They may not be recognisable from the shrink-wrapped fowl that you can pick up at the supermarket for your Christmas dinner but these awkward-looking animals are actually turkeys. Bronze turkeys, to be precise, and they came to live down the bottom of my garden a month ago. They are not pets: they are dinner and, especially when they’re misbehaving, I’m already dreaming about a golden roasted turkey, complete with all the trimmings, quietly steaming away on the Christmas table.
Ahem! Now, I know that the theme of tonight’s cookalong is actually autumn fruit and I know that a courgette isn’t exactly what you might call a fruit but as it grew in my garden and I’m turning it into a Very Good Cake, I thought I might get away with it. Besides, this is the kind of recipe that should need no apology although you will find yourself, all afluster, trying to justify it when people look and say, “Courgette Cake, really!” in a doubting tone of voice. Just tell them it’s a bit like Carrot Cake – that will convince many of the-you-can’t-put-vegetables-into-a-sweet-cake crowd – or simply cut them a little piece and try not to look smug when they come back for seconds.
As a child growing up in Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s, blueberries were a rare, exotic fruit, only read about in the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder or Roald Dahl. Years later, my first encounter with a blueberry was in a muffin but, alas, it was one of those ever-lasting, plastic-wrapped ones and the purple coloured spot in the muffin bore little resemblance to the real thing.
If you grow any soft fruit, in the summertime there is always a need for a simple cake recipe that lets you showcase the berries (and use them up). Last year, it was this Blackcurrant Almond Cake, which I made several times before the blackbirds finished off my currants, but this Midsummer Cake from Nigel Slater is my new favourite.
Gardens and food in the sunshine: what’s not to like? The Husband and I – Little Missy landed with the Little Sister for a day’s worth of chasing the dog in my parents’ garden – headed up for the Friday of this year’s Bloom festival. It was a day for sunscreen and sunglasses as we sat under umbrellas in the beer garden, enjoying Dungarvan Brewing Company‘s Helvick Gold and, although there was an unfortunate lack of ice, Llewellyn’s Double L cider. That was the Husband and his friend happy for the afternoon, and I had a place to leave the bags of food that I spent the day acquiring.
Forget growing your own vegetables – keeping chickens in the back garden is one of the fastest growing hobbies in Ireland. But how easy is it to make sure you have your own fresh-from-the-hen free-range eggs for breakfast? Caroline Hennessy shows you how on SilverCircle.ie.
With Little Missy turning one on Friday, we thought it was time for a few pets. Four pets, specifically, of the clucking, squawking Rhode Island Red variety. Between foxes and disease, we said good bye to the last of our original four hens in November and have really missed having our own delicious, fresh, free range eggs. Now, with LM getting to a stage when she can eat eggs for herself – the younger pair in my family were brought up on daily lunchtime “guggy” soft-boiled eggs – it was time for the next round.