Just been checking out the James Beard Foundation Awards nominees and I see that congratulations are in order for Heidi Swanson for her nomination in the Healthy Focus category. Her book – Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways to Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking – is a constant source of ideas and inspiration these days as I try out her ideas and experiment with new ingredients.
Although there has been lots of salad planted in the garden on recent weekends, including mustard greens, rocket and mizuna (at least I’ll be able to distinguish between the plants after cramming in Ballymaloe for the salad leaves and herbs exams!), it’s going to be a while before any of the leaves are big enough to eat. Then, of course, because our planting in succession routine is not entirely developed – despite best intentions – we’ll have another glut to work through. But that’s all ahead of us and, until then, I’ve been growing my own salad on the windowsill.
Woo hoo! Bibliocook got a brief mention in Marie-Claire Digby’s Webwatch in the food section of yesterday’s Irish Times Magazine. Unless you have a subscription, you can’t view it online so here it is (told you it was brief!)Webwatchwww.bibliocook.comRead about the culinary adventures of former entertainment journalist turned Ballymaloe-trained cook and food writer, Caroline Hennessy.Published: Sat 19 April 2008 – The Irish Times – Magazine
Slow Food Cork has an event coming up this Thursday, 17 April, at a new bar called An Crúibín on Union Quay. Before it was revamped and made over, the venue was known as the Lobby Bar, site of many a night of musical madness and commemorated by inimitable Cork musician John Spillane in the nostalgic Magic Nights in the Lobby Bar. Now a tapas bar, An Crúibín will play host to, we are promised, a traditional evening of pigs trotters, tails, ribs and cheek, accompanied by bread from the Arbutus Bakery and pints of Beamish, my stout of choice. The event starts at 8pm, it costs €10 for Slow Food members (€15 for non-members) and bookings can be made at 021 4505819.
Hog roast from Gubbeen was on the menu at the Waterford Food Fair farmers’ market in Dungarvan yesterday. Cooking started on Grattan Square at 5.30am so appetites were well-stimulated by the time Fingal Ferguson and his staff started serving blaas stuffed with roast pork to a hungry crowd around 1pm. It wasn’t the only food on offer at the market – think Chocolate Brownies from Tara’s Cookies, Baldwin’s farmhouse ice cream, O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages that I often pick up in the English Market, apple juice from Killowen Orchard and the Crinnaughtaun Juice Company – but, with waves of pork-infused smoke wafting through the square as it cooked, it was definitely the most spectacular.
Some weeks things work, at other times my attempts to fill the tins with sweet treats for work falls flat. This time I have a not very successful variation on Almond Honey Squares from a neat little Woman’s Weekly Simple Slices book that the Husband ordered for me recently. I think he’s trying to ensure his supply of different nice things to take to work – before I started making these weekly variations, it was a consistent diet of Chocolate Sesame Flapjacks and variations thereof.
With Irish cheeses and handmade terrines, fresh-shucked oysters, champagne and plenty of spiced beef, the launch of the Taste of Cork festival took place last Thursday in the English Market and it’s shaping up to be something well worth checking out.Although I was rather underwhelmed with my experience at the first Taste of Dublin, the teething problems – portion size, rain shelter, muck underfoot – seem to have been ironed out and, for the event’s Cork debut, the organisers have chosen the historic surroundings of the Cork City Gaol (or Jail, depending on where you grew up!) for the weekend of Friday 27 to Sunday 29 June. The restaurant line up includes Jacobs on the Mall, Seamus O’Connell’s Ivory Tower, the very familiar Ballymaloe House, and Mallow’s representative – Longueville House. We’re planning on a family day out – time to book those tickets!