Category Archives: Inspiration
What’s your idea of heaven? How being greeted on a watercoloured morning by local wildlife in the form of some self-assured deer, before walking an avenue of birdsong towards heavy Castle gates under a halo of golden springtime foliage. And knowing that behind those doors lies a breakfast of Sally Barnes’s plump kippers or O’Flynn’s sweet juicy bacon (or both, as I insisted on having). Read the rest of this entry
My pal emailed me from Barcelona.
Hola hola! (she said, twice)… I need to cook simple Irish dinner for some Argentinian friends. (They’re great cooks so I’m nervous!) Any suggestions?
The challenge of it. The waves of doubt, of cultural inferiority. I was nervous on her behalf, on our collective national behalf. Read the rest of this entry
I was chatting to someone the other night, and we got on to discussing what each of us worked at. He was in construction recruitment, he told me with a straight face, before adding that there’s a big demand overseas for our highly skilled Irish construction workers. He asked what I did so I explained I’m a journalist and I write mostly about food. Shortly after, he asked did I cook and I said I did. His party piece was potato gratin, he stated rather proudly. What was mine? Read the rest of this entry
Did you know that yesterday was Fiesta Nacional de Espana, originally celebrated as Dia de la Hispanidad to mark the landing of Columbus in the Americas on 12th October 1492, and declared a national holiday by the Spanish king back in the ’80s? Okay, we’re talking a celebration of the biggest landmark day in the history of colonialism, which may or may not be something you’re queuing up to tip your cap to. But what is worth celebrating is the wonderful way Spanish and Hispanic peoples approach the humbler things in life. Like bread and garlic, tomatoes and olive oil. Read the rest of this entry
It’s National Potato Day today. What do you mean, you didn’t know we have a National Potato Day?
Well, anyway we do. And I’m glad of it.
The thing about spuds is, unless I’m cooking a certain kind of meal involving meat/fish and two veg, which is rare enough, I don’t necessarily have spuds in the cupboard. But I always have rice of various colours, pasta of various shapes, and noodles of various sizes, plus numerous other grains including cous cous, bulghur and quinoa. What chance has the humble spud against such a battery of carbs? Read the rest of this entry
“Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish” (we are told, and I don’t think he meant of the Ballymaloe variety) “the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod’s roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys…” Read the rest of this entry
Are you a recipe person? Or do you prefer to wing it with what’s hanging about in your fridge, or whatever looked good on the shelves, or whatever finds it’s way into your kitchen by any other means? Read the rest of this entry
If it was an insect it would be a bumble bee. If it was a sound it would be a big brass band. If it was a colour it would be the sunshine yellow of sand buckets on the beach. And if it was a game it would be tennis, played on a grass court in the shimmer of high summer.
What am I talking about? Gorse, of course. Read the rest of this entry
There’s nothing I can think of right this minute more satisfying than the snap of fresh asparagus as it’s being prepared for a quick steambath. There are a few reasons asparagus is such a treat: obviously taste is top of the list… but like the strawberries of my youth, part of aspargus’s allure is that its relatively short natural season means the arrival of a local bounty signals that summer is finally here. Read the rest of this entry