I can’t believe that I’m sitting at my kitchen table at the end of May and I’m wearing jeans, socks and a jumper; what’s happened to summer? May should have been the beginning of the BBQ season and the only action mine has seen is the wind whipping round the tarpaulin, ripping it to shreds. Anyway I digress, and dear readers, I’ve also been remiss about writing Off the Eaten Track … so here’s May in a Nutshell!
The month started with Earthy Foods’ third birthday bash. My favourite local shop has seen many changes over the past three years and I was excited to find out that they were opening a butchers’ counter with a real butcher, called Murray, doing real butchery! This subject is close to my heart as I am daughter of a butcher and it has saddened me to see the dwindling of these craftsmen on our high streets. There are some around but, to me, they seem to be a dying breed.
Hugh Grierson with Earthy now runs Edinburgh’s only organic butchery and you can often see Murray and Sascha lugging sides of meat into the shop and it gladdens my heart!
Back to the birthday bash and once again it was a beautiful sunny day with a hell of a breeze. The place was heaving and the new café was chock-a-block. Cakes and goodies galore, with tables having to be shared and chatting with strangers with a common interest was de-rigueur. I just love Earthy!
The first Bank Holiday also saw another birthday and had me heading west to Glasgow and The Sisters restaurant’s 13th. For those of you haven’t seen Jacqueline O’Donnell do presentations, make a note in your diary for the next one. This Queen of Puff Candy is a hoot and everyone is made to feel welcome. I was late for the kick off, but both Pauline and Jak (don’t call her Jacquie, she gets mad!) welcomed me with open arms and I settled outside, again in brilliant sunshine with a bit of a breeze to watch @Chef_Jacqueline cook. She’s funny, informative and everyone’s fair game to her witty banter. Food here is really good, simple fare using local ingredients to the extent that she wonders where she can get local watercress – anyone know of any Scottish suppliers?
The Sisters doesn’t just do lunch and dinner but a very reasonable and delicious afternoon tea, after all that’s what Jac originally trained in – she’s a pastry chef and a bloody good one too. I think we’ll have to have a Ladies who Cake trip over to indulge in our favourite pastime of CAKE!
Now that Charlie and Evelyn’s Supper Club is on maternity leave, Edinburgh food lovers were wondering what to do for the interim; lo and behold KitchenPorter hit our radars and I couldn’t wait. Mark Porter is a chef/ tutor at Jewel and Esk College so I knew I was going to enjoy my evening of gluttony.
Rather than bleathering on about how good the food was here are a few pictures with a few words.
I couldn’t stop eating this Hollandaise it was so good. The asparagus was cooked perfectly with a little bite and those cheese puffs were so good for dipping into that sauce. Guilty at scoffing so much!
A chef that smiles, is happy while cooking is going to make great food and Mark was all smiles, and so was I after eating his food.
This virdant, vibrant stunning looking soup had a hidden secret, a dinky poached quail’s egg. Mark must be nuts to poach 17 little eggs but got them spot on.
I loved the salty contrast of the salmon roe popping on my teeth and the melting softness of the fish. The salad was threaded through with thin sheaves of raw purple asparagus that added another textural layer.
Lamb two ways next. Cutlets cooked pink and succulent; braised leg shrouded in a corset of Savoy cabbage and Dauphinoise, made me a very happy bunny.
This picture doesn’t do any justice to the chocolate torte and ice cream. The pastry was light and crumbly, the mousse filling rich and warm and the ice cream was just cold enough to offset the tart stunningly. But who wouldn’t be a little in love after eating this?
There were several cakey type outings in May including Edinburgh Clandestine Cake that I will post about next week. but in the meantime here are some pictures on my Facebook page.