Postcards from Shetland 30/05/20

May 30, 2020

As I write the start of this post (Tuesday morning) we are still in lockdown here in Scotland. This means our walks are limited within short distances of our homes and until recently we have only been allowed outside once a day. You can imagine it’s been tough not being able to get outdoors properly, especially as spring arrives here after the long winter, the days get longer and the wildflowers start to bloom.

You wouldn’t think this is possible in Shetland, but I have been missing the sea so much! We live in Tingwall which is probably as far as you get from the sea in Shetland (nowhere is further than 4 km). So on Sunday when we needed to get our weekly shopping we took the opportunity to go for a walk along the coast from Lerwick. And it was beautiful. The fresh air, the tirricks (arctic terns) making themselves heard, the sound of waves lapping against the shore, the fresh smell of the sea… It was so refreshing and liberating to walk along the coastline again.

Here are some views from the walk for you to enjoy.

And we are in the middle of the rhubarb season which is always delightful. Pulling some of the first few stalks of rhubarb in early May must surely be one of the most delightful things in a gardener’s year. And this year rhubarb seems to be doing particularly well. Everyone seems to be making rhubarb crumble and jam. Perhaps because we all have more time at home we are enjoying the little gifts from our gardens more and we appreciate using our own produce.

Poached rhubarb with Greek yoghurt and home made granola is my favourite breakfast. And of course a cup nice strong black coffee. I really like the Peerie Shop Cafe’s own blend.

I have really enjoyed making Diana Henry’s rhubarb cake. My friend Ruth Brownlee shared the recipe on Instagram and it’s been amazing how it’s travelled through continents as people shared this  social on media. If you fancy a treat the recipe is here. If you don’t have rhubarb I’d imagine the cake would be equally delicious with apples, pears, strawberries or blackberries. The cake is the perfect treat for a weekend and I’m definitely going to experiment with different fruit when the rhubarb is finished.

In Shetland cooking with rhubarb has a great tradition as it grows really well. In fact so well that a whole recipe book has been devoted to it. Rhubarbaria, written by the late Mary Prior – a frequent visitor to Shetland, is a brilliant and inpiring cookbook of every sort of rhubarb recipe. Rhubarb with meat or fish, vegetables, as a pudding, as a jam or in chutney are all included in this extensive resource. My friend Hayley Anderton just published a nice read and her rhubarb cake experience on her blog.

These are my favourite views here in Tingwall – the farm road which is my most frequent walk. I love seeing the trees as they transform from completely bare to beautifully lush almost overnight.

And here’s my favourite view from our front door where I sometimes savour my morning coffee and enjoy the sunshine. Isn’t the Shetland croft house planter gorgeous?

And if you’re looking for more Shetland inspiration, Laurie Pottinger has selected her top ten Shetland fiction reads. So draa in a chair and start reading.
I hope you have a lovely weekend!
  1. Celia Metz says:

    Thank you for sharing the lovely photos of your island and your experiences during the quarantine. Stay safe and healthy. Look forward to more updates. ❤️ From our island (Whidbey Island, Washington, USA) to yours

  2. Susanna Walsh Thorne says:

    We raise Shetland sheep. We are planning a trip to the shetland isles Spring of 2021. Our hope is to gather more information about this wonderful breed Thank you 3


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