• Talking vegetarianism

    I don’t talk about it terribly much, but I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty years at this point. Recently, I was invited onto The Culinary Muse radio show on Kinvara FM, hosted by Anna O’Donnell, to chat about vegetarianism, as well as playing some themed music on the subject. You can listen to it online now. It was a fun show, but I always enjoy doing radio.

  • April Fool's Banana Bread

    //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js Discovering there was a surfeit of bananas in the house today I decided to bake banana bread. I don’t bake often, and when I do it tends to be straightforward items. I’m not one for elaborate bakes and fancy icing, although I appreciate the efforts of those who do. This weekend is starting off damp and chilly, but it’s warm in the kitchen and now there’s a sweet fragrance in the house. It’s a tasty solution to a surplus problem.

  • Easter eggs

    Since I’m not religious, don’t like chocolate, and I’m a freelancer Easter doesn’t loom large in my calendar as an important holiday. However, the weather has been marvellous this year, and people are in rare good humour, so there’s been a great vibe – plus the Galway Food Festival is on so the city is buzzing. Although I don’t partake of the chocolate variety I do like normal eggs, and always buy organic. A lot of the time I get eggs that originate from a poultry farm in the Burren called Poulataggle. When I bought my most recent carton of eggs I found a surprise inside: It’s a small gesture,…

  • made in Japan

    One of the most-used appliances in our kitchen is our rice cooker. We got our first one about ten years ago and never looked back. You just add rice and water and let it do the job. When your rice is cooked (always properly), it will also keep it warm for you. It means you don’t have to think about it when you’re cooking the rest of your meal. The last time I was in the market for a rice cooker I began looking at the Japanese rice cookers. When Martin and I were in Japan on holiday we practically drooled over the machines they produced. This is a nation…

  • favourite coffee mugs

    I drink a lot of hot drinks throughout the day, coffee and herbal teas mostly. I have a wide variety of mugs I like to use, and a couple of strange rules have arisen. First, most of my mugs are strictly divided into coffee or tea mugs. There’s no cross-contamination between the two. There is only one exception, and that’s a set of matching pottery mugs that I put out ‘for company’, and they have to be flexible. Secondly, some mugs are mine and some are Martin’s. We share a couple of them. Technically I could banish these rules and make it a free-for-all. The world wouldn’t end if coffee…

  • eat your veggies

    I’ve been a vegetarian now for about sixteen years, and for many of them I’ve not been a fan of salads. That’s because what constitutes a salad in a restaurant used to be browning iceberg lettuce (flavourless), chunks of raw onion (not a fan), tomato, and if you were lucky, cucumber. Yet, recently I’ve been converted to the joys of a good salad. Here’s small side-salad I made for myself today. What would have made it more excellent was avocado, which I adore, but it wasn’t ripe enough. I was too lazy to scrape a carrot for shavings, which would also have been nice. I love carrots. I think I…

  • tasty Wednesday

    It’s been a pretty productive day, but I’ve work yet to do. So a rare treat from Sweetie Pies in Galway, along with a doppio espresso to cut through the sugar and fuel the rest of my evening. Yum.

  • espresso day

    I don’t normally fuel my day on an espresso, but this little cup is a new purchase and it demanded use! It’s a piece of Paul Maloney Pottery, and I bought it because when I picked it up I felt like Goldilocks finding the perfect bed: it was a natural, comforable fit. It’s as if the potter knew the exact dimensions of my fingers and how I like to hold a cup. When you find a match like this you bring it home, and keep it forever.

  • hot ginger

    This is a picture of a hot glass of Rochester Ginger. I’m currently addicted to it. You can buy Rochester Ginger in any health food shop in Ireland, and I’m sure it’s widely available in the UK where it is made. It claims to be a ‘Dickensian recipe’, by which I assume it means Victorian, but perhaps Dickens was a fan of this beverage and raved about it constantly. I’ve no memory of Pip extolling its virtues after he set up in new digs in London, or Oliver Twist sipping it with the the Artful Dodger as they handed over the day’s purloined handkerchiefs to Fagin. Perhaps I missed something……

  • spiral spud

    The Galway Christmas Market opened in Eyre Square on Friday, and I went in for a gander yesterday. It seems to be hugely popular and busy. There are stalls and stands from people selling goods and food from all over Europe. It also has a Beer Castle, styled after the German Beer Halls, which is bound to be a hit with Galwegians. I was there during the day, but I’d say when night falls – quite early nowadays – it will look very Christmassy. One of the stands I went to was selling Goulash, and deep-friend Spiral Potatoes. Now, this is genius. It’s quite a stereotype, but we Irish love…