Tag Archives: childhood

A moving feast ….

25 Sep

In the spring of 1987 as I was eating my breakfast before school,  my mother said to my 2 younger sisters and I “There’s a surprise coming in September, guess what it is?”

“A dishwasher!” I guessed

“Well, actually yes but that will be here before September there is something better coming too …” she said.

“Better than a dishwasher” I thought to myself. Unlikely, very unlikely!

I was delighted about the dishwasher because I had recently come to the conclusion that we desperately needed one ..  you see every time I wanted to go somewhere my Mam would say “after I have done the dishes” .. dishes were ruining my little life!

As for the other great surprise? That was a third sister, followed a couple of years later by a fourth. Although I am fond of them now I was fairly annoyed that my mother couldn’t have gotten us some brothers at the time. I remember that morning so well, it was a very cute attempt to get us excited about a new baby wasn’t it? Backfired with me though!

The dishwasher in 1987 didn’t change my life in fact it probably ruined it a bit more as small children are a good height for stacking .. especially when you have a very busy mother and a “work ethic” family .. However this week I felt the excitement all over again as we have moved house and there is a beautiful new fitted kitchen and (joy of joys) a dishwasher!!

There is also a lovely little yard where we will be attempting to grow some veggies, I may need some advice on this as the seasons, climate, varieties are all completely different to Ireland.

The past week has been spent moving, cleaning, sorting, unpacking, cleaning, losing everything, slowing finding things again, buying more furniture and even more flippin cleaning … I am exhausted!

When I read this recipe yesterday I knew it was just what I needed – I didn’t have all the exact ingredients but as my national school teacher used to tell us “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and it was delish!

Ingredients

 

Rye bread instead of wraps, fresh coriander instead of dried, cherry tomatoes instead of “cooking” tomatoes (whatever they are?), button mushrooms instead of large, lettuce instead of spinach .. and a chilli for good measure!

tomatoes cooking

add paste and herbs

 

sweating mush and onions Sweating the onions, low heat & patience – usually I try to rush them resulting in burnt onions! But I’m wising up … a pinch of salt helps too!

coriander and chilli I added chopped coriander and chilli to the tomato sauce just before serving …

mushrooms and balsamic Added in mushrooms then balsamic … which btw adds an amazing flavour to the mushrooms, I’ll be doing this again!

mushies ready to go

toast

avo and toast This avo was very ripe so I just spread it on the toast but sliced would be nice too … a sprinkle of salt at this stage to bring out the flavour!


Ready for assembly ..

finished The finished dish .. it was really tasty and healthy .. if I was doing it in this form again I would poach the eggs, scrambled are perfect for a wrap!

 

Later on I had this … yes it is Nutella. A girl has to get her fruit you know!

SJ x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What to buy for Christmas?? Buy Irish of Course!!

1 Dec

As it’s the first of December it’s ok with me now to talk about Christmas ..

When we were young I don’t remember the run up being so long, there always seemed to be months between Hallowe’en and Christmas. However I do remember standing on the table in our kitchen being helped into my pyjamas (All dressing was done on that table, until now I have never realised it might be odd!) and being so scared that Santa would look in the window, realise I was not good-as-gold and bring me a bag of coal!

Oh, the incredible excitement of Christmas morning, being barely able to get down the stairs with anticipation! While the presents were amazing, for me,  it was seeing had Santa eaten the mince pies and more so had Rudolph had the carrot! The half eaten mince pie and teeth marks in the carrot would bring squeals of delight from us. The year we found reindeer hair/fluff left on our fireplace was without doubt a highlight of my childhood. Imagining how magic Santa must be to not only get himself and all the presents down the chimney but also a Reindeer!! Santa truly is amazing but my parents must have loved Christmas Eve and morning a lot too, good thing there was the odd red cow among all the black & white ones eh?

I have listed below some Irish companies that I love and have purchased gifts from throughout the year as-well as for Christmas. I won’t be too specific with what I have bought for fear of ruining some surprises. It’s nice to have that Christmas morning anticipation even when we are all growed-up!

Slated.ie
Firstly, if you want a daily giggle follow Tara and her company on twitter or like them on Facebook. Trust me, you will laugh!
Beautiful slate products from coasters (which can also be used to serve butter!) to table runners, memo/chalk boards to plant markers. All functional,  pretty and reasonably priced they come beautifully packaged too.

Garrendenny Lane – I have loved this site and blog for a long time but only recently made a purchase. I sent this lovely map of Ireland to a friend living in Canada who won’t be home for Xmas. It was delivered straight from the site and arrived within a week! An ideal present for someone who won’t make it home this year.

Green Saffron – I adore these spice mixes! Sirak Masala (available online or from farmers market) and Murgh Tandoori are my favourites but the Balti, Rogan Josh and Tikka Masala have all gone down really well! Each pack comes with easy to follow instructions and tips.  I am looking forward to trying the Christmas Turkey Delight around December 26th.

Donegal Rapeseed Oil – Healthier than alternatives and tastes really good! There are other Irish rapeseed oils around now too which I have not tasted, we have no need to buy all foreign oils any more!

Sleek.ie – this might seem like a treat for yourself but once Lorna sorts you (or me anyway) out with some fantastic control underwear the sight of you in your party dress will be a treat for everyone’s eyes!! Great customer service and fantastic products.

Danucci Chocolates – Salted Caramels. Have to be tried to be believed

8Degrees Brewing Beer – Brewed in Cork by a Kiwi and an Aussie, a lovely present for a beer lover and a good addition to your christmas puddings, cakes, mincemeat or accompaniment to your cheese board (any excuse!).

Funky Christmas Jumpers – Lots of fun to wear one of these on the big day and also really popular for the annual 12 Pubs of Christmas fun!

Hairy Baby – T-shirts, aprons, bags and baby clothes with hilarious graphics and slogans! My Mam’s name is Mary so have been thinking of getting this one for Dad .. hee hee!

Cookbooks are always appreciated by cooks and food enthusiasts alike. Here are my favourites from this year.
Edward Hayden: Food to Love

If you are not familiar with Edward you are in for a treat! He is a lovely personable and really funny guy who I first met when I did a cookery course in Dunbrody House with my sister, Mam and Aunties,  everyone fell in love with him. I have since attended lots of his classes and met him at various shows. His book has lots of great recipes & ideas and I have used it many times since getting it for my birthday in September.

Niamh Shields: Comfort and Spice

A Waterford girl living in London cooking up a storm and making my mouth water on regular occasions with her blog. Slow cooked pork is her signature dish her book is not only beautiful but packed full of great recipes you will want to try immediately.

Lilly Higgins: Make, Bake, Love

This is one book I am hoping will be bought for me rather than me buying for someone else. Lilly’s blog is so aesthetically pleasing that I cannot wait to drool over the pages of her book, which she styled herself! WANT.

Only 24 more sleeps …

SJ x