Great research is the key to Mark Kurlansky’s The Food of a Younger Land. The subtitle – A Portrait of American Food–Before the National Highway System, Before Chain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, When the Nation’s Food Was Seasonal – explains the what of the latest book on food from the author of Salt, Cod and The Big Oyster.
Since Little Missy arrived on the scene, the breadmaker has been working at full tilt. The loaves aren’t the most beautiful but, then again, looks aren’t everything and the convenience and flavour more than make up for it. A few mornings a week, before the Husband heads out the door to work, he loads it up with the ingredients for a Fennel-Aniseed-Caraway Loaf and, as Little Missy and I snooze away, it kneads, proves, knocks back and bakes a loaf of warm, sweet-smelling bread. At least, that has been the routine.
Mornings have gotten spicier in recent times, not to mention more chocolaty, as I’ve been using some of Carluccio’s hot chilli oil to fry my breakfast egg (ah, maternity leave: time – Little Missy willing – for a full breakfast!) and grating lots of the birthday cacao over. Mouthfuls of intense, savoury yumminess, and plenty of lovely runny egg yoke to mop up with homemade fennel-aniseed-caraway bread.
I’ve just been enjoying the trailer for Julie & Julia, a film based on two books: My Life in France by American chef Julia Child and Julie Powell’s laugh-out-loud memoir Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep plays a suitably patrician Julia, while the lovely Amy Adams takes on the role of Julie. Check out the trailer below and watch out for the film, which should be out in Ireland on 11 September. I just might have to smuggle Little Missy in to the cinema!
I’ve been getting out and about a good bit recently – Little Missy always in tow as she doesn’t like to let her food source out of sight for too long – and I’ve noticed that lunchtimes have suddenly become more complicated. It’s not as easy to hop on a bus and head down to Cork as I used to do regularly, meeting up with one of the Sisters or the Small Brother for lunch at The Continental (Ballymaloe-style food, never as busy as it should be), Annie’s gastropub (the walk up to Sunday’s Well will work up an appetite for their fantastic food) or The Liberty Grill (close to UCC for the Little Sister, with enough big burgers and chunky sandwiches to keep any errant student happy).
For anyone who uses their freezer as much as I do and is always looking for tips to keep it more efficient:The Minimalist – Freezer Helps Make Cooking Cheaper and Easier – NYTimes.com