The proposed twinning between a Fife community and a Pacific island is a
reminder that Scots get everywhere and the fact that English writer Daniel
Defoe based his famous book 'Robinson Crusoe' on the exploits of
Largo-born seaman Alexander Selkirk. Largo Area Community Council has
decided to explore the possibility of twinning Largo with Robinson Crusoe
Island in the Juan Fernandez group, which lie several hundred miles off
the coast of Chile. This follows the visit to Largo of Swiss-born
photographer Daniel Bruhin who is now resident on Robinson Crusoe Island.
During his visit to Fife he gave talks and slide shows to the local
primary schools and suggested a permanent twinning arrangement between
Largo and his adopted island home because of the unique link with
Born in Lower Largo in 1676, the son of a cobbler, by all accounts
Alexander Selkirk was a rather hot-tempered chiel who after several close
calls with the authorities fled to sea at the age of 27. He joined the
hydrographer, navigator and explorer-turned-buccaneer William Dampier and
became sailing master of the Cinque Ports. In 1704, having quarrelled with
his captain, Selkirk requested to be put ashore on an uninhabited island
in the Juan Fernandez group, where he lived alone for four years and four
months, before being rescued by another privateer under the command of
Woodes Rogers. He returned to Largo in 1712 and an account of his
experiences published the following year inspired Daniel Defoe to write
'Robinson Crusoe'. Defoe, of course, was no stranger to Scotland and the
Scots, having been an English spy in Edinburgh in the run-up to the
incorporating Union of 1707between England and Scotland. Selkirk, unable
to resettle on his native heath, returned to sea and at his death in 1721
was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. A suitable statue of Alexander
Selkirk, dressed as 'Robinson Crusoe' stands on the site of the cottage
where he was born and is a popular tourist attraction. The local hotel is
also suitably named 'The Crusoe'.
This week's recipe , Port of Ness Cod, comes from an island, but one
rather nearer home than Robinson Crusoe Island, the Isle of Lewis in the
Outer Hebrides. It is a simple way of cooking and serving cod.
Port of Ness Cod
Ingredients : 1 1/2 lb ( 750 g ) cod, on the bone; salt and peper; 2 oz (
50 g ) butter; 2-3 tbsp milk; 2 lb ( 1 kg ) potatoes, boiled and mashed;
garnish - parsley
Put the cod into a pan and just cover with water. Season with salt and
pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-5 minutes, depending on the
thickness of the cod. Remove cod from the pan, skin and bone. Put flakes
into a large heated ashet and put pats of butter on top. Moisten with a
little of the cooking liquor and sprinkle liberally with chopped parsley.
Add the milk and a little of the butter to the potatoes and cream them.
Serve round the fish on the ashet.