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.
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There was big excitement at the cottage when I learned that Spices, one of the Foodtalk documentaries that I presented for Newstalk, is a nominee for the 2010 Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards! These awards celebrate the very best in international food publishing and broadcasting. With a total of 700 entries across 21 categories, now whittled down to 181 nominations, it is a true honour to make it this far. Spices is nominated in the best food/drink radio programme category alongside six other programmes from Australia and America.
There was sunshine and crowds at the Mallow Food Festival on Easter Sunday morning, the street thronged with people wandering at the early event before heading home for Easter lunch. I abandoned the Husband and Little Missy at home for a quick zoom in and out as we were heading down to Gort na Nain Guesthouse that afternoon, with a side trip to Cork so the Husband could peruse the offerings at the Franciscan Well Easter Beer Fest.
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.
Any trip to Kanturk is a good excuse to call into McCarthy’s Butchers and see what new treat Jack McCarthy has dreamed up for his many meat-loving customers. I can’t resist the air-dried Sliabh Luachra Beef scattered over big bowls of salad leaves with shavings of parmesan and the North Cork Pancetta makes a great savoury blanket when wrapped around fish or even chunks of haloumi cheese before baking.
The Mallow Food Festival has taken a move this year and will be taking place in the town on Sunday morning as part of Racing Home for Easter. We’ve had a great time at the festival for the last two years (despite last year’s torrential rain!) so will be heading there bright and early, trying not to spoil our appetite for Easter lunch. More information below.10am – 1.30pm: Food & Craft Fair in Mallow Town: a showcase of Munster’s best produce and crafts with children’s entertainment including Stilt Walkers/Clowns, Lungi the Travelling Puppeteer, the Hakuna Matata Aerobic Performers and the fabulous Mobile Farm. Contact Claire Ryan on 022 53257 or Roisin Lucey on 087 0554382 for more info.Also on our list of things to do this Easter Sunday is the Beerfest at the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork City. Alongside their own Shandon Stout and Rebel Red, they will be featuring craft beers from ten microbreweries around of Ireland. As far as I know, it starts at 2pm but, frustratingly, the Franciscan Well website hasn’t been updated with event details. Still, I’m sure a lot of the Husband‘s fellow homebrewers will make it along!