As a child growing up in Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s, blueberries were a rare, exotic fruit, only read about in the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder or Roald Dahl. Years later, my first encounter with a blueberry was in a muffin but, alas, it was one of those ever-lasting, plastic-wrapped ones and the purple coloured spot in the muffin bore little resemblance to the real thing.
Being located in Cork as we are, Barry’s tea is the cuppa of choice around the cottage so when the people in Barry‘s contacted me about running a competition, I thought that fellow tea-loving food bloggers might be interested, especially when they heard what it entails.
Between Little Missy, my work as a freelance journalist and the Husband setting up his own business, it’s not so easy to get away these days. As a result, any time we do head off, there’s as much food packed into the time as possible!Last weekend we waved Little Missy off on her holidays to Nana and Grandad’s house just before Saturday lunchtime. All free and easy then (it’s amazing how easy it is to pack for two instead of two + a small one), we threw bag and baggage into the car and hit off to Limerick in time to have a quick look at the newly covered Milk Market, grab a bag of Pónaire coffee and fly past the The Green Apron‘s stall to buy some of her get-out-of-the-bed-to-eat-it-by-the-spoonful raspberry chocolate conserve (as tasted on the Food Blogger Country Outing), a jar of wholegrain whiskey mustard and some yummy onion confit.
Food producers throughout Ireland are now invited to enter the third annual Blas na hEireann Food Awards. As well as the gold, silver and bronze medals in each of the 30 product categories, this year there will also be an award for the Best Irish Artisan Company. You can see the 2009 list of winners here, including Bibliocook favourites like Lorge Chocolatier, Mella’s Fudge, Blazing Salads Bread Company and Just Food.
Gardens and food in the sunshine: what’s not to like? The Husband and I – Little Missy landed with the Little Sister for a day’s worth of chasing the dog in my parents’ garden – headed up for the Friday of this year’s Bloom festival. It was a day for sunscreen and sunglasses as we sat under umbrellas in the beer garden, enjoying Dungarvan Brewing Company‘s Helvick Gold and, although there was an unfortunate lack of ice, Llewellyn’s Double L cider. That was the Husband and his friend happy for the afternoon, and I had a place to leave the bags of food that I spent the day acquiring.
Just enough time to…- attend a dinner to celebrate 20 years of John and Sally McKenna’s Bridgestone Guides and Bridgestone at the just-opened Pinot’s restaurant in Sandyford.- enjoy sumptuous wines from Enrico Fantasia, the all-cooking, all-drinking, opera-singing, Venetian wine importer who – besides having a most memorable name, imagine being the Fantasia family! – brings an buttery, apricoty Arneis (Guidobono Roero Arneis 2009), rich Vignai da Duline Vivernum 2004 and refreshing prosecco (Prosecco Col Saliz) into Ireland. Reason enough, besides his name, to make his acquaintance.
MyKidsTime.ie has just published a Mellow Yellow recipe booklet in aid of the Meningitis Trust. There are lots of yellow, lemony recipes contributed by chefs and cooks like Catherine Fulvio, Darina Allen, Rachel Allen and Kevin Thornton – I particularly liked Kevin’s Lemon Tart with Cassis Sorbet – and it’s available to download from the MyKidsTime website for just €5.
First Margaret and Alfie decided to get two pigs – one for themselves, one for a brother – and Alfie came home with three. Then a few sows arrived and before long there were 48 little piglets squealing, tumbling and racing around their farm at Lorrha in North Tipperary. Now they sell their free-range, antibiotic-, GM- and hormone-free Old Farm Heritage Pork through a box scheme at €10 per kilo for mixed boxes of 5, 10 or 15 kilos. These pigs are fed on barley and vegetables sourced locally, together with whey – the leftovers from making Mossfield organic cheese – from their neighbour, Ralph Haslam.