Sunday 20 May 2018

A lovely Saturday

Yesterday was a fun day :-)

Martin and I had our first go at bottling mussels.

2kg mussels ready to go
For some years I've alternated between eating either 200g tinned salmon or 200g tinned sardines a week: this gives me the omega 3 fatty acids that are very important for people with CFS.  For the moment I've given up the sardines as I'm yet to find anything where I can be confident the fishermen are treated OK.  That's not an issue with salmon, and it's kind-of nice having salmon every week, but I also like variety so we're looking into making mussels practical :-)  They have less omega 3 fatty acids than sardines (I'd be looking at eating 500g a week instead of 200g to get the same amount of omega 3s) and are generally either expensive (pickled) or labour-intensive (fresh).  We're ultimately hoping to buy a 10kg bag of seconds once or twice a year and pickle our own, but this first batch was 2kg :-)

Checking the pH of our pickling liquid was low enough to be safe.

Cooked mussels in pickling liquid, ready for pressure sterilising (necessary to kill botulism - just the acid isn't enough)

The steam looked cool as the pressure cooker was venting.

Finished mussels!  (It's normal to lose a lot of liquid during pressure sterilisation and it doesn't affect food safety)

Sticking with the fish theme, for afternoon tea we had Peruvian scallops on no knead bread

The fishing industry in Peru is dominated by small family-owned boats, the workers typically earn enough to send their kids to school, and they are mostly part of some kind of collective that enables them to bargain effectively with the big players that process their goods.  I'm very happy to support them :-)  The scallops are wild-harvested and, due to the carbon sequestered in their shells, are actually carbon sinks at the point of harvest.  That's unlikely to still be the case after they've crossed the sea to us, but it does help!  And, best of all, they were super-delicious :-)

In between times, I played around with learning how to attach dried leaves onto candles - then enjoyed watching my practise candle burn through the evening.

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