Or, at least, a strawberry bed. I finally made some contribution to our allotment last Sunday by getting down on my knees and planting the strawberries- 66 plants to be precise. Eleven of my Ballymaloe plants survived, and were joined by 55 runners propagated from our own garden. Continue reading “Strawberry Fields”
A friend’s recent drop in afternoon provided the perfect opportunity to bake up something sweet, and not be eating it all myself! Or not bake, as in these no-bake caramel slices from the first ‘Happy Pear’ cookbook (or ‘millionaires’ squares’ as they are sometimes called).
Each layer is made separately, with setting time in fridge in between. At the pace I was going, each layer was nicely chilled just as soon as the next was ready. This healthier version features dates and oats in the biscuit layer, more dates and almond butter for the caramel (I used peanut butter with good results) and plenty good quality dark chocolate for the topping. Well, it is a treat after all!
The recipe advises it makes 16. I cut mine into 20. I reckon you could even divide into 24. They are definitely delicious and quite rich, and the peanut butter/date mixture is great caramel consistency. Most of the nibblers thought they were too big- until they took a first bite, and crept away quietly with their plates!
Gluten-free, vegetarian & vegan. Contains nuts.
I have a lovely omnibus edition of Jane Austen’s novels- a birthday present from my Mum a few years back, and I usually read one a year. I should say re-read, as I’m previously acquainted with all but ‘Lady Susan’. ‘Mansfield Park’ is apparently one of the less favoured novels, and I can understand why. Continue reading “Mansfield Park-Jane Austen”
- Casually asking his wife ‘What would you think about X?’
- Long hours spent online researching X
- X appears
‘The day was beautiful, even under strip-lights. Outside birds sang, a new morning dawned, people lived and grew and got better and looked forward to getting older. I bought a coffee and ate an over-sweet muffin and they tasted like the most delicious things I had ever had.’
‘After You’ follows the story of Liz Clark, first brought to us in ‘Me Before You’, a book I enjoyed, even I did not weep copiously like all the reader reviewers mentioned in the end pages. Continue reading “After You-Jo Jo Moyes”
This is a consistent refrain of Ada’s, the eponymous ‘Dressmaker of Dachau’. Though not over-used, it did wear a little thin on me by the book’s end.
Mary Chamberlain takes us on a journey following Ada from the glamour of London & Paris through her experiences in the Second World War & afterwards. Ada dreams of escaping her humble working class origins being a couture designer with her own ‘House of Vaughan’, a journey which starts as an apprentice seamstress, but ends somewhat differently. Continue reading “The Dressmaker of Dachau- Mary Chamberlain”
Forget *’La-La Land’, I’m in Limbo Land at at the moment. Every day, I’ve been coming home wondering if today is the day that my Ballymaloe results will be sitting on the hall floor, waiting for me. It’s been over 10 weeks now, though it seems far longer.
Before I’d even settled back into ‘normal’ life, I spotted this on Instagram: the dining room, set up for the First Supper of the next group of students. It was like the first time you see your ex walking past with someone new. Continue reading “Limbo Land”
On Saturday 19th November, the 12 week students ran a pop-up restaurant in Ballymaloe Cookery School, fundraising for Slow Food International. I’m even later writing about this than Darina was in The Irish Examiner! Continue reading “Week 9 1/2: Pop Goes the Restaurant”
Bye bye to the Ballymaloe Bubble. I’ve swapped a 100-acre organic farm for my suburban back garden vegetable plot, the enthusiastic crowing of the roosters for the overhead rumble of planes en route to Cork airport, my chef’s whites for my Speech & Language Therapy uniform….. and I’m not sure that I like it.