The Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards have announced the shortlist for 2009. The products in each of the 28 categories – ranging from soups and cheese to biscuits and sausages – were chosen from a blind tasting of almost 800 entries, which must have been a whole lot of fun for the first round of judges!
Monthly Archive: September 2009
The Little Sister, who finishes college early on Fridays, was around yesterday so we took Little Missy for a walk that turned into an impromptu blackberry picking expedition. Not being very organised, we had to use LM’s hat for a basket, gathering (and eating) the berries while we strolled down the road. Blackberry season seems to be going on for ages this year, with a sunny September ensuring that there are plenty of fruit for eating and for cooking with rather than the usual one-or-the-other situation.
When I was small we grew rhubarb in the back garden. Whatever variety it was – we had sourced the crown from some friend or relative so there were no labels – it grew gigantic stems, as thick as a baby’s wrist, topped by enormous leaves that we thought looked like child-sized umbrellas. I was never a fan: it was so stringy that it had to be peeled before cooking and I was always extremely dubious about any fruit or vegetable that did such a good job of shining the inside of the saucepan in which it was cooked.
Speaking at yesterday’s Good Food Ireland Awards, Minister for Food and Horticulture Trevor Sargent made the point that restaurants and hotels are ambassadors for Irish farmers. This is something which can be simply ignored, taken for granted – or, more proactively, celebrated, with those in the hospitality industry becoming directly involved with the producers.
I’m loving the new RTÉ player. We don’t have a television at the cottage but at least I can check out the latest food series, normally at the same time as feeding Little Missy! While she chews and hums her happy way through dinners of mashed avocado and beetroot or potato and courgette, I’ve watched Corrigan’s City Farm, most of Fresh from the Sea (note to self: remember to check player before programme is deleted) and am working my way through Trish’s French Country Kitchen.
Sowans Organics produce baking mixes. But not just any old kind of mix, but a thoughtful and well-flavoured blend of organic ingredients, from breads and pancakes to ginger cake and brownies. Spelt flour features strongly: Super Spelt Bread is a great favourite around here, I loved the spelt pancakes and the spelt brownies didn’t last too long in this house.
Urru Mallow may be gone – and is still very much missed – but Urru Bandon is going strong and has been nominated in the Top Regional Member (South) category for this years Good Food Ireland Awards, along with other Bibliocook favourites Glebe Gardens and Café in Baltimore and Cork city’s Liberty Grill.