While we were away in France, we were lucky enough to have my Naas Cousin come to house- and chicken-sit for a few days. Not only did she take extraordinarily good care of the place and livestock, she also left us a gift of the cutest pair of dozy bear eggcups. Boiled eggs will simply never be the same again. Thanks Elaine!
Monthly Archive: July 2008
While I was away in France, this year’s Mallow Food Festival was launched. Last year’s Festival was very successful – I’ve been hearing about it from my customers all year! – and this year it will be taking place on Sunday 31 August. The organisers, who are William Healy (URRU), Claire Ryan (Essink restaurant) and Ian Lucey (Lucey’s Butchers), are aiming to make the event even bigger and better, showcasing at least sixty of the leading food producers in the area.The 2008 Mallow Food Festival will take place on Mallow’s main street from 12 noon to 3.30pm on Sunday 31 August. More information is available from William Healy, URRU Culinary Store, Bank Place, Davis Street, Mallow, Co Cork. Tel/Fax: 022 53192
1 saucepan + 1 gas burner + 1 vegetarian + 2 omnivores (1 very much on the carni- side of omnivore) = very simple one-pot cooking in the campsite at night. It’s not difficult to do with a small store of non-perishable picnic basket perennials – olive oil, harissa paste, sherry vinegar, grainy mustard, Maldon salt and the tiniest pepper grinder – and a few purchases from the local market and shops, including garlic and onions, sun-warmed tomatoes, the sweetest of sweet peppers, a selection of cheese, pâté and salami (to keep the meat-lovers happy), les oeufs biologique (organic eggs) and a few tins of haricot beans and lentils.
It will be quiet around here this week as I have abandoned the Irish summer for some time soaking up the French sun with the Husband, the Teacher and the Tax Advisor. We have taken ourselves camping in the Vendée and Charente-Maritime regions on the Atlantic Coast for ten days, staying in small campsites and spending plenty of time investigating brioche and pain au chocolate, moules, abricots, glaces and galettes, along with cheese and wine of every description. Time now, perhaps, for another café au lait in the sunshine before we hit the beach. I can’t cope with the French keyboard any longer!
With lighter, warmer mornings (theoretically, at least), porridge is long gone from the mornings and this granola-style muesli is a big favourite in our house. I got the recipe from the Husband’s mother while we were in New Zealand in January. She’s been working with people who have ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and this (now slightly altered!) was on one of the recipe sheets that she hands out.It’s easy to mix a big batch – just make sure that you have a couple of baking trays large enough to cook it in your oven – and don’t forget it. It’s all too easy to leave it burn and then it gets very bitter. After it has thoroughly cooled down, I keep it in a large kilner jar, often mixing it half-and-half with plain oats at breakfast time. It is also really good served with fresh fruit and yoghurt.
If you’re in the Mallow area next week, we’re hosting a week of Conversations on a Farmers’ Market in URRU at 11am each morning. Several of the producers from the Mallow Farmers’ Market are going to be talking about how they make their wares – smoked fish and cheese, salad leaves and organic vegetables – and yours truly will also be participating next Wednesday morning (16 July), talking about sourdough bread and how to make your own starter, with my Ballymaloe one as an active example! There’s more information below.Irish Allotments: Forthcoming events at URRU, MallowBridgestone Blog: Do Not Miss This!
During the summer, the Killavullen Farmers’ Market moves to Friday nights for a time, which is useful for me going home from work, and I was delighted to pick up a couple of just-picked globe artichokes there last week from the Nano Nagle stall. We ate them during the week, the stalks sliced off to the base and the artichokes then simmered in salted water, under a side pate to keep them immersed, until the point of a knife penetrated the base easily.