Last weekend I was in Galway to visit the Schoolfriend and her husband and, almost as importantly, to see their new kitchen. They had moved into their house some time before I went to New Zealand but the kitchen remained to be sorted out. I heard that this had been completed while I was away and last weekend was my first opportunity to see it for myself. It is gorgeous – all granite work surfaces and light painted woods with dual ovens and a large five-burner gas hob – and I got a chance to take it for a test drive when the Schoolfriend and myself cooked dinner for nine on Saturday night.
After perusing this site, she decided to cook my Chickpea and Chorizo Stew so off with us to town on Saturday morning to track down the ingredients. There’s a great market on at weekends in Galway city centre, beside St Nicholas’ Church – many’s the time during the summer when I’ve picked up some yummy hummus, olives and good bread there for a picnic by the sea on a sunny day. Last Saturday wasn’t a day for dawdling but we managed to get our hands on some fruit and vegetables, flowers, the Schoolfriend tried on a hat and I grabbed myself some warming hot chocolate.
One of the great things about the market’s location is that it is right beside the fabulous Sheridans Cheesemongers. The cold morning ensured that it was not too busy so the Schoolfriend and I had plenty of time to browse their piled-high shelves amidst the pungent aromas of cheese and salami. We picked up some dried chorizo and a packet of chunky-looking garlic and basil sausages for the stew that night, some bread (including a richly tasty walnut and raisin loaf), a box of smoked paprika and, the crowning glory, a large chunk of Coolea Extra Mature cheese. One taste of this sweet nutty cheese and both the school friend and I were sold. A quick run to Galway’s famous McCambridges for tinned chickpeas and tomatoes and we were on our way home…to that gorgeous kitchen.
The kitchen not only looked good, it worked brilliantly. The Schoolfriend and I, with the help/hindrance of a two-year-old visitor, had plenty of room for preparation and I thoroughly enjoyed the expanse of space at my disposal. The gas hob – after I learned how to turn it down! – simmered the stew to perfection. There was plenty of room in the ovens underneath to roast some carrots and bake a Plum and Apple Crumble (plums substituted for the feijoas in my recipe for Feijoa and Apple Crumble). An easy meal to make – especially in such a well kitted out kitchen.