Author: Caroline

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Blackberry picking: Apple and Blackberry Crumble

Blackberries

As a child, autumn was one of my favourite times of year. Going back to school was much eased by the fact that there were blackberries available for eating on nearby hedges, crab apples down the fields to be gathered and plenty of field mushrooms to be picked. This year, Little Missy in her sling for our daily walks, trying to grab any bramble that comes near her, we’ve been keeping an eye out for plump sloes and watching as the elderberries ripen, while eating lots of blackberries.

Irish pork at the Mitchelstown Food Festival 7

Irish pork at the Mitchelstown Food Festival

A mixture of stories and demonstrations around the theme of Irish pork made up the afternoon workshop at the Mitchelstown Food Festival on Friday. Carol O’Brien spoke about her pig farming family’s experiences of the dioxin scare and how this incentivised them to become involved with the setting up of Truly Irish. A national cooperative, Truly Irish represents pig producers from the entire island and products – rashers, sausages and ham – sold under the brand will be sourced in Ireland. Truly Irish will be officially launched at the Mitchelstown Food Festival producers’ market on Sunday and the products are available from Superquinn, Centra and SuperValu outlets around the country.

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A few blueberries: Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffin

My Clonmel Cousin has been getting into the gardening gifts lately – and I’ve been the lucky recipient, getting a cheerful pink petunia and fuschia pot for my birthday and a Christmas present of a hazel tree with a pair of blueberry bushes. We had tried blueberries in the garden previously but they’re big fans of acidic soil and I don’t think we added enough peat moss into the spot where we planted them. This time round, when I was planting the bushes, I landed plenty of peat moss into the hole – with good results.

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Mitchelstown Food Festival

Mitchelstown Food Festival

The Mallow Food Festival may be over, but the local focus on food continues. This year’s Mitchelstown Food Festival will take place this coming weekend, Friday 28, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August and the theme is, very appropriately after last year’s pig-meat debacle, Bringing Home the Bacon.

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Mallow Food Festival

Borlotti beans

Despite the weather, there was a good turn out at the Mallow Food Festival on Sunday, plenty of people around to eat at the stalls that lined the main street. Our pick of the lot was the fresh fish and chips from West Cork, fish caught that morning and battered as we watched, decent chips and homemade tartare sauce for dipping. The Husband declared it the best fish ‘n’ chips that he had eaten since we were last in New Zealand, it being practically a national dish there.

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Flavour by Vicky Bhogal

Flavour

Growing up in a household where Punjabi rotia and English casseroles each had their own places, Vicky Bhogal revels in placing ingredients from different cultures side by side. In the introduction to Flavour, she talks about making the most of imported as well as local foods, explaining her own democratic approach to ingredients. She revels in comforting risotto as much the tartness of tamarind, the garam masala of her Indian childhood used as much as Italian peccorino.