Scallops are easy to cook. I bought a dozen for ten pounds at the Hand Picked Shellfish stall at Bristol Farmers’ Market. They take minutes to cook in a frying pan with olive oil and tiny slices of fresh chilli. You only need a couple per person to add utter luxury to a dish (four if you are feeling flush) and I added fried mushrooms for further economy.
I served the scallops with boiled potatoes topped with a dollop of taramasalata from the Radford Mill farm shop on Picton street. Plus chard and purple carrots. Yes, purple. Apparently this was a carrot’s original colour but when the protestant William of Orange nabbed the British throne in 1698, carrots were bred orange in celebration. Crikey, I only discovered that on Wednesday – a real food lover never stops learning.
Talking about learning, three-year-old Mackensie fried his own mushroom and scallops.
It is never too early to get up close and physical with cooking. As my mother (the real food lover empress) says: “Food is the best education you can give a child.” It’s a guaranteed life skill. Once you know how to choose raw ingredients and cook them, you can eat well for less.
Mackensie’s mama is a faint-hearted fish eater who hates bones. This was her first taste of scallops and they went down well. “They’ve got the texture of lychees,” she said. “And they are so easy to eat.”