Ever since the sunshine soaked warmth of Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons I’ve been a fan of Diana Henry’s food writing. Her follow ups – Roast Figs, Sugar Snow (warming dishes from colder climes, perfect for this kind of weather) and the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin Cook Smart (the sausages chapter is a constant go-to) – have kept me cooking over the last few years.
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If you happened to pick up a copy of yesterday’s Irish Times, you might have come across the Christmas supplement with an article on food-related gifts by one Caroline Hennessy. If you didn’t, then you can take a look at the piece below. Click on a page to see it in a larger format on the Irish Times website.
Two weeks ago, on 10 November, the Tipperary Food Producers put together a spectacular Cookery Extravaganza in Clonmel. I was there as a member of a Twitter Panel who, as well as Tweeting and recording – both audio and video – on the night, also blogged about it afterwards.My account of the night is here; continue reading below for everyone else’s take on the event, as put together by Paul O’Mahony.
Time is running out for our terrible turkey twosome. They’re much larger than when they arrived – a little bit taller than a Little Missy at this stage – and strut about the garden as if it is their own especial fiefdom. They were eight weeks old when I picked them up from poultry specialist David Kelly; now, almost three months later, it’s nearly time to say goodbye.
As published in the Irish Examiner on 2 October 2010.“They’re rather…ugly,” said Scott, aka the husband, gazing intently at the pair of awkward-looking eight-week old turkeys that he had just wrestled from the boot of my car into their new home. All long legs, ruffled feathers and indignant hissing, they huddled together in the back corner. “We’ll have no problem eating such awful looking birds!” he added with satisfaction. Eighteen-month-old Hannah, fascinated with any animal that crosses her path, wanted to join them in the house but they were having none of it. A few squawks quickly saw her off and she was easily distracted with her regular playmates: the hens and cats. Thankfully, there would be no love lost there either. It’s a little early to be getting into “the turkeys have gone to help Santa get ready for Christmas” explanations.
Barbara Kingsolver may be responsible for propagating the myth that turkeys are so suicidally dumb that they can drown just by gazing skywards as it rains but a quick online search will soon see you right. In 2003, Tom Savage, a poultry scientist at Oregon State University tried to get some respect for the turkey population by explaining that the only reason turkeys stare at the sky is because of a misunderstood genetic nervous disorder. According to his observations, the birds were no less intelligent than any similar fowl. I beg to differ.