Last summer, when we had the Mallow Farmers’ Market running outside Urru, we saw a lot of Patrick Frankel, a local organic vegetable grower. When he started coming to the market he had just started producing vegetables on his family farm near Doneraile and customers were delighted with the early fruit of his labours: spring onions, yellow and green courgettes, an assortment of tomatoes, new potatoes, peas and, my favourite, mangetout. I bumped into him a few times at the Killavullen Farmers’ Market, always making sure to stock up on the mangetout – great shredded and tossed raw into salads or briefly steamed and served as a side – but hadn’t seen him around for a while so I was delighted to see that the North Cork Organic Group had organised a farm visit.
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Here’s a desert that’s perfect eaten outside in the late evening sunshine – or to cheer up a rainy day. There’s no real need for quantities as the amounts depend on how many people you are trying to make the strawberries stretch between, how big the glasses are and how greedy your audience!Chop up the fruit before dinner and toss with the sugar so that the juices start to run then assemble the sundaes just before eating so that the biscuits don’t get soggy. With each mouthful of sweet fruit, fragrant juice, cool yoghurt and almond crunch you could be almost forgiven for thinking that it’s summertime.
Soundsdoable, the independent production company behind Foodtalk, the documentary series that I presented for Newstalk earlier this year, has a new series starting on RTÉ Lyric FM this Saturday. The Wine Geese is presented by Sunday Business Post wine correspondent Tomas Clancy and it looks at the role of the Irish in the world of wine.
Five days in the Lake District didn’t give me as many opportunities to try local food as I would have liked but I did manage to eat vicariously after picking up Jane Grigson‘s authoritative English Food in a second hand book shop in Cockermouth. Reading it with the help of an English map helped me to properly place its regional references so, after a few days, I was getting much better at understanding where dishes like Dartmouth Pie, Cumbrian Tatie Pot and Grasmere Gingerbread came from.
For the last two years we’ve had sunshine – during some very dodgy summers! – for the Mallow Food Festival and hopefully this year will make three in a row. At the last festival myself and the Mallow Girl had a great laugh manning the Urru stall and now, despite the fact that Urru Mallow is gone, she’s already got the preparation for this year’s festival well in hand. See below for a press release and mark Sunday 23 August into your diary!
Driving to Galley Head Lighthouse is a bit like a magical mystery tour. Although easy to see from a variety of locations along the West Cork coast, the lighthouse – like an ever-receeding mirage – seems to disappear from sight the closer you get. Eventually, however, after driving constantly south of Clonakilty, past numerous private property signs and along a low-lying road, protected on either side by stone walls, you get to where you can drive no further. The lighthouse stands at the tip of a peninsula, surrounded by the sea, and the lighthouse keeper’s house that we were staying in is part of a two-sided structure that shelters the parking area at the front from the northern and western winds.
Things will be quiet about here next week as the Husband, Little Missy and myself are heading down to West Cork for a few nights. We’re staying in one of the Irish Landmark Trust’s restored properties on Galley Head, just south of Clonakilty, and I’m hoping to do lots of eating!I’d love to make it to Durrus to eat at Carmel’s Good Things Café, check out the Friday market in Bantry, visit Baltimore for lunch in the Glebe Gardens (and to see what Jean has done with the garden since we were there in February) and eat some more Ardagh Castle goat’s cheese.Any suggestions for food-orientated things to do in the area?