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Lithuanian Cabbage Rolls | Balandėliai [Recipe]

Preparing traditional dishes is never straightforward as everyone has their own view on how they should be prepared. There is nothing more soul-destroying than spending several hours cooking a meal only to get a look from your husband that says “these are not as good as my mother’s”. I have received that look many times as I developed my recipes for šaltibarščiai, koldūnai and cepelinai. With my balandėliai, I a little fared better – I got “the look” for the first attempt only. After that, something unprecedented happened – I was told they were even better than his mother’s. Read more


I stumbled on these photos as I was going through my archives. For some reason they amuse me – I can think of twenty good captions for each of them. I’ve included a couple below. If you have a good one please share – what are those three boys thinking or saying? Read more

Deers & Goats & Backs & Things

I was sixteen when it first happened. I had been on a weekend school trip to an outdoor pursuits centre and come home with a stiffness in my back. I wasn’t sure what had done it – 4 hours downstream in a canoe, rock climbing a jagged cliff, lifting the heavy sail of a windsurf or jumping from port to starboard as we tacked and jibbed our way across a choppy bay. Read more

My Food Odyssey Calendar 2016

As the evenings grow ever shorter and the year draws to a close, I have been looking back on the last year and, indeed, over the last three years since this blog began. Both the blog and I have come a long way. Initially it was a food and travel blog, covering our journey through Europe discovering the wonderful food and drinks on offer. Then we settled here in Lithuania and it became more about our personal journey with food and our life here, growing our own vegetables and enjoying country life. Read more


I don’t really go in for ornaments, preferring instead to decorate my home with plants, flowers and natural products. My summer bowl contains the dried petals from the roses I got for my 40th birthday last year. This is my autumn bowl – chestnuts I collected from the schoolyard near my home. Aren’t they gorgeous? Read more

Relaxing in the Australian Outback

It feels like the weather for the past few months has been on a timer, changing abruptly from month to month. It rained for the whole of July, then not once in August. September saw rain again, but mixed with warm, sunny days – perfect for sprouting mushrooms. October was crisp and clear with a fascinating array of sunsets as the sun moved lower in the autumn sky. It remained clear until after All Saints’ Day, a very important date in the Lithuania calendar. Then, on November 2nd, the sky became grey and overcast and the air damp and heavy. Read more

Halloween / Hunter’s Moon

I can’t tell you how much I love living in the country. We have the best of both worlds. We live in a tiny village surrounded by open fields and forests as far as the eye can see, so we have the comradery of community but the peace and solitude of the hinterland. Read more

Colcannon [Recipe]

This time last year I was pining for a little taste of home. Halloween was coming and I was looking forward to a steaming bowl of colcannon, just like my mammy used to make. Unfortunately I could not find any kale or green cabbage, a key ingredient of the dish, here in Lithuania. I tried several supermarkets and farmers’ markets, but only white cabbage was available. Upset, I consoled myself with cake. Read more


When does the ordinary become extraordinary? When you see it up-close and personal for the very first time. I spent a lot of time in my garden over the summer and, apart from the hard work, I got to see some amazing sights. I began to see mundane things like dandelions and insects in a whole new light. I began a love affair with crickets when I first saw a nymph on my tomatoes way back in May. It was not love at first sight but later, as I was bemoaning the destruction of my beautiful cabbages by caterpillars, I was very happy to have those crickets on my side. I was lucky enough to capture a kamikaze caterpillar munching its way closer and closer to the waiting jaws of a hungry cricket. You might wonder how the caterpillar could miss the ominous presence of cricket until you see the reverse angle and are reminded how good their camouflage is. Extraordinary. Read more

These Boots Are Made For Walking

I’m pretty easily pleased, really. My needs are simple – good food, love, laughter and an occasional open road. Give me a pair of walking boots, a walking companion and some decent terrain and I’m in my element. These photos were taken in Australia’s stunning Blue Mountains. The vast mountain range provides walks for all levels, from a few hours to a few days long. There are sheer cliffs, waterfalls and lush green forests. Add one beautiful husband and it’s a place just made for taking photographs. Read more


One of the many things I love about travelling is the diversity to be found across our planet – diversity of people, language, culture, food, weather and landscape. So often, our food and culture is influenced by the landscape around us. If you are surrounded by sea you will likely eat lots of fish and seafood, if you have boggy earth you will burn turf. And if you have fields full of limestone, you will build walls. Travelling through northern Spain, close to the border with Portugal, we encountered these stone walls. I was immediately reminded of the stone walls found across the west of Ireland and which I thought were unique to our fair isle. The Spanish construction is a little different – I don’t think I have seen walls constructed around big stones in such a uniform way in Ireland. But the resemblance is striking. Amidst all the diversity there are always similarities. We’re not all that different, really. Read more

Creamy Zucchini/Courgette Soup [Recipe]

On my recent trip home I got to catch up with some old friends, but I also got to meet new people. I love meeting new people, especially in rural Ireland where they seem so characterful, so full of laughter and stories. Meeting new people invariable results in being asked two questions – where do you come from and what do you do. These seemingly innocuous questions always fill me with dread – because I don’t have a straightforward answer to either of them. Read more


A change is as good as a rest. Or so they say. As my limbs were weary and my bones heavy from a summer of growing, harvesting and preserving, I took myself home to the motherland for some much-needed rest and recuperation. Read more


Yesterday, as I sat in my conservatory quietly reading & wondering if I would ever feel energetic again, I spotted my elderly neighbours in a nearby field hauling their hay bales in for winter storage. He was using a small cart, but she was using just a sheet, dragging two bales behind her at a time. They repeated this exercise over & over until the whole field was clear. Inspiration comes in many guises & I thought if they can muster the strength to get out & do what needs to be done, then so can I. Read more

Running to Stand Still

There was a time when my life was dedicated to music. Every spare minute was spent writing songs, singing, playing guitar and listening to music, either recorded or live. I went to at least one live gig a week, often more. I rubbed shoulders with an eclectic bunch of troubadours, some of whom have gone on to become international stars. Music pulsed through my veins. Lyrics framed my philosophies & my thinking. Read more

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