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Barberries, Bathing Costumes and Boaty Things

We are so pleased to announce that we have our wee team hired for the 2022 season. We feel serendipity had a hand in directing the delightful Andrew and Chi-Ki our way. We look forward to a happy and exciting season working with them and will introduce you to them properly when they get here in April.

This time of year we use the restaurant foyer with its underfloor heating as a giant incubator for our restaurant garden seedlings. Our seed nursery , at the moment, is nurturing 100 corn plants, hoja santa, Mexican tagetes (licorice scented marigiolds), papalo ( an ancient South American alternative to coriander) Mexican pepperleaf, and more Uchiki Kuri squash as it was such a hit last year – I’ve never tasted a squash like it, very umami with wonderful taste of white miso paste and even a hint of toasted sesame in the flavor profile.

Although we grow most of our herbs in our bizarro herb garden we have also added several more rows of spice shelves in the kitchen. Now featuring more than 160 herbs, spices and salts these colorful shelves are a daily inspiration and a joy to peruse. From barberries to guar gum, eucalyptus leaf to blood orange powder, panchpooram to pink peppercorns, igusi to waterlily buds are all on display.

There has been lots of additional interest in our restaurant after Jonny and I appeared on Robson Greens‘s Coastal Fishing T.V. program. Robson spent a good hunk of time going out on the boat with Jonny, landing the catch at the Fionnphort pier, and cooking lobster in the Ninth Wave kitchen with me. Too bad they didn’t show the bits where we wore crazy aprons and cyber-steampunk glasses. They left all the funny bits out…we even did a parody on a Monty Python skit. Oh[CL1] well, we had a blast anyway, but I fear dear Mr. Green will never be the same again.

Our hot tub overlooking the Ninth Wave croft can be a very relaxing way of enjoying the winter solitude on a choice night. When Jonny fisherman is involved, it can also be an adventure. Somehow while changing out of his bathing costume, a sudden gale whipped them away and off the deck and we couldn’t find them for months. I had been envisioning a resident slowworm wending its way jauntily down the track wearing Jonny’ bright green swimming trunks on its head. I eventually unearthed them in a drainage ditch full of bog myrtle (sans slowworm).

Our boat the Sonsie which is now docked for a couple months in our parking lot. J is busy replacing the old wheelhouse. Other boaty jobs to be done include replenishing the zinc anodes and the annual repaint and anti-fouling. Jonny can often be seen in March wielding a paint brush like a gunslinger while swearing like a madman.

Eating holiday in Tenerife…highlights- a hearty seafood soup brimming with fish, squid, prawns, clams and mussels and lashing of blanched garlic , the staple of salt-baked Canarian potatoes with mojo sauce, a glorious Persian restaurant, and our favorite discovery of smoked wahoo fish at the fishermen’s association-owned restaurant in Puerto de la Cruz. Downers…prevalent tacky Irish and German themed restaurants, depressing buffet breakfasts, and finally, a 24 oz steak the size of my head that I was not prepared for. It was listed as a cutlet of Aberdeen Angus. As a Canadian I pride myself on having a very decent appetite but even I was genuinely grossed out at the portion…it was hanging off the side of the platter. Perhaps the waiter could have alerted me to the portion size while I was ordering a salad, a starter and a troughing into a generous basket of bread! Jonny ordered the prime black Canarian pork chop which was also reminiscent of the beginning of the Flintstones cartoon, but it very tasty indeed.

We opened for special Valentines Dinner last month. A 6 course tasting menu including Spanish cured tune, Duck liver Pate, Tamarind Stout Beef Cheeks, Smoked Salmon & Blood Orange Salad, Pots au Crème Chocolate and more was enjoyed by all 16 diners. It was lovely to see everyone out and about and catching-up on precious social time….not to mention enjoying specially created cocktails!

Upcoming tasks for March…erect a new deer fence around the veg garden, weeding all the flower beds, dig the garden and plant onions and shallots, make a fruit cage for damsons, apple, cherry trees so the pesky blackbirds don’t decimate our crops again. And lastly get poor Jonny’s kilt refurbished and his hearing aid in top working order…only fair as we’ve pulled him out of retirement since a lot of you had missed him so much. He really does enjoy the roll of “Mine Host” and loves regailling diners with sea-faring tales of his lobster-fishing life.

Can’t wait until the weather warms up a bit and we can really get to work outside. Until then I will be experimenting with traditional Mexican moles and Malagasy street food. We shall keep you posted.

Yours Battening down the hatches,

Carla & John Lamont

Photos : Jonny and Robson, Duck Liver Pate with Herb Shortbread and Cherry Gel, Daffodils, Massive Meat Marathon in Tenerife

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