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June - Bunnies, Bok Choy and Buns

The splendid days are lengthening towards the summer solstice and all is dandy here in our wee corner of Mull. The weather has been lovely and finally the ground has warmed enough to let the restaurant garden know it’s time get growing.

We’ve planted new Yunan licorice plants, and more chamomile and lemon verbena plants for herbal teas. I’ve also finalized our new wine list featuring more exciting biodynamic (a method of organic farming that incorporates moon phase harvesting and other beneficial practices) tempters and concocted a few cocktails including a birch sap caramel espresso number and a champagne cocktail made with Aelder Scottish black elderberry liqueur.

On the way back from a late afternoon jaunt to our hot tub Jonny Fisherman spotted some rabbits that had mysteriously found a way inside the garden fence. One minute we were walking leisurely down the track to the house, and the next minute Jonny was crashing through the vegetables, chasing rabbits out of the Bok Choy in nothing but his turquoise dressing gown. The sight of him brandishing his panama hat at scattering rabbits, as a cloud of midges engulfed him was quite a special moment.

Other highlights have been working with the flavours of the lesser- known culinary treats from Mexico : an extrapolation of our past visit to the Baja peninsula where the husband and I ate glorious fish tacos at the famed Hotel California. We managed to check out any time we liked….and actually leave. Other tasty specialities included Machacha Huevos a spicy breakfast scramble with shredded beef, eggs and potatoes, and Pambazo sandwich (pic above) - a dry puffy bread soaked in chili sauce, stuffed with chorizo mixture, then fried until crispy and topped with sour cream. Both are memorably yummy. I love them so much I am trying to create a dish around each one for our ever-changing menu.

Most annoying activities of the last month included shovelling a truckload of gravel on the parking lot, trying to reposition the new dishwasher so that it wasn’t standing on the pipe for the dishwashing liquid and accidentally ending up on the Eurovision Song Contest while flipping channels.

Next on the to do list ; Find creative ways to use small spider crabs on the menu and move the Blue Sausage plants to somewhere drier, as they look more like the Dead Brown Stick plants at the moment. It is debateable if Blue Sauage plants are even worth the trouble. The only edible part is a quite tasteless, mucous-like substance surrounding the beans in the pod. Who in their right mind would want to eat that?! I think I was rather beguiled by the name.

We are busy installing hand sanitizers, buying masks, making coat dividers, laminating menus and 1000 other necessary anti-viral precautions to be ready, with bells on , when we open our doors on July 7th. Feels a bit like a restaurant version of Brigadoon, only we haven’t been closed for 100 years and we’ll be open for more than 1 day…

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