Thursday, 8 September 2011

Scoff from the Sea 1 - free scallops and hand picked black berries

Last week on a particularly low tide I happened to be down the slipway cleaning out some of my tanks, when what should I see laying amongst the exposed Laminaria, but huge tasty Queen Scallops.

Scallops are usually either hand gathered (expensive) or dredged (ecologically questionable) so when a guilt free, zero food miles option comes along, I'm a happy girl. Not one to turn down a free meal, I rinsed out my bucket and got gathering, popping them into a free tank to see if the survived the night.

After checking with Jim at the marine station that their being so far up the shore was due to nothing life threatening to me, I bagged up the first 4 and brought them home. Stopping on the way to pick some of the first ripening blackberries.

It was my first time prep-ing scallops and I have to say its not for the faint hearted, but the prospect of fried scallops, onions, garlic and chorizo and finished off with wild rice was just the incentive needed. All I needed to follow it up was my freshly made black berry and apple crumble. Brilliant!

The trickiest part is opening and cleaning the scallops, which continue to twitch after opening

These beasties were huge, and were more than enough for me.

Ta Da, Scallops and chorizo with garlic and wild rice, followed by apple and blackberry crumble. Genius!

Familiar Faces at the Feeder

I finally got round to putting up my new feeders a fortnight ago. After a few days of nothing much, they were found by the locals. Since then they've really taken off (so to speak) with regular visitors including finches, tits, robins and my much maligned jackdaws.

A bird in the hand may be better than one in the bush, but its those I'm helping through the winter that I'm most proud of. These are MY back garden birds.

The most regular visitors are the neighbourhood Great Tits

Enjoying the nut feeder I'd put out in hope of tempting the woodpecker
They're frequently joined by Blue Tits

and flighty Chaffinches

As well as furtive Coal Tits

One out, One in. Manners are key at the Ravenscraig feeders.

Not so nice to wake up to; the local Jackies announce their arrival with a deafening squark!