Category: Do

1

Cork Coffee Roasters

John Gowan of Cork Coffee Roasters

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.

2

A new way with eggs

Fried egg with cacao

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.

YouTube – Julie & Julia trailer 3

YouTube – Julie & Julia trailer

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!

One of our Rhode island Red hens 6

A celebration of Grandmothers

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.

Busy days at the cottage 8

Busy days at the cottage

My latest baking project – one that even takes longer than the three-day Sourdough Bread-making event! – is almost completed. All going well, the Husband and I hope to welcome a small new inhabitant to the cottage early next month, to join our family of two humans, three hens and one cat (yes, we’re back to one again – sadly the road by the cottage claimed Large, our big tom cat earlier this week).

2

Eggs for St Patrick’s Day

Hens

It’s looking like summer has already arrived in North Cork and the hens, although their numbers were reduced to three of the original four after a run in with a fox during the winter, are thoroughly enjoying the sunshine. No matter what weather we’ve had, they’ve still managed to produce a steady source (especially after I found their secret stash!) of dark yellow-yoked eggs for baking and cooking, as well as being entertaining company in the garden.