Frugality at Christmas? Very fishy.

We’ve had a very welcome visitor this Christmas, sat in our fridge in an unassuming brown paper bag is a side of freshly smoked salmon. It’s going fast there’s only a bit left & I keep thinking about it. My goodness me, it’s a magical thing & I think it’s only fair to tell you about it…

You need to understand that I don’t usually  do things like buy a whole side of smoked salmon. I am the kind of shopper who picks up the things I like, cradles them on a slow journey around the isles of a shop & then puts them back on their shelves before I buy my sensible bag of oats, leaving behind the indulgences I really wanted but my puritanical sensibilities prevents me from enjoying. A side of salmon? Such frippery.
But then I had a stall at the Dewsall Court Christmas Food Fair. To be fair, Dewsall Court is the kind of place that would lossen up Cromwell & it was dressed up in its winter finery. I was already at a loss.

I was stopped in my tracks by a table laid out with 2 glowing pieces of fish. Oh my goodness me. I have never ever had smoked salmon like it. I tried a piece, lost any frugal values and snapped up the last side. And I have been please with myself ever since. We’ve had it with chicory and crème fraiche, little gems and cucumbers, rye crackers and pickled gooseberries, with slithers of rosehips & horseradish, seeped it in soy & sesame,  and wrapped it around pickled wild garlic buds BUT best of all I have been eating mouthfuls of it with nothing on it – in its smokey birthday suit.
Why was it so good? Well I don’t know. I know it wasn’t oily & tasted of proper wood smoke and of seaweed – and of course of very fresh, delicious salmon, the kind of fish that would make the grizzliest of bears give thanks for. It just was amazing and I was going to recommend that you go,  find yourself the smoker himself, shake his hand and buy some of his fish. But then I found out that the man that smokes the fish also runs a very special hotel in Newport in Pembrokeshire, so here we go – my Christmas gift is in my fridge, but my Christmas gift to you is to give you this name. Llys Meddyg. Burn it into your memory, go eat with them, stay with them, buy from them, if their hotel is like their fish, it’ll be smoking…

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