About me and mine

About me – cook, forager, gardener

I am an amateur cook with an enduring passion for quality and flavour. I will tackle almost anything, often (though not always) with success.

This blog will serve as a badly needed diary for my cooking/fishing and foraging/gardening antics. It will allow me to occasionally indulge in my adulation for coffee, reviews of my (infrequent) restaurant visits and gadgets (kitchen mainly). These may at times be unapologetically set to my soundtrack (avoiding the Easton-Ellis/Alan Partridge styley).

I don’t croft, I don’t manage or rear livestock – I don’t have the time or the inclination. I have enough space to grow most of the veg, herbs and soft fruit we need.

I enjoy a full time career related to applied science/ecology (though not to my insect ecology PhD). I also have time for a few other interests. I started fly fishing a couple of years ago. What a great excuse to get out to the wild and isolated parts of North Uist and bring food to the table. I am frequently absorbed in music – from Meshuggah to Mendelsson, go to gigs when I can (mostly metal – although I am now more in the ‘Mum of Metalhead’ age range). I love literature (mostly literary fiction of the gloomy persuasion), dabble in natural history and try my hand at bow-making and re-hairing (I do live with a violin maker). I also run a lot (not least on account of my penchant for crème pat.).

Finally, I enjoy nothing better than a walk with my ‘family’ – Eric, my partner (AKA The Man Named Sous) and our two handsome Hungarian wire-haired viszlas, Hector and Darwin.

The Man Named Sous

Yes, a nom de blog. My partner Eric. A capable Chef de tournant with a fine palate. Resident Barista and coffee geek. A perfectionist by nature, qualified and reinforced by his chosen career as a violin maker. Shares my musical soundtrack. Addicted to the Desert Island Discs archive.

Happy to indulge in foraging trips, especially if these involve fly fishing. Definitely not a gardener, but a fantastic landscaper. Uses the belt and braces approach, over-engineering all garden structures to make sure our plants and the structures protecting them have a chance of surviving the force tens we experience here.

Head gadget researcher, buyer and techhead, roles I actively avoid. I get the benefits in using carefully sourced quality products, so it is a good division of labour.

Eric Jackson violin maker

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37 thoughts on “About me and mine

  1. Hi Tracey & Eric. Great to welcome another island based blog particularly one that covers the essentials of life good food, local ingredients and fruit and vegetable growing.

  2. Ok, scrap my last two comments! I just google imaged various fish and found they are indeed mackerel. But they’re still very silvery and beautiful!

  3. I love the mackerel shot. It reminds me of spinning for them in the Killary Harbour in Co. Mayo here in Ireland. We had little success on the first couple of days. A local told us that it was unusual and that and I quote “The water would be stiff with them. Sure, you could walk on their backs from here to Lenane” (a distance of a couple of miles). On the third day, we caught more than we could eat or give away. That was nearly 40 years ago.
    Best,
    Conor

    • Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. I must admit, although I have received a few blog award nominations, I haven’t taken these forward so far, but it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the thought – just in a quandary over whether it’s something I want to do…I’m going to write a bit about this in a post soon, also to acknowledge you and the kind other bloggers who have taken the time to read my blog and nominate me. Thank you!

      • No worries, I also hesitated for a while and almost didn’t take part. In the end I thought I’ll do this once and see how it goes. Try anything once, right? 🙂

    • Thank you so much, you are very kind, much appreciated, and congrats on your award too, you deserve recognition! I am trying to find time to manage awards, and am creating an awards page – I will include you there too, hopefully I will get this done in the next week or two! Tracey

  4. Hello, and thanks for visiting and liking my most recent post! I am caught by your writing and your perspective here, and will certainly be back again to read your continuing experiments. “The Man Named Sous” is a brilliant nom de blog. It makes me wish I’d been a bit more creative naming my own “kitchen staff.”

  5. I stumbled across your blog and I’m enjoying it. I traveled quite a bit in Scotland several years ago and thought North Uist was one of the more beautiful places I’ve been.

  6. Hi Tracey
    I’m researching a possible food/cookery programme for BBC Alba and would be very keen to include an item on foraging. We may do a bit of filming at the tail end of this year but there would also be filming next year. if you get a chance would you be kind enough to drop me a line with any thoughts that you might have.
    Many thanks
    Douglas Campbell

    douglas@handheldproductions.co.uk
    07831 235191

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