My mum, aged 93, (her pic, left) made me the traditional Scottish dish, Cullen skink.
She bought the smoked haddock at Whole Foods Market.
“Only use undyed haddock” she commands.
Recipe for Cullen skink
Here is the recipe my mother uses (added/amended after posting):
Put undyed smoked haddock (500g) in cold water (300 mls) water, bring to boil and simmer for 8-10 mins until fish is cooked. Remove fish with slotted spoon, and set aside.
While veg are cooking (below), skin fish, flake into chunks removing any bones, and set aside.
Add 2 chopped onion and 2 large potatoes (or instead of potatoes use Jerusalem artichokes!) with pepper and cook in the haddock’s cooking water for glorious fish taste until potatoes are soft and tender – about 15/20 mins.
Take off heat, roughly mash contents, add (450 ml) whole milk and (2g) unsalted butter. Bring to boil, turn down to simmer and gently add fish. Gently, reheat. Serve with chopped chives and if desired, creme fraiche.
(Or drink it cold from a jar as I did happily on my return train to Bristol).
The next day, I received a call that my mother – and Cullen Skink-maker – had fallen and hurt her head. Luckily she had been able to press her Community Alarm and within five minutes of being alerted, an ambulance team had arrived and had taken her to a large London teaching hospital.
And this the day of the Junior Doctors’ strike – against a new contract that will be: “Bad for patients, bad for doctors and bad for the NHS,” according to the British Medical Association reports the New Economic Foundation.
After a scan, my mother was kept in for monitoring, and a battery of tests to ascertain why she keeps losing her balance.
God bless the National Health Service (NHS).
My late dad was one of its first GPs – see Dr John Winkler’s obituary in the Guardian.
The NHS is free health care for all – the embodiment of the world I want to live in.
God bless the NHS.