With the unfamiliar sun putting on a show this past Sunday, it wasn’t a day to be spent indoors so the Boyfriend and I headed out to Dún Laoghaire for a walk. As we wandered along the seafront, I had to make the inevitable detour to the People’s Park for the Sunday market (check out Caitriona’s photos of a market in February here).
For some reason it is called a farmers’ market but there are precious few farmers or producers amidst the imported crafts, second-hand books and general nick nacks. There are, however, plenty of food stalls – people selling imported French, Italian and Finnish foodstuffs, goat’s cheeses, olives, the inevitable huge queues at the organic fruit and veg stall and what the Irish Times calls “a real live farmer” – John Murphy with his Tinnock Farm Produce stall, selling lamb, organically-fed chickens, farm eggs and homemade butter.
With the freezer and the kitchen cupboards almost at bursting point – and a long walk ahead – I restrained myself from any more “stocking up” (at this stage I’m so stocked that if avian flu did happen to hit Ireland we probably wouldn’t have to leave the house for food supplies for quite a while) and decided just to buy food for eating on the spot. We shared a Moroccan Lamb and Chickpea Pie from the ubiquitous Gallic Kitchen (good pastry, disappointing filling) and picked up a couple of great muffins from California Market Bakery. A stop at Mr Coffee‘s wee van and we settled ourselves down on the seafront for a satisfying picnic in the sunshine.
I didn’t entirely manage to get away without adding to my pantry as I was waylaid by a shiny new stovetop espresso maker at the Italian stall – I’ve been looking for one of these for a while now – and, while making that purchase, picked up a jar of Red Pepper and Chilli Tapenade. The stall owner and a fellow customer were more than happy to tell me about the espresso maker, recommending that I just use water in it at first, then throw away a few cups of coffee before actually drinking one! Sounds similar to the way you season a cast-iron frying pan. After our conversation, the owner generously handed me a bag of Italian biscotti to have with my coffee. I’ve yet to have a morning at home to try out the espresso maker but the biscotti are delicious – the only worry will be keeping a few aside until I have time to actually make the coffee.