As a force 8 gale batters the windows in the pink Caledonian granite bothy known as Ninth Wave, Jonny Fisherman and I hunker down by the wood fire with lanterns at the ready. Winter has, until now, been most kind to us and the snow drops and edible primula blossoms are out in a great show.
Our biggest piece of news is that after a year sabattical Jonny will once again be manning the front of house, ever resplendent in his Lamont tartan kilt. He missed you all so much, that he's decided to do another season. I guess just fishing, running the garden and looking after the croft left him with too much time on his hands.
On the kitchen front, I have been delving into pockets of authentic regional Yucatan and Bengali cuisines. To this end I have ordered a few more plant oddities for our herb garden ; Yerba Santa (Mexican mint/oregano), epazote, turmeric and cardamom. Additions to the storeroom for experimentation in the months to come include ; Kewra essence, cassia leaves, pasilla chillies, kemiri nuts and my taxonomic favourite...wait for it...Lakpura Goraka. Kewra is an essence made from the highly floral male blooms of the screwpine plant and is used in indian desserts and sometimes to flavour rice. Kemiri or candlenuts are ground and used to thicken curry pastes and sambals. They are very oily (hence the name candlenut) and impart a slight bitterness when used. Lakpura Goraka? Your guess is as good as mine, but a package of it is wending it's way towards Mull as we speak. I plan to have several yummy dishes created with these newbies by the time we open in May.
We have recently harvested quite a good crop of Peruvian Oca Yam from the garden. The poor husband was out there in the mire of a garden, knee deep in water, "guddlin aboot" in the mud for the tasty tubers armed with a seive and a pitchfork with his lucky kolbasa sausage hanging around his neck. He got a bit testy when I approached him with the camera, so I have no photographic evidence of the excursion. I have been cooking the oca, roasted with rosemary seasalt, pureed with black garlic and boiled like new potatoes. They are lovely with a sweet eathy taste and a lemony finish. Also wonderful when thinly sliced in a salad.
After the Covid years, we feel very lucky to have survived as an intact business. We have had to restructure things at Ninth Wave slightly. We now offer a choice of 4 or 5 course menus with coffee and handmade chocolates also included. As per usual, there are 3 choices per savoury course, of 1 meat, 1 seafood and 1 fish.
We will now be unable to cater for any special menus, dietary needs, or serious food allergies.
We are pleased to announce the possibility of our Sea Shanty Cottage being finished and available for rent for diners eating at the restaurant for the upcoming season...but we will have to see how long it takes the carpenter and plumber to tie things up. We will let you know in an email when we are ready to start taking bookings for the cottage.
I hope this missive finds you well and happy and on the onward journey to a positive year!
Love and Oca from Blustery Mull,
Carla & Jonny Lamont