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Showing posts from September, 2010

Kevin & The Giant Parsnip!

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I went out to the allotment yesterday for my first visit in over a week, Kathryn had been up a few times to keep things in order and continue harvesting.I noticed a clump of large leaves and decided to pull a parsnip.
Pulling made no impact so I loosened some of the surrounding earth with my fingers, thought this is more like a turnip size than a parsnip and got a small hand trowel. This proved as useless but I did see that this was no ordinary parsnip!
The large digging fork was brought into loosen more earth and finally the spade, by this time I had a fairly large hole excavated but there was no move from the parsnip!Short of bringing in a mechanical digger and disturbing the remainder of the plants,I pulled and tugged and eventually it broke off leaving I would think a fairly sizable chunk in the hole. The parsnip won the tussle as I ended up on my bum on the ground.
I did take some photos of the parsnip in the hole but I must have inadvertently moved the settings on my camera and the…

Culture night in the Masonic Hall

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Culture night takes place in various cities and venues around the country and tonight was the night.There are lots of places which would not normally be open to the public on show or places that would normally charge a fee were free, it takes place in the evening to allow people who work during the daytime to partake in the event.
We opted for the Freemason Masonic hall for our venture into culture! Places were limited so it was one of the venues which had to be prebooked.
I did not take my camera not expecting to be allowed to take photographs but there were no restrictions on snap happy sightseers, daughter Aisling had her small camera and took the following photos. First one is a huge mosaic over the door with various symbols the four plaster casts surrounding it depict the 4 Evangelists. The plaster casts came from the rebuilding of our St Finbarre's Cathedral, the figures surround the west window in the present cathedral.
Very Bell,Book and candle!
Aisling enthroned! The only fe…

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

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I am back from a few days in Co Clare.The matchmaking festival is in full swing for the month of Sept,as it is every year for generations.It has become a month long dance and music event also with dancing commencing at 12 o'clock every day in various venues and continuing around the town and outside until 3 am. It was my first visit and I had a ball!People come from all over the world and every county in Ireland was represented.A matchmaker is in residence in this famous pub (where else) and for a small fee will match anyone up for a week or for life! Couples come back every year who have met in Lisdoonvarna and since married! I did not avail of his services preferring the dancing !Lots of videos on Youtube, just type in Lisdoonvarna.
The Burren is a few miles from Lisdoonvarna and is a protected area which is now a National Park, what looks at first sight to be barren rock has in fact rare species of plants growing in crevices.It is a breathtaking sight and no single photo could c…

Tomato & Chorizo Soup

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Something else to use up our tomatoes while fresh was this hearty soup.I found the recipe in my folder and it is from The Countryman's Weekly, a publication bought regularly by SiL Nigel who breeds dogs.The recipe page is written by Sally, Baroness De Wint who also has a book of country style recipes.
1 large onion chopped
8oz Chorizo sausage chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped or more if preferred
2tbsps Olive oil
1 pint veg stock
4ozs pasta (small shell shapes cook quicker)
1/2 pint tomato juice /tin of tomatoes ( I used 1 lb fresh chopped tomatoes)
salt & pepper sticks of celery (optional, I did'nt use)

Soften onion & garlic in oil, add chorizo, celery & salt & pepper
Cook for 5 mins
Add tomatoes & stock
Cook for a further 5 mins
Add pasta and bring to the boil
Simmer for 15 mins
Check seasoning and add grated cheese to serve ( I used some chopped basil)

I added more stock as it was very thick. I made a good sized pot of soup which is actually a meal in a bowl and very fi…

Still Harvesting!

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I have tried unsuccessfully to load photos a couple of times and even trying to leave comments I have been getting a 'service unavailable' message each time, not sure if it is blogger or my service provider!I remembered to take the camera with me to the plot, these photos are now a few days old and the weather has become wet and much colder.
The strawberry plants were cleaned up a few weeks ago and all old foliage was cut back to allow the new growth some space, I also cut back any runners which were growing. I was surprised to see just how much new growth there was and even blossoms on some of the plants which now have new strawberries on them?!
Look what I found nestling in the foliage,take my word for it ,it was juicy and sweet!

Our big pumpkin rotted on one side and this is the next one which is growing nicely, I turned it over onto a leaf to see will it survive.
More snapdragons!
Our winter leeks, these are Musselburgh. I earthed up the plants slightly to extend the white stal…

Winter Approaches!

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We are officially in the second month of autumn and our weather is still holding apart from a few thunder showers on Sun & Mon.I made pasta sauce last week (previous post) I had appealed to Nic nipitinthebud blog for recipes and she gave me one for Passata. I had said the sauce could be combined with passata for lasagne or spaghetti. I have not used the water bath method of preserving but used Nic's recipe from the River Cottage cook book and I must say it was simple, I only had 3 jars maybe with more it would have been more complicated!
I read matron's comment about roasting tomatoes so I discarded the clear liquid left in the roasting dish.The recipe calls for putting the toms through a sieve but I only have one for sifting flour. I spent a fiddly few minutes skinning the toms and then used my hand blender to make a puree before reheating.Definitely worth the effort as it smells devine.
The sweet corn in the bag are small cobs which I cleared from the plants,leaving only t…

No Green Tomatoes Here!

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Harvest one day during the week,sweet corn, carrots,tomatoes, taking home a net bag of garlic which has been drying in the shed, and some of our autumn fruiting raspberries, enough to sprinkle on the morning cereal!
Our sweetcorn is delicious, put into lightly salted water and simmered for 14 mins once the water boils, melted butter and don't forget to lick your fingers.It is funny carrot time again, I thought this was 2 plants at first but it is one plant probably hit a stone or other hard object divided into 2 and then continued growing in a corkscrew fashion!
We have such a glut of tomatoes I have been looking for recipes to cook and store them for the winter. I had 8 tomato plants at home in the plastic greenhouse, they were in large pots and produced 2 full trusses on each plant.The upper trusses did flower but the flowers did not pollinate and fell off, at least I think that is the reason that they did not produce more but as things have turned out we have more than enough!
I l…

Peggy,Peggy Where have you Been?

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.....to paraphrase a nursery rhyme!Well I did'nt get to London to see the Queen but I did....lots of gardening, such as watering as I cannot remember the last time we had rain here.Tomatoes are being eaten in every way shape and form and still coming, its mostly harvesting now as sweet corn is ripening fast too.No problem eating my 5 a day fruit & veg!

Attended a fund raiser for ARC House which is a cancer charity, it was organized by D.Michelle and her work mates, BBQ chef on the night was S.Billy, the rest of us just enjoyed the craic!
I was set dancing in Mallow to Johnny Reidy's band.Set dancing is a mainly Irish type of formation dancing, danced in sets of 8 people but not as sedate as formation dancing,lots of kicking up heels ansd swinging!This photo was taken at Laharn cross where there is open air dancing every Sun evening during the summer months, it did not have to move indoors once this year!

I was in Robert's Cove, alone and painted the outdoor furniture, pic…