Thursday, 30 August 2012

A recipe for Pulled Pork with Scud.

An essential ingredient is a visit from a family member who arrives late and hungry carrying a fish supper and a can of Scud. Scud is a slang name for Irn Bru, Irn Bru is the traditional soft drink of Scotland and is of such a violent orange colour that once spilt it will forever haunt your carpet.  Offer family member a cup of tea and see that the can of Scud is left forgotten in the fridge.
Remember that there is a shoulder of pork keeping company with the Irn Bru and allow the mind to wander back to a holiday in Boston where some very tasty Pulled Pork was eaten in the company of friends. Remember also that there are recipes for pork cooked in Coke. Wonder what would happen if the Irn Bru and the shoulder of pork were introduced to each other and left alone for many hours in the oven. Promise to buy family member another can of Scud.

Unlikely but tasty

Make a rub of salt, pepper, chilli flakes, smoked paprika, straightforward paprika and cinnamon. Remove the layer of fat from the top of the pork shoulder ( my shoulder was 2kg ) and apply the rub all over. Stick into a heavy casserole with a tight fitting lid and add some bashed up garlic cloves. I didn't skin the garlic and no-one noticed. Pour over the can of Scud and about 100 mil of vinegar. In keeping with the classy Scottish ingredients, I used the malt vinegar that normally goes on my chips. Posher folks might like to use posher vinegar. Put the lid on the casserole and leave in a low oven (about 170 degrees) for four to five hours. I checked mine now and then, added a little more liquid and shredded the pork with a fork when it gave way.  The house will smell as if you are cooking the most complicated char sui recipe and only you will know how easy it really is. Only you and the poor soul whose can of Irn Bru was sacrificed. Eat on soft white rolls with a sharp green salad and some coleslaw.

Other food we ate this week included.....

left over porridge bread.

A fish frenzy from Arbroath for my Aussie relatives

What is left after a fish frenzy with my Aussie relatives.

Creme Fraiche with nutmeg, cinnamon and apple pie moonshine. Goes down a treat with a lemony pie.

Back down to earth with a thump, from the dreaminess of creme fraiche and home made bread to the reality of my kitchen. This is what it looks like with a wider lens. A broken vase and some half-dead herbs. That's more like it.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Ten Top Tips for a Smashing Summer Trip.


1. Find travelling companions that you know online and have yet to meet in the real world. It helps if at least one of them is a knitter.

2.  Choose a location that you love and want to share with your new friends.

3. Pray for good weather but remember that God doesn't listen to atheists. Think positive sunny thoughts for back up.

4. Bring tasty food and make sure that the Moonshine that your companions sneaked over in their luggage is packed and ready to blow your socks off.

5. Seek local knowledge about sheep breeds and the phone number of the people who own the Hebridean flock.

6. When prayers for sun are answered, wear a hat and sunscreen and enjoy the bluest of skies.

7. Revel in the serendipity that brought you good weather and a Highland Games all in the same day.

8. Buy beautiful yarn from the local yarn artiste whilst fending off the advances of a small white dog.

9. Admire the wildlife.

10. Take a quiet moment to be grateful for the leap of faith that led you to share your holiday with such lovely people.

Jacqui teaching an Ullapool stallholder how to graft the toe of her sock.

Newly knitted handspun socks with an Assynt backdrop

Hebridean Sheep.
Andrew and Jacqui with the fleeces.

Stoer beach perfecting its impression of the Caribbean.

I have no idea what this sport is called - heavy handbag throwing?

Helen the yarn dyer's dog.


Wild kitten being cuddled by the smartest young person in Sutherland.

An Ullapool sunset.