Scotland is almost an island and the sea has long
played an important part in Scotland's life; providing food and trading
access, first to Europe and in the fullness of time worldwide.
Fish and sea-food was probably an important item in the diet from the
days of the first settlers in what is now Scotland. It certainly
was for the Picts who inhabited places such as the Wemyss Caves in Fife
several thousand years ago.
Last June we reported that an important
archaeological dig had been carried out by Channel Four's Time Team in
and around the Wemyss Caves. The result is a fascinating programme
which will be shown on Channel Four on Sunday 20 February 2005 at 5pm.
The Time Team programme 'Picts and Hermits: Cave Dwellers of Fife' is
one not to be missed. As a result of the programme there should be
a vat increase in visitors to the caves at East Wemyss. Time Team
scanned the caves with 3-D laser technology in the biggest project of
its kind in Scotland and the results will be available for use by local
museums and other agencies. This is very important because the
future of the caves is under threat by coastal erosion. In the
1900s, there were 12 Wemyss caves, yet now only 7 remain and some of
them are in a precarious state.
Our recipe for this week is sea-based and is just the
ticket for combating the cold weather and comes from the city of
Aberdeen whose association with the sea has been long standing.
Ena Ritchie's Cod Chowder comes from 'So Let The Lord Be Thanket'
published by St Andrew's Church of Scotland Women's Guild, Newcastle in
1992. Her daughter Jennifer was fed this soup during cold Aberdeen
winters and, with maturity, was convinced of the superiority of her
mother's chowder over tinned soup.
Ingredients: 1lb cod fillets; 8-10
medium potatoes; 1 onion; 1 pt milk; 1 oz butter
Method: Chop onion finely and boil with
cod in salted water until flaking. Drain, but retain stock.
Flake fish when cool. Boil potatoes, mash them and mix with fish,
onion and half the stock. Add milk, butter and season. Stir
while bringing gently to the boil, and serve.