With meat so easily available from the supermarket in bloodless plastic packs, we seem to be moving further and further away from knowing where our food is coming from. Going to the butcher as a child – I always loved the queues so I could watch the butchers at work for a few minutes – at least I got to see the carcasses hanging up and the hard physical work that goes into preparing them. When the Little Sister (I predate supermarkets, she’s rarely been near a butcher) caught sight of sides of beef hanging in a truck recently she almost got sick.
For anyone wanting more food blog reading, The London Times published a list of their top 50 food blogs which is well worth spending some time with. It’s got lots of old favourites – Chocolate and Zucchini is in there, along with 101 Cookbooks, Chez Pim and David Lebovitz – but there are plenty more to discover. Make sure you check out Dorie Greenspan’s baking, interior design in The Kitchn, step by step cooking on The Pioneer Woman Cooks, and amazing food photography from Cannelle et Vanille.
If you’re based in or around Cork and interested in growing your own food, take a look at the Cork Food Web. It’s been described as “facebook for foodies” and is dedicated to encouraging and facilitating local food production, with a series of groups for members interested in poultry, seed saving, compost, growing vegetables and all things garden related. I missed their seed swap last weekeend but one of the very helpful organisers is going to send me some of the left over seeds, including my favourite pumpkins, as we try to get the garden up and running for 2009. With all the sunshine today, it really feels like a day for getting out and planting.
Congratulations to the five who are shortlisted for the Best Food/Drink Blog at this year’s Irish Blog Awards. I’ll be looking forward to seeing who walks away with the award on the Saturday night! Click any of the links below for lots of good reading and there’s lots more in the other shortlisted categories over here.
Best Food/Drink Blog – Sponsored by Bord Bia
Not having a television, I missed Peter Ward of Nenagh’s Country Choice on the Late Late Show but fortunately was able to catch it online here. Peter is a passionate man – passionate about the food he sells, the quality of produce available in Ireland and passionate when talking about how he sees the supermarkets driving farmers away from the land. His idea of a national online farmers’ market, linking the producer directly with the consumer, makes a lot of sense, but there will have to be some rethinking about the barriers of regulation first.
After a relaxing, sunny weekend in Baltimore we’ve returned home with headfuls of ideas, lots of notes, a handful of mail order catalogues and lots of inspiration for our garden in 2009. Jean Perry, who owns the five acres and house at Glebe Gardens with her artist husband Peter, was our teacher for the two day course. They run a popular café on site, producing most of the organic vegetables, fruit and herbs that they use there from the raised beds and polytunnels in the gardens.