Take a look over at Irish Blog Awards for the 2009 longlisted blogs, including Bibliocook! There are several rounds this year – nominated, longlisted and shortlisted – before the actual award ceremony at the Cork International Airport Hotel on 21 February. Check out the longlist for the Food/Drink Blog – with thanks to sponsor Bord Bia – below.
Check out the Lar Veale’s Sour Grapes wine blog for his entertaining entries on matching wine with Irish Blog Awards Food/Wine nominees. This piece has the first 13 blogs nominated and this one finishes off the list. Fortunately, as the Husband and I both went off Malborough Sauvignon Blanc last year (that’s what happens when you order too much wedding wine and decide to finish it off for yourself!), Bibliocook gets matched with Pinot Noirs from Central Otago or the Waipara Valley and, in the whites side of things, Riesling, Pinot Gris or Chardonnay. That’ll be a bottle of Babich Marlborough Riesling and Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir, please. I wish…
If you’re interested in listening back to any of the Foodtalk shows that were broadcast on Newstalk over the last six weeks (no more sending text alerts online – my Sunday nights have suddenly gotten very quiet!), they’re now all available as podcasts from the Newstalk website. You can see them all here and full details of the interviewees are below.
I’ve had a sneaking fondness for the Crawford Art Gallery Café ever since I spent a Saturday working there while on the Ballymaloe Cookery Course and have returned several times since. The Husband and I were on a rare Saturday trip to Cork at the weekend, made all the hungrier for lunch by some cheese nibbling at our local Killavullen Farmers’ Market, courtesy of Gudrun at Fermoy Natural Cheese. Despite the crowds in the café, we got a table quickly, which was just as well as I had already spotted lamb’s liver on the menu.
If you’re heading to the 2009 Irish Blog Awards in Cork, it’s well worth your while turning up a little bit earlier for the Ladies’ Tea Party, hosted by Sabrina Dent from 4pm at the Cork Airport Hotel. There are only thirty places available at this pre-event event for the lady bloggers of Ireland so, if you’re interested, find out more and register at http://www.sabrinadent.com/2009/01/31/ladies-tea-party-and-knitting-circle-2009/ sooner rather than later. Refreshments will be provided by Curious Wines, iFoods.tv and Pinosa Cake.
In Cork today and during my inevitable trip to Ó Conaill’s chocolate shop on French Church Street – I used to go for a dark cardamom all the time, now I’ve moved on to a ginger oil-infused dark chocolate, all the better to fend off the winter chill – I noticed that they have just started stocking Cate McCarthy’s giant cookies. The Cookie Jar is the name of her company and the trademark jars recently arrived on Ó Conaill’s counter, packed with American-style cookies made from real ingredients. I met Cate last year at the Terra Madre Farmers’ Market in Waterford and sampled quite a few of her delicious wares.Well worth a quick visit when you need your caffeine – or hot chocolate – fix accompanied by something sweet to munch on.Ó Conaill Chocolate, 16b French Church Street, Cork. 021 4373407The Cookie Jar, Graigue, Poulmucka, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. 052 35448 www.thecookiejar.ie
I’ve always loved old cast-iron kitchen ranges. My Grandad would always put the porridge on overnight in the warming oven of the old, age-darkened Aga at Oldcastletown. By morning it would be cooked creamy, although with such a thick skin that I couldn’t stomach it. As a child I was a very picky eater. The Aga – it ran on solid fuel – also made the best toast. Grandad would supervise the making of this treat on a cold winter’s evening as we came in hungry from school. There were two methods: the first was simply to place a thickly sliced piece of bread from the local shop directly onto the base of the hot oven where it turned brown in a matter of minutes. And then there were the evenings when we were allowed to get out the ancient toasting forks, open the front of the firebox and toast on the flame. Those were the times that Grandad’s work- and age-toughened hands came into their own, holding the bread close enough so it toasted properly. Our softer little paws – and faces! – weren’t quite up to enduring the heat.