For the last two years we’ve had sunshine – during some very dodgy summers! – for the Mallow Food Festival and hopefully this year will make three in a row. At the last festival myself and the Mallow Girl had a great laugh manning the Urru stall and now, despite the fact that Urru Mallow is gone, she’s already got the preparation for this year’s festival well in hand. See below for a press release and mark Sunday 23 August into your diary!
Things will be quiet about here next week as the Husband, Little Missy and myself are heading down to West Cork for a few nights. We’re staying in one of the Irish Landmark Trust’s restored properties on Galley Head, just south of Clonakilty, and I’m hoping to do lots of eating!I’d love to make it to Durrus to eat at Carmel’s Good Things Café, check out the Friday market in Bantry, visit Baltimore for lunch in the Glebe Gardens (and to see what Jean has done with the garden since we were there in February) and eat some more Ardagh Castle goat’s cheese.Any suggestions for food-orientated things to do in the area?
Ever since Louise Sowan of Sowan’s Organics put me on to Cork Coffee Roasters I’ve been a fan. Their full bodied Rebel City Espresso is a fixture in my kitchen and I rarely manage to go past their stall at the Mahon Point Farmer’s Market or events like the Mallow Food Festival without getting my hands on a caffeine fix. The Sister is even worse. She is luck enough to live around the corner from the Cork Coffee Roasters café. As a result, weekend phone calls between us are punctuated by her frequent stops at CCR to order yet another cappuccino. Meanwhile – especially since Urru Mallow closed down – I’m stuck in the sticks with nothing to comfort me except my stove top espresso maker.
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!
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
I am fortunate enough to still have a Granny and, until I was 12, I also had a Nana. Nana, my mother’s mother, was sick throughout my childhood so we spent a lot of time at her home in Oldcastletown. Some of my early memories revolve around her Aga-warmed kitchen – the centre of the house – where there were always a selection of queencakes in a tin or fruitcake slices to be buttered for afternoon tea. Saturday was the baking day in that house. I remember being wrapped up in an apron before being shown how to fold in flour to a sponge cake or slicing apples to fill an enormous roasting tin-sized apple tart. That was the house of mushroom gluts and energetic jam making as us grandchildren were sent down the fields to pick mushrooms or into the orchard to gather windfalls and blackcurrants. Even when Nana wasn’t able to do the work herself, she kept an eagle eye over my mother and aunts as they completed the work to her satisfaction. I pored over her old cookbooks – subsequently having to buy Maura Laverty‘s Full and Plenty in homage – learned baking skills at her kitchen table, inherited her interest in hens and now live in a cottage just the other side of the hill from Oldcastletown.