Black Latex and Smokin’

Taking yet another quantum leap in blog content I thought I’d tell you about my retirement present from the fine band of colleagues (friends would be a better description) with whom I worked in the grand old days of the Central Region Bridges Section.  With the dissolution of the local government Regions some 15 years ago the section was disbanded but it is slowly reforming in the ranks of the retired.  Since we broke up in 1996 we still meet, at minimum, once a year and have as a group attended weddings, emigration farewells and (more sadly) funerals of family and other work colleagues.

Anyway, the latest celebration was to mark my retirement and the group thought it would be a damn fine idea to give me a vip ticket to the BBC  “The Good Food Show” in the SECC in Glasgow.  J and I had a great time.  This trip should be viewed in the context of my intense excitement due to the kitchen renovation currently underway at the headquarters of The Fatdog Broadcasting Corporation.  The Man Who Does (husband of the Cupcake Queen) is busy installing our new kitchen my new kitchen (J needs a map and compass to locate it).

Me, being the chef in the household, purchased the mother-of-all-blenders (Magimix), heavily discounted as it was the display model; a plancha (Spanish flat griddle plate) for use on the induction hob and enough black latex to become of interest to the vice squad.  I have been told that I must stress that the latex is in the form of cookware.

J selecting edible "things" for the Cupcake Queen

As part of the present my friends had bought me a front row seat for a cookery demonstration by the well known chef James Martin, whose live “Saturday Morning Kitchen” has been a  runaway success and a favourite of both mine and J’s.  They guys were well meaning; and I did have a great view; and I enjoyed the demonstration enormously but..

…they had managed to place me in the middle of a whole row of adoring lady fans!  How thrilled was I, as I cringed in my seat.  I did my best to look adoring but I was definitely the odd one out.  As one they all turned to look at me, trying to determine just how odd.

James Martin works his magic as I attempt to look on adoringly

To put myself back on a more manly tack we headed towards the back of the exhibition hall where the Arbroath Smokie stand was busy doing what it does best…smokin’.   A blue fishy haze enveloped the arena as the beech and oak “smoker” chugged away, gassing the nearby students of the Nick Nairn Cook School as they prepared dishes at their temporary cook-stations.

Once the oak and beech "smog" lifted a photograph was possible.

We’d never had a “smokie” before, assuming wrongly that they were like kippers.  They are in fact smoked haddock and far better to eat than I imagined.  We bought a couple from the stand of the legendary producer Iain R. Spink which I flaked and mixed into a leafy salad pinned together by slivers of fennel and apple.  Crackin’ stuff.

They don't look much but the taste of Arbroath Smokies is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

As for the black latex…I believe I get it back after the Procurator Fiscal’s office has decided if there’s a case to answer.