I’ve been celebrating my birthday over the past few days. I’ve received lots of cards and flowers and some lovely gifts including several books. Only one of these book gifts was what I would call a ‘reading book’. The other books include a photo book celebrating a friendship and places visited, a set of LV European City Guides, a book by Rob Ryan and … ‘Lundy Cookery: recipes for a small island‘ by Ilene Sterns. The book is published by Corydora Press who have formed their own FlickR group ‘Lundy Cookery Around The World’. My friends also managed to get Ilene to sign it especially for me!
I’ve twice visited Lundy, an island in the Bristol Channel 3 miles long by half a mile wide, as a day tripper by boat from Ilfracombe. The journey takes about two hours on the MS Oldenburg and fortunately on both occasions the Bristol Channel was as still as a millpond! Sailings are in the spring and summer months from about the beginning of April to the end of October. During the remaining months Lundy is a mere 7 minute helicopter ride from Hartland Point, 20 miles west of Bideford on the north Devon coast.
The MS Oldenburg tied up at the Lundy quayside
Lundy, or Puffin Island, is owned by the National Trust (so there’s a small discount on the sailing price for members) and the 23 self-catering holiday properties are managed by the Landmark Trust. It’s an uphill trek from the quay to the village but when you get there there’s a pub – The Marisco Tavern – and a shop and a cluster of buildings – some farm and some holiday accommodation. My first stop has been at the pub each time for sustenance and then a call at the shop for postcards and Lundy stamps and then I have taken a walk. There are marvellous views of the north Devon coast and the paths are clear and grassy. One walk was up the east side to Threequarters Wall and across to the west side and back down to the Old Light, the cemetery and St Helena’s Church. On my second visit a much shorter walk was to the Castle, the South West Point and back up to the Old Light. Then a final cup of tea at the Marisco before heading back down to the Quay and the awaiting boat.
Lundy Castle and Approach Track
In her introduction to Lundy Cookery Ilene reminded me what a treasure trove and Aladdin’s Cave the shop was despite its remote location. All Lundy Landmark kitchens are well equipped with basic cooking equipment but they do lack weighing scales, liquidisers, toasters and loaf tins. Ilene’s recipes manage to get around these would-be problems. In particular her recipes specify quantities by volume rather than by weight. She has also included a useful section which she has called ‘Salmagundi’ *- it’s about minimising food waste and lists ingredients alphabetically linking them to recipes in the book. For example under Honey she lists 6 dishes included in the book including Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (p.98), Lundy Mess (p.116) and then suggests some other uses. Waste not want on Lundy Island. There’s a useful index too.
*Definition: a salad plate of chopped meats, anchovies, eggs, and vegetables arranged in rows for contrast and dressed with a salad dressing. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/salmagundi) Sounds good to me!
“Most of the book’s recipes are simple and quick to prepare, so you won’t be stuck in the kitchen when you’d rather be outdoors.” (p. 2) Now that’s my kind of cookery book!