I was recently asked whether baking – particularly bread making – in Ireland is undergoing a recent resurgence or is it on the way out? Are people too busy/too tired to cook, never mind bake, for themselves? Judging by the amount of people that bake and blog about it, it doesn’t look like it! What do you think?
Monthly Archive: January 2008
Black Forrest Gateau was one of the joys of a ’70s childhood. With its layers of chocolate cake, punctuated by cream and tinned cherries, then decorated with chocolate curls, it always stood proud on desert trolleys of the era during the infrequent times my family went out for dinner. My attempts at assembling my own variation on, what was for the time, perfection, were made with the assistance of a small cookbook that purported to show you how to cook everything possibly needed for Christmas well ahead of time and freeze it. I took this all very seriously and well remember myself piping trays of cream rosettes for freezing (and forgetting) in advance of the festive season. That Gateau wasn’t too bad but a recent attempt to bring the cake into the 21st Century was even more successful.
Apologies for the loss in transmission for the last while. My hosting company decided to play silly buggers and, as we were in New Zealand on an in impromptu trip to surprise the Husband’s grandfather for his 80th birthday, it was a little difficult to sort out. Still, I’m back now and ready to start eating my way through 2008!
Christmas Cake, made by my mother from Granny’s recipe – rich, more-ish and, best of all, still around to enjoy with pots of tea.My aunt’s fabulous Plum Pudding, eaten after Christmas dinner with lots of Brandy Butter and oodles of cream.Black pudding from Hanley’s of Mitchelstown, nicely flecked with oatmeal and hot from the pan with some late homegrown apples cut into segments and caramelised.Greatfood2buy‘s Wild Cranberry and Apple Chutney, with toasted cheese sandwiches (particularly anything involving blue cheese) and, especially, with the aforementioned black pudding.An almost disastrous Stephen’s Day soup – Split Green Pea and Ham this year – which got left on too low a heat during the family’s traditional woodland walk so that the peas almost didn’t disintegrate in time for lunch. Some rapid simmering and cheeseboard distraction saved the day, however!Stollen, toasted under the grill until brown and bubbling, buttered and served with mugs of cinnamon hot chocolate in front of the fire.The traditional family post-Christmas dish: left-over ham and turkey stripped off the bones, heated in a simple Mushroom and White Wine Sauce and dolloped over sourdough toast or steaming heaps of garlicky mash.Savoury tarts made for visiting family – a seasonal combination of broccoli, Cashel Blue, fresh cranberries, chorizo and caramelised onions snuggled together under a custard blanket.Little wooden crates of brightly coloured clementines, heaped under the Christmas tree and eaten in great quantities as the antidote to Christmas excess…