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Food Word of the Day: Quahog

I’ve never eaten one of these, but I love cockles, mussels and all other bivalves that I’ve tried. I believe these are now being farmed in Europe – I must keep an eye out for them. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the sound of the word. Read more

Food Word of the Day: Jeroboam

I’d imagine these are quite tricky to handle – a box with a tap on the side sounds easier to use. That said, I know quite a few people who would like their wine to come in one of these! Read more

Food Word of the Day: Turophile

As a true turophile, cheese is one of the foods I miss most living here in Lithuania. It’s not that Lithuania doesn’t have cheese, but more that Lithuanian tastes lean towards curd cheese (farmers’ cheese) or very mild cheeses whereas I like strong, smelly cheeses. I recently received two gifts of cheese from overseas – one from Ireland and one from France. Both were very welcome! Read more

Food Word of the Day: Riddle

We got to witness this process on our tour of the cellars at Taittinger while on our tour of Europe. You can see a video of the process showing the speed of the riddlers here. Read more

Food Word of the Day: Pinguid

I am a closet logophile. I consider myself well-read but I am regularly surprised and delighted to come across new words, particularly when they are related to food and eating. Sometimes, though, despite there being over a quarter of a million words to choose from, I like to make up my own. Composite words like “delucious” can be both fun and descriptive. Read more

Abstract

Forests fascinate me. In the fairy tales of my childhood, wonderful and exciting things always happened in the woods. That’s where the witch had her hut, hidden amongst the dense trees. That’s where the animals came alive at night. That’s where the trees could talk and, if pushed to it by some evil force, even move about from place to place. Read more

Homemade Hummus [Recipe]

Growing up in Ireland in the 70s and 80s fancy food generally meant a salmon en croûte, a Baked Alaska or a prawn cocktail on half an avocado topped with Marie Rose sauce. Findus Crispy Pancakes were the height of cool. Then pizzas arrived – hideous things that could be heated under the grill. We thought they were delicious because we had no frame of reference – we didn’t know how good pizza could taste. We drank instant coffee with pride. We had a coffee percolator that was dragged out a few times a year when my mother entertained, but the coffee was left sitting for hours and it tasted awful – the instant stuff was so much nicer. Read more

Growing Vegetables #3 – Seedlings & Herbs Update, Outside Prep Begins

I was born for this life. I can’t explain the joy it gives me, watching seeds grow into plants, then watching them flowering and fruiting. I have spent many happy hours watering and transplanting and already I am getting dividends. My herbs are on fire – I can barely keep up with them. My tomatoes are growing taller by the day and my cucumbers have begun to flower, giving me my first tiny cucumber of the season. Read more

Salt, Pepper & Rosemary Cheese Crackers [Recipe]

My conservatory is a sea of green. My tomato, cucumber, pepper & chilli seedlings have now been transplanted and fill one set of shelves. My windowsill is covered with red vases containing an assortment of fresh herbsrosemary, melissa (lemon balm), basil, coriander, tarragon and mint. The smell of the herbs is intoxicating, particularly when the sun shines and warms the leaves. Read more

Leaving Kansas

A clear blue sky can be a thing of beauty. It brings warmth, clear air and a bright, happy mood. But sometimes a dark and sinister sky can be far more interesting. I find myself weaving tales as I look at these photos – will Thor suddenly appear with his mighty hammer, will a truck pull up to plant some meteorological measuring device into the centre of the impending cyclone, or will the houses simply lift and spin upwards into the sky, leaving grey Kansas for a Technicolor land of magic and munchkins. Read more

Homemade Coconut Body & Lip Butters

There is a certain pleasure to be had from walking into an expensive department store and perusing the extensive range of beauty products available. Helpful and “qualified” staff will assess your skin’s needs and talk you through the benefits of their range. (“Qualified” in this instance generally means they’ve been trained on their company’s product range and how best to sell them.) You leave with a bag of products carefully wrapped in tissue paper and a gorgeous (branded) bag, promises of bright, wrinkle-free skin within days and a significantly lighter wallet. Read more

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