Blue skies and a good morning’s work under my belt was the excuse I needed to head off to my favourite farmers’ market in Mahon Point today. It seemed that I wasn’t the only one with that idea as I got stuck in traffic during the lunchtime rush there and our first choice for lunch – Green Saffron curry – had already sold out.
…and all our new friends at the noodle stalls just around the corner from where we were staying. Three mornings of breakfasts there and we were regulars. With a choice of Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup), Pho Tofu (noodle soup with, yes, tofu) or Banh Cuon (rolled rice pancakes) from the three ladies cooking at the stalls and a bar for coffee across the road, this was good eating. Porridge breakfasts back in Ireland are just not the same.
While in New Zealand, staying with the Husband’s parents, our nearest café is actually a winery called Fossil Ridge. We pass the small vineyard on our daily walk (sometimes several times a day as the Husband tries to balance lots of eating his mother’s fabulous food with regular competitive brother-in-law weigh-ins!) and the walk does occasionally get a little interrupted. An attractive wooden building, set amidst olive groves and overlooking a pond covered with water lilies, the cellar door is a relaxed setting to enjoy a selection of platters and light lunches to accompany its wines.
Last year, on a trip to London, I picked up a spork – a light plastic utensil which features a spoon at one end, fork at the other and serrated knife edge on the fork side – in a kitchenware shop and I’ve rarely been without it since. The last quarter of 2008 was taken up with train trips to Dublin as I worked on the Foodtalk documentary series and, food on the train being what it is – or isn’t – my spork was invaluable.
Tablefuls of tapas, full English breakfasts, bags of cherries, good coffee aplenty, savoury bacon baps and decadent brownies – just a few of the things that Little Missy enjoyed, albeit second hand, while in London at the weekend. After a hissy fit at Cork Airport – yes, we were that couple carrying a screaming baby through the plane as the other passengers turned their heads, hoping that we wouldn’t sit near them – she settled into enjoying her first trip abroad.