a picture of Recipe Number 2 - you'll just have to believe me and one day I will make it again...