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.
Inspired by last month’s very successful Irish Food Blogger Event, put together by Bord Bia and Donal Skehan, Theresa Storey from The Green Apron (watch out for her artisan preserve stall at Limerick’s Milk Market on Saturdays) and I got together for a chat. A couple of hours later, fired up by a brace of strong espressos, we decided to organise a similar get together in this area of the country.
After the excitment of Bloom last weekend, don’t forget that the fifth Taste of Dublin event will be taking place from this Thursday, 10 June, to Sunday 13 June. It’s again located in my favourite Dublin park, the fabulous Iveagh Gardens, just off Harcourt Street – just a stroll (or stumble!) from Stephen’s Green
As a child, I was fascinated with our local butcher’s shop. Every time I was sent in there, I’d have my fingers crossed that there would be a big crowd ahead so that I’d have more time to watch, enthralled, as the big men behind the wooden butchers’ blocks speedily and expertly dissected carcasses of meat, saws and knives flashing, all the time keeping up their end of the conversation with their customers. The sawdust on the floor, the posters of cuts of meat on the wall, the chunks of lamb or beef hanging from hooks behind the counter – it all held me so spellbound that I would often forget what I was supposed to be buying for dinner.