My cookery demonstration career continues this week on Wednesday 2 December in the Knockcarron, Co Limerick (map here). Knockcarron/Knocklong ICA have invited me along and I’ll be giving a demonstration called Spice Up Your Life in the Community Centre at 8pm. I’ll be making my favourite Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup, a lovely rich Beef and Prune Tagine, finishing with Banana and Cardamom Cake.This time round – although it may ruin the evening’s suspense! – I’m looking forward to using an oven that works consistently. That, and me not accidentally turning it off half ways through the demo…
When I lived in New Zealand, cooking was my way of getting to know the (then Boyfriend, now) Husband’s family and friends. Three of his sisters lived nearby in Christchurch and they, together with a boyfriend and various cousins, were regular visitors to our house. When I look back on the recipes that I gathered in those days, they rarely were for dining à deux; instead I cooked roasting tins full of Chicken with Garlic and Lemon, made overflowing pans of Beef and Chorizo Pie and baked large dishes of Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding.
This is the soup that I cooked at the Glenroe Ladies’ Club demonstration – it is something that I make regularly as it has a great flavour, doesn’t take long and is really good for freezing. The smoked paprika is fabulous with it, giving a real depth to the soup. Perfect for warming your hands while you sip it out of a large mug.
The suspense was growing. There is an element of hope in cooking an upsidedown cake at the best of time but cooking one for a demonstration in front of 35 members of the Glenroe Ladies’ Club was, perhaps, asking for trouble. Throw in anirregularly used gas oven – I live in a world of electricity, rarely cooking on gas – and a demonstrator who, while distracted, managed to turn the oven off instead of up (ahem) and you’re adding a whole new layer of problems to the mix!
As reported in The Avondhu, our local paper:The days are getting colder, nights are drawing in and it’s time for some warming homecooked meals. Fancy trying out a few new tastes and flavours? Have you ever wondered what to do with butternut squash or sweet potato? Wanted to try making a Moroccan Tagine but not been sure of what it involves?
“Try not to drool too much!” That was the Husband’s parting shot as I left the cottage, en route to interview Willie Harcourt-Cooze at the Temple Bar Chocolate Festival on Saturday. It’s not that I have the habit of going weak at the knees with my interviewees, no matter how charismatic – while at Savour New Zealand I managed Anthony Bourdain without so much as a missed heartbeat – but the Husband knew how much Willie’s Channel 4 programmes had drawn me in, had witnessed my initially fruitless search for the 100% cacao bars in Ireland and had sourced a very well-received stash of those and the just-released chocolate bars for my birthday.
Coffee and cake – kaffee und kuchen – can you think of a better thing to warm you up on a bracingly cold Berlin afternoon? Over the course of ten days in Germany there were a lot of stops with Little Missy for a variety of sweet treats – and a lot of walking to compensate! Herself, myself and the Husband were staying at an apartment in the Friedrichshain district so, with the Husband gone from early to late on his course, LM and I set off to explore the city together. Mornings she slept then, as soon as she cocked an eye, she was scooped up, wrapped warmly, landed in the pushchair and we took off.