Tagged: brown bread

Sunny birth days 0

Sunny birth days

The perfect birthday? Take a day off work – this is always nicest if done midweek! – and book a night away in Gort na Nain, a vegetarian guesthouse near Nohoval outside Cork city, run by the welcoming Lucy Stewart and Ultan Walsh, vegetable growers and suppliers of vegetables to Café Paradiso, amongst other Cork restaurants. Drive there after work the day before your birthday, picking up the Husband en route, and arrive just in time for your pre-booked three-course dinner. Relax and savour Lucy’s fabulous cooking, using fresh-picked vegetables and fruit grown by Ultan, with the other (very entertaining) couple that happen to be staying there that night. Take a long walk to see the sea before tucking yourself into a large, comfortable bed in an bright and spacious room.

Bibliocook.com - choc chip cranberry cookies 2

Transition Time: from Dublin to Ballymaloe

Transition from a full-time journalist’s job in Dublin to country-based student life is more than just packing a car, cleaning out the old flat and shifting down to the cottage. Mindless routines – the 45-minute stroll to work, a computer-based eight-hour stint, walking home mentally preparing supper, deciding whether to call into one of my favourite shops on the way (Mortons, Donnybrook Fair, Taste of Italy, Al-Khyrat) – suddenly become more precious as the days speed towards leaving the city. Only one thing to do: sidestep the whole situation by flying off to Girona in Spain the day after the move!

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Salad lunches for work: Puy Lentil Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Puy Lentil Salad with Balsamic DressingWhen the days get brighter and longer, a girl’s thoughts turn to salad lunches. Based about 15 minutes walk away from any shops or cafés and blessed/cursed with a sloppy canteen, I bring my lunch to work year-round. Brown Bread and a fridge in the office are my lifesavers – the bread for toasting in the canteen and the fridge to store endless blocks of cheese for my normal lunch. Sometimes food bloggers eat boring food too! With the arrival of the summer, however, I start wanting a little more variety, particularly as the canteen is closed at the moment so I have no access to my toaster.

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The Boyfriend’s bagels

The Boyfriend's lovely bagels - ready to eat! Before we took off for our year in New Zealand, the Boyfriend was really getting involved in bread-making. There was an ongoing, sporadically successful, sourdough project but where he really hit his stride was in making bagels. A birthday present of Bread by Ursula Ferrigno and Eric Treuille (never let it be said that I didn’t encourage him!) inspired him to try their recipe. Do you know how they get the holes into their bagels? You take a small ball of dough, stick your finger through the centre of it and then work your finger in a circle to stretch and widen the hole. It’s rather like doing the hula hoop, but with your finger instead of your waist! We were in fits laughing that first morning that he tried the recipe as our fingers hula hooped their way through eight bagels.

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The Boyfriend's bagels

The Boyfriend's lovely bagels - ready to eat! Before we took off for our year in New Zealand, the Boyfriend was really getting involved in bread-making. There was an ongoing, sporadically successful, sourdough project but where he really hit his stride was in making bagels. A birthday present of Bread by Ursula Ferrigno and Eric Treuille (never let it be said that I didn’t encourage him!) inspired him to try their recipe. Do you know how they get the holes into their bagels? You take a small ball of dough, stick your finger through the centre of it and then work your finger in a circle to stretch and widen the hole. It’s rather like doing the hula hoop, but with your finger instead of your waist! We were in fits laughing that first morning that he tried the recipe as our fingers hula hooped their way through eight bagels.

Never No More by Maura Laverty *****

When I was a little one, with a voracious appetite for books and cooking, one of the books that I devoured was my Nana’s well-used copy of Full and Plenty by Maura Laverty. The distinctive blue and yellow covers contained a treasury of old Irish recipes but the icing on the cake for me were the stories with which Laverty started each chapter.