Continued from Restaurant Review: The Old Convent – Part I.The fifth course – a palate-cleansing Organic Lemon and Ginger Sorbet – caused arguments. The Cousins, who are identical twins, thought that the ginger was more pronounced. The rest of us were definitely on the lemon side – as the wine kept flowing, we wondered if the world is divided into lemon-tasters and ginger-tasters.
When you’re going out for an eagerly anticipated eight-course meal at a restaurant in the middle of the Tipperary countryside it would be nice to turn up a little early, take some time to appreciate the setting and relax while perusing the wine list. In an ideal world. As it happened, ten minutes after we were supposed to arrive, the Boyfriend and I – plus my Clonmel-based and Dublin-based Cousins, accompanied by the Chilli-Intolerant Husband and the Ex-Planner Partner – were still chugging along in a Clonmel taxi that seemed to be in no hurry to get us to our destination. As we pulled up outside the imposing frontage of The Old Convent, just outside Clogheen, there was a mad scramble to pay, figure out when we should be collected and get out of the taxi but, as soon as we set foot on the black and white tiled floor of the elegant hallway, all stress was over. Calmly greeted and smoothly ushered to our table by proprietor Christine Gannon, we settled into an evening of superb food, wonderful wine and great service.
It’s moving week so there’s not much cooking and baking going on, apart from me making loaves of brown bread to try and use up some of the six – yes, count them, SIX! (and that’s not mentioning the few that are down at the cottage, ahem…) – bags of flour that I have sitting on my shelves. The flat that we are moving into in Dublin is much smaller and doesn’t have a freezer so for a while there was a mad race to finish up all the frozen foodstuffs at our current place. Then we made a quick trip to DID Electrical so we now have a new under-counter freezer and the pressure is off. It still leaves me scratching my head at some of the things that I have in there though. Who knows why I froze a brioche loaf or what kinds of curry are in all those little plastic containers that I use for lunches? Certainly not the person who should have been labelling them!
If my (cracked and misshapen!) Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake has whetted your appetite, check out Peabody‘s round up of cheesecakes from around the world. There is a grand total of 54 cheesecakes and all votes have to be in by next Saturday, 31 March. Warning: this is not something to go looking at in the run-up to lunchtime. All the photos of fabulous cheesecake concoctions will definitely have you drooling!
It’s been a long time – and two rabbit traps, one from Norfolk and one from New Zealand – coming but this weekend the Boyfriend finally managed to catch a rabbit. When he announced that there was a rabbit in a trap at the back of the garden on Sunday morning I didn’t initially believe him but when fresh back steaks and legs arrived in the kitchen there was no doubting. That’s one rabbit down – probably about 9999 left to go, judging by their attacks on our newly planted beech trees.
Because I know I won’t be able to post from the cottage on St Patrick’s Day – we’re down for the weekend to get the spuds planted on the traditional day, 17 March, in the Boyfriend’s painstakingly rabbit-proofed garden – I’m going to celebrate Paddy’s Day with a round-up of new Irish food blogs. If there’s anyone else out there, just let me know!
A baked cheesecake is one of those dishes that I’ve been meaning to make for a long, long time. So, when I saw that it was the theme of Hey Hey it’s Donna Day #10, as hosted over on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, nothing was going to stop me from participating. I had also fully intended to get involved with HHDD #10, soufflés, as well but that kind of fell by the wayside when we had to start flat hunting in Dublin again. Spending your evenings getting frustrated with trying to find somewhere to live and the calmness necessary for soufflé cooking just don’t seem to go hand in hand.
Last night’s Slow Food evening was the perfect introduction to Harry’s Café Bar in Dún Laoghaire. Since reading about the Polish food on offer there, especially the pierogi (dumplings), this had been a long-anticipated – but never quite realised – trip. Although there was no sign of pierogi on the menu circulated with the email about the event, the mention of dishes such as Marinated Roast Beef (Pieczen Wolowa) and Roast Pork Shank (Golonka) were more than enough to convince me.