My latest baking project – one that even takes longer than the three-day Sourdough Bread-making event! – is almost completed. All going well, the Husband and I hope to welcome a small new inhabitant to the cottage early next month, to join our family of two humans, three hens and one cat (yes, we’re back to one again – sadly the road by the cottage claimed Large, our big tom cat earlier this week).
Things may get slightly sporadic around here over the next while as I try to fill the freezer with easily managable meals, stock up the store cupboard and fill the tins with baking that will keep us going for a while. There’s not going to be much time for baking with a new baby in the house! Flapjacks, both Honey and Chocolate versions, and Ballyvoddy Tea Bracks are top of the list, baking-wise, while I have a large ham hock (just €2.49 from James Whelan’s Butchers in Clonmel and it will feed us for days) just waiting to be turned into freezable pots of soup and several casseroles in mind for the savoury side of things. Anybody got any other suggestions?
Meanwhile, the Husband – inspired by our weekend course at Glebe Gardens – is concentrating on assembling four handsome raised beds so that we can plant up plenty of vegetables to keep ourselves well stocked for the summer. In preparation for planting, the spare room is playing host to several egg-cartons-worth of potatoes being chitted, or sprouted. This year we’re going with Maris Peer (I was seduced by its salad-friendly properties) and, unlike other years, we decided not to plant them on St Patrick’s Day after last year’s crop rotted in the ground when inclement weather hit during the last half of March.
We were able to get the potato seed from Fruit Hill Farm through the North Cork Organic Group, along with a bag of shallots which I’m looking forward to growing. I rarely buy shallots as they are a little expensive but love to cook with them so it makes perfect sense to grow our own, especially if our one remaining cat can can keep the rabbits away. Otherwise, there just might have to be a few more Rabbit Stews!