With the onset of cooler weather, the amount of cooking and baking in my house has increased, if not the recent writing about it. It’s no longer torturously hot in our tiny kitchen if the oven is on and, as a result, I’ve gotten back into baking old reliables like Brown Soda Bread and our favourite Chocolate Flapjacks as well as trying out new recipes for Bill Granger‘s Coconut Loaf (especially good toasted), Peanut Butter Cookies (very moreish) from current favourite cookbook, Comfort by Michele Cranston and a zesty Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf that I decided to make in homage to the tasty muffins that I usually get in Dún Laoghaire from the California Market Bakery.
Whether you’re in Dublin or Christchurch, New Zealand this weekend, there are plenty of Slow Food-organised events taking place. The Christchurch branch have their second “how to survive when ship-wrecked” morning by the sea taking place on Saturday 23 September. Led by Slow Food member, amateur botanist, professional fishing guide and enthusiastic forager Peter Langlands, participants will spend the morning gathering seaweeds, shellfish, crustaceans and fish from Canterbury’s shoreline at Port Levy. Information on species identification, harvesting and cooking techniques will be combined with some cautionary notes. Car pooling will take place from the CPIT car park at 9:30am. You can email Convivium Leader Bill Bryce for directions and hopefully you’ll avoid what happened to me last year – a frustrating hour spent waiting in the wrong CPIT car park!
I’m not a fan of RTÉ’s Late Late Show but there was a debate about Irish food on last week’s programme which you can watch from this page. An aggressive and rambling Richard Corrigan doesn’t come off very well but Derek Davis manages to defuse the situation, while still managing to get his points about Irish food – and they’re not complimentary – across.
For all those Rachel Allen fans out there – and I know that there are lots of you! – she returns to RTÉ One next week with a new television series called Rachel’s Favourite Food at Home. A hardback cookbook to accompany the series is published by HarperCollins and it’s difficult to walk into any Irish bookshop at the moment without tripping over a stack of them!
I was in the heart of County Wicklow yesterday, listening as the Irish branch of Euro-toques, a European-wide community of cooks and chefs, debated the idea of Ireland as a culinary destination. Held at the lovely Brooklodge Hotel in Macreddin Village, this was Euro-toques Ireland’s fifth National Food Forum. Chaired by Peter Ward of Country Choice delicatessen in Nenagh, the panel consisted of Colman Andrews, former editor-in-chief of US food magazine, Saveur; John McKenna, the man behind the Bridgestone Guides; artisan butcher, market trader and sausage-maker extraordinaire Ed Hicks; editor of The Dubliner, Trevor White; and John Mulcahy of Failte Ireland, who provide training and development services for the tourism and hospitality industry.
Things have been a bit mad around here lately so I haven’t unfortunately been able to participate in last two Hay Hay, It’s Donna Day events – and , hosted by Clare at respectively. Due to a traffic accident, Clare hasn’t been able to do the round up so Barbara, the HHIDD instigator, with Bron’s help, has put together a round up of the imaginative cookies that emerged from that challenge at . Barbara also met Ms Hay at the recent and you can read all about that on the same post