Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful


I have been an Ian Dury and the Blockheads fan since I lived in London and saw them live once when Ian was still alive at the height of their fame and then again years later in Dundee without Dury. I was with my son Byam who loved the album “New boots and Panties”  The hall was almost empty when they came on  and said simply “Can you tell everyone in the bar that the Blockheads are on”!  and launched into  a number from the album. I remember Byam looking in disbelief and saying “It sounds just like the album!” and they were brilliant. Despite the small audience and no Dury, this band played like it was the Lewisham Odeon in 1979.  In spite of everything they still had it, and that was a reason to be cheerful.


So my reason to be cheerful is that we have so much to be thankful for, here in beautiful Fife where from a food point of view we are a microcosm of Scotland as a whole. Although I am unable to work, as most of my business is based on people and events! I watch the cruise ships across the Forth probably with skeleton crews , knowing that the four food workshops I had booked with them probably wont go ahead this year. But all is not lost! My project of 2019 Celebrating Seasonal Fife  can be celebrated all over again. Farm has just announced that their purple sprouting broccoli is available. We celebrated this last year with  a series of demonstrations and I visited two schools to share my enthusiasm  for seasonal produce.  Please, when you go food shopping look out for it, those lucky enough to have veg boxes will probably be getting it soon.


One thing I am able to do is to work on my next little vegetable cook book which will be Leek!  As we are still able to get vegetables and my photographer wife Caroline can still take pictures. So here in self isolation we work away. But let me share a recipe from my last book with you which was Broccoli and PSB comes under that banner, but please when you source the ingredients, spare a thought for your local economy, look for British broccoli or PSB Follow the seasons and buy local


Keep safe and don’t eat a bat





PSB with anchovies and olive oil


Rowley Leigh has to take credit for this idea ( although he credits Simon Hopkinson)

This makes a delicious first course.




8 salted anchovy fillets

Juice of a lemon

50 mls extra virgin olive oil

Tsp crushed black pepper

750g PSB




1 Chop the anchovy fillets and then pound them in a mortar with the lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper.

2 Cook the psb as per recipe page.. until just cooked, drain through a colander and shake to remove excess water.

3 Toss in the anchovy dressing, serve immediately






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Christopher Trotter – Chef, Writer, Food critic, Speaker