My 2017: April

April was a busy month, and an exciting month this year! First of all my novel ‘Earthquake’ was published – this is the fifth in the Radwinter series –

Thomas Radwinter’s life seems settled and content as he juggles working as a free-lance solicitor, genealogist and house husband. However a new arrival in the family puts extra pressure on him as he has to balance looking after them and earning some money. A commission from an elderly gentleman to investigate a mysterious death at a little boarding school in 1931 seems intriguing and harmless; a haunted hotel he’s asked to visit seems just to be over-imaginative guests and maybe a less than honest manager. However, during his investigations he has to confront a violent verger, an unbalanced conchologist and a very strange friend from the past… 
Thomas took on his commissions, little realising when he began his investigation that he would be putting his life and that of a friend in serious danger… “I tried to work out what was going on, and what to do, and what might happen to us – trying my hardest to keep my thoughts well away from a terminal conclusion to events… ”

… and also it was the annual family holiday. My four cousins and their family and our family go away together for a week around Easter. We have stayed in brilliant houses across the country, Kent, Norfolk, Cumbria. Shropshire, Devon and this year we were in Ross-on Wye. There weren’t so many of us, only twenty-six, but we had such a wonderful time – as usual. We travelled around and looked at different places in the area, but I fell in love with Monmouth:

While we were away we went to Monmouth, and there is a great deli there, The Marches Delicatessen, with a very friendly and helpful young man working there – maybe he’s the owner, I’m not sure, but he was very helpful and cheery. There were so many delightful things on the shelves, I could have spent a fortune! There was a wide range of Welsh cheeses and other local produce, but because we wouldn’t be coming straight home, we were limited with what we could buy. We did buy some cheese, and we also bought some olives, and tried some seaweed gin (not me, I like seaweed, I don’t like gin).

I was intrigued by an attractive collection of dried seaweed in little bottles, like you would have dried herbs. There were five different weeds, wrack, gutweed, laver, dulse and kelp… Now I’d heard of lava and dulse as edible seaweeds, and I’d heard of wrack and kelp as marine plants, but gutweed? Curious! I didn’t buy the set, produced by The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company… until the following day when we went back to Monmouth, and having had seaweed on my mind, I went back and treated myself!

So now we’re home and I decided to follow the gutweed…

Gutweed fish

  • white fish of your choice
  • Dove’s gluten-free flour (for coating the fish)
  • dried flaked gutweed
  • sea-salt crystals
  • lemon juice
  • milk (I guess you could use fish stock if you have some! Or maybe wine!)
  1. mix the flour, seaweed and salt – I was cooking 1 filet of fish and used 2 tsp – next time i will use a little more
  2. melt the butter in the pan, and when it is foaming, cook the fish until it is done
  3. remove from pan and keep warm
  4. add the left over flour/salt/seaweed to the pan – and more butter if you need
  5. stir until it makes a roux – because it is not ordinary flour it does go a little lumpy, but you can soon get rid of that
  6. add the liquid – enough to make a sauce, taste and adjust the seasoning
  7. put the sauce to the side of the fish so it doesn’t lose its crunchy coating
  8. eat with bread and butter (or whatever you like!)

Here is a link to the deli:

…and where you too can get the seaweed if you can’t get to Monmouth:

…and the company who produce it – and a whole load of other things which you can buy on line:

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