When people find out that we grow our own food I’m often asked what the best item for kids to grow is. Peas is always my answer. With peas kids can follow their growth from small shoots to big plants. They can eat the plant at any stage of growth – be it shoots, leaves, whole pods, or just little peas that have been podded. Peas were the first vegetable we grew in our front garden 6 years ago now. They’re also one of my favourite crops for all the reasons listed above. Continue reading »
Mr Jeffares Talks Blackcurrants.
And Des Walks The Walk!
The harvesting machine moves slowly through the rows, a crew of five in attendance. It towers above the plants. But it is a gentle giant.
We were in the blackcurrant fields of the Jeffares in County Wexford watching this amazing mechanical harvest, amazing to those of us who, many moons ago, picked the crop by hand, accompanied by mothers and siblings and neighbours. Continue reading »
Hyde No. 1 President’s WhiskeyReaches Maturity In The Mild West
“Casks have to be treated with care, almost like plants,” said Conor Hyde MD of Skibbereen based Hyde Whiskey.
The Hydes (Conor, his brother Alan and nephew Peter) have been getting used to handling used Oloroso casks over the past few years. “There is still some sherry inside when we get them. And then we have to water the empty casks every few days, so that they won’t dry out and fall apart. Continue reading »
I’m slightly surprised there wasn’t more of a fuss made about the arrival of Firestone Walker beer in Ireland a couple of months ago. By all accounts it was quite a coup by Grand Cru beers to get them over this way. But the first ones just quietly started showing up in specialist beer bars and off licences without anyone making too much noise, in my earshot anyway. I probably shouldn’t complain. Continue reading »
For the month of August we are focussing on natural skincare in Organico, and we have lots of events lined up to help you chose the best natural skincare products for your skin condition – come along for a chat and to try out some gorgeous new products!
Friday 7 August, Ocean Bloom, from 9.30am, Organic, Natural, Seaweed Skincare Range from West Cork, Cheryl Clemison will be in the shop to give advice and introduce her products. Continue reading »
We are just back from a balmy sun holiday, and I am feeling full of energy and happy to be back in the kitchen. As much as I love eating out on vacation, by the end of it I begin to crave some home cooking. In the week we were gone, our garden hit a growth spurt, and we have lots of potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, berries, and overgrown lettuce trees (even the rabbits are intimidated by them). Continue reading »
When it’s Winter I crave warming dishes for dinner. You know the ones that give you a hug from the inside out, and that are just rib-sticking good. It’s Summer however, not that we’d know it. Today has been about 14 degrees on average which is pretty dire for the end of July, we’ve also had thunder, lightening, and hailstones. So you’ll excuse me if I revisit some of my favourite comfort food for dinner this evening.
This pasta meatball bake is a family favourite. Continue reading »
Taste of the Week
Focus on Fish
If you’re a regular here you’ll know that we usually have a Taste of the Week, just one at a time. But, shortly after the marvellous Seafest at Ringaskiddy, we are still on a fish trend and have quite a few tasty bits.
Let’s start with Kilmore Quay Seafood. They had a string of products at SeaFest including fish burgers, even fish sausages. Continue reading »
Sometimes you walk into a restaurant and you’re practically blown away. Such was the case for me when I walked into Hanoi Hanoi for a post-cinema Sunday lunch. Hanoi Hanoi is the newest Vietnamese restaurant to open in Dublin and I’d been gradually hearing more and more about it on the grapevine. Continue reading »
36 Hours in West Cork
Not that I was counting!
I was thinking of Garrett Oliver, master brewer at New York’s Brooklyn Brewery, while I was eating lunch at Union Hall’s Coffee Shop last Thursday. Garrett related at the Ballymaloe LitFest how people, on first drinking one of his beers, tell him that it is so good it doesn’t taste like beer. Garrett tells them, with some satisfaction, that what they have been drinking before is not real beer. Continue reading »
Last night I got a message from a reader who had originally contacted me about 6 months ago looking for advice on reducing her shopping budget. At the time I had given her the best advice I could, and kept everything crossed that things would work out. I can tell you that as a result of taking my advice on board, and using the shopping tips every week she has managed to save on average €40 per week on her groceries. Continue reading »
This summer has officially been one big rain shower.
But, at least we have gooseberries.
And, memories of sunnier days.
When the weather gets me down, I try to recall my first BBQ in Ireland for a little comic comfort. I wrote a little ditty about it in Irish Country Magazine last year, and thought it would be apropos to share here today, so here goes:
Early on, I figured out that the Irish summer can be quite different from its American counterpart. Continue reading »
Put Pilgrim’s on your camino this year. Forget the sackcloth and ashes. Maybe wear some flowers in your hair - there are gentle people there. You’re heading to the new Rosscarbery venue for a feast of the highest quality where you’ll be received with a calming courtesy.
The menu, from the local fields, nearby seas and wild places, changes from season to season, from day to day even. You won't have the biggest choices but quality shines through even if sometimes the sun doesn't.
You enter a door, surrounded by plants and flowers, and cross those big black slabs to your table - reservations advised. The menu is on just one sheet - see all the local suppliers on the rear, including the local Fish Deli, Tim Yorke from Lisheen, West Cork free range eggs, Hegarty's Cheese, Liam Ryan’s pork and more.
Put Pilgrim’s On Your Camino
Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair
Put Pilgrim’s on your camino this year. Forget the sackcloth and ashes. Maybe wear some flowers in your hair – there are gentle people there. You’re heading to the new Rosscarbery venue for a feast of the highest quality where you’ll be received with a calming courtesy.
The menu, from the local fields, nearby seas and wild places, changes from season to season, from day to day even. Continue reading »
You have to admire the international outlook of Carlow Brewing. Following on from a Japanese-themed Sorachi Ace IPA earlier this summer, two new beers produced in collaboration with brewers from abroad invited to the international crossroads that is Bagenalstown. Continue reading »
Imagine designing for living, based on how nature functions? Permaculture – based on “permanent agriculture” and “permanent culture” – does just that. It’s an intricate, carefully planned ecology of life, of you in all your surroundings, using 12 design principles and five zones.
Bruce Darrell (course tutor) with a group in Cloughjordan
If that sounds a bit highfalutin, it isn’t in practical terms. Continue reading »