My mum is a tremendous cook and so when a request for baking came round for Breast Cancer Awareness month she was my first port of call.
“They are complicated!” mum warned when I asked for her famed Mallow Fridge Cake recipe.
“But there’s only four ingredients and no baking?” I urged.
I am still cleaning up after putting a batch together!
Much less hassle was the caramel coconut slice…
Both were gratefully received and sold alongside other donated goodies to raise money for a great cause.
I was also able to get a day’s fishing on the Garynahine Estate waters. The river was stunning with great pools holding a large number of wonderfully conditioned Salmon. I went with Mike Sullivan who basically does everything I love doing only exponentially better! Not only does he like canoe and kayaking but has written the definitive guide to the Outer Hebrides along with two friends. Like me Mike also climbs, unlike me his first accents can be found in national climbing guides. While in the tackle shop hopefully searching for a fly to help pull in a good-sized trout from the lochs I have visited I noticed a picture of Mike holding a cracking fish of several pounds that won him ‘fish of the month’.. What makes it worse is that he is also a really nice guy who has helped keep me right since arriving on the Island and managed to sort the fishing at Garynahine Estate for us. I’m sure you can imagine how the day turned out for Mike and I!
The weekend itself has been fantastic…certainly one of the best since arriving on the Island. I met a writer on Friday night who had recently moved from England which led to an opportunity to explore some of his work on the Saturday morning. The writing was very good and was interspersed with small Polaroids from his travels, great stuff!
After that I met up with a few other members of the Canoe club and paddled out towards the mouth of the Creed from Cuddy point.
Fortunately we had been practicing assisted rescue earlier in the week as a wave caught me off balance and before I knew it I was swimming.
My love for the outdoors is matched only by my love for food. Although I am happy to do the austere outdoor trips where I survive on thin shavings of leather from my hiking boots in order to stay light (well almost), I like where possible to dine just as well as I would indoors. And because this is the setting…
…you end up eating meals which can’t be beat!
What made it more special was the opportunity to use the most beautiful bothy as a base.
The starter was vegetable pakora with a light raita. I was aware that hot oil might not be an aroma to everyone’s taste and so these were prepared on the cliff just below the bothy.
The main event was a butternut squash risotto with sage and pine nuts. Unfortunately the camera’s battery died before I could plate it up but the preparation was almost as wonderful as the finished dish.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen the original Total Recall (I haven’t yet seen the remake)? Well I feel a little bit like Arnie in the sense that this life I am currently living is one I dreamt about for so long and a few extremely specific elements of ‘the dream’ may still come to pass (things that I have yearned for since a wee boy) and it does make me wonder if it is really happening or just something I may wake up from at any time.