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  1. Hi, I've just found out that I can put my blog posts into categories making it easier for you to find all blogs of a certain type, so I'm busy updating them - please bear with me :)

    Today I've been beachcombing.  When I set out the weather was sunny (sunglasses on).

    warkworth beach - looking north the strandline (2)

    By the time I had walked to the beach the clouds had started to form.

    warkworth beach - looking south the strandline (1)

    I started walking and looking for sea glass, sadly there wasn't any probably because the tide had just turned.

    warkworth beach - looking west the strandline (3)

    I arrived at the north pier (which is south) and as I looked up I saw this huge cloud and thought I had better make a sharp exit!

    This is at the entrance to the beach which is about a mile back home :(   As it turned out, it didn't rain - could have stayed longer!!



  2. Hellooo from a sunny, but wee bit chilly Northumberland.

    I thought I’d tell you about some wonderful food we have here in Northumberland, the first being…

    Craster Kippers    

    Perhaps the most famous of all north-eastern specialities, Craster kippers herald from the Northumberland fishing village of Craster (just up the coast from The Strandline) and are exported far and wide.

    Oak-smoking herring caught in the North Sea is the traditional way to preserve the fish and the Robson family in Craster has been doing it for four generations and more than 130 years. kippers on rack

    In the days before refrigeration, salting, drying and smoking were methods used to preserve food and smoking herring makes an incredibly tasty fish that is also very good for you.

    First, the herring are split on a machine capable of splitting 500kg per hour, this replaces the numerous "herring girls" that used to split the herring by hand. 

    Then the herring are placed in a brine solution of plain salt and water for a predetermined length of time depending on their size and lastly, they are hung on tenter hooks and placed in the cavernous smokehouses. Fires made of whitewood shaving and oak sawdust are placed under the rows of herring  and these are left to smoulder for up to 16 hours until the kippers are ready.

    We like them lightly fried and served with bread and butter, but they can be  grilled or cooked the traditional way (jugged) fill a large jug with boiling water, and simply place the kipper in head first with the tail just above the surface of the water. Leave for six minutes and your kipper will be cooked to perfection. 

    kipper grilled Grilled kippers

    If you weren’t hungry before, you will be when you smell these kippers!

    Mmmm!  Makes my mouth water ☺

    craster kippers