Mary Contini Column: County did us proud this Christmas

Mary Contini Column: County did us proud this Christmas

Whether you are a vegetarian looking to prepare your festive treats from all things green, or a full-on meat-eater like my son-in-law, almost all the ingredients needed for an excellent Christmas dinner are produced and marketed here on our own doorstep in the county.

Visits to Haddington Farmers’ Market, the Phantassie stall at East Linton, plus a frequent top-up from the Crunchy Carrot in Dunbar provided me with all the potatoes, sprouts, parsnips and carrots needed for the festive season.

A 35-day-hung rib roast from the Gosford Bothy hadn’t travelled far (Nisbet’s Farm, Pencaitland) and a Gosford Saddleback gammon was enough to feed my string of family visitors over the course of two weeks’ holiday. Eggs from their free-range hens were almost still warm they were so fresh!

Hand-baked bread and freshly baked croissants from Bostock made breakfasts a treat. Smoked salmon from James Dickson in Cockenzie and a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers from Betty’s Blooms in Port Seton made a stop-off worthwhile. A detour past Luca’s in Musselburgh topped us up with ice cream.

Making a conscious effort to source everything we needed from our local suppliers was worth every extra effort. East Lothian has done us proud!

And, although I spent less than I usually do, we ate like kings for a fortnight on my food purchases; we didn’t waste a thing. The meat provided three days’ eating, the ham a constant source of meals and the stock I boiled it in made a thick ham and pea soup that fed us until the New Year bells.

Even our pets got treats. My friend Lady Verity, the fox red Labrador enjoyed an excited chew on the beef bones. Luke2, Vader and Snowball, my granddaughter’s guinea pigs, chewed their way through three stalks of sprouts.

Although Rudolf didn’t touch the carrots we left under the Christmas tree, Santa Claus funnily enough knocked back the Glenkinchie malt whisky and scoffed all the mince pies!

Thank you to our hard-working farmers, fishermen and retailers. Happy New Year to you all.

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