“Remind me to make the trifle later,” says Ma.
There’s little chance that I’ll forget. It being Christmas Day, this is no mere trifle (though mère trifle, on the other hand, it most certainly is). It will add to the already too much food that will be prepared for today’s family gathering, and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a heaving, over-stuffed table.
As I’m writing this, the conversation in the kitchen has turned to turkey prep and Ma is consulting with Darina Allen, or one of her cookbooks, at least.
You know it's Christmas when...
you're at home and flicking through the Ma's well-thumbed copy of Darina Allen's
Simply Delicious Christmas
'Tis the season to be roasting...
You’d think, having published my 12-step roastie program two years ago, followed by last year’s investigation of the best spud for the roastie job, that when this Christmas rolled around, I’d really have no more to say on the subject of roast potatoes for the big day. I might even have thought as much myself but, as it turns out, both you and I were wrong. I realised as much last Monday morning, as I was listening to the John Murray Show on RTE Radio One.
Brenda Costigan, longtime cookery writer, was a guest on the show and some listeners has asked for her tips on roast potatoes, as you do at this time of year. What followed was something I certainly didn’t expect, because she suggested that you could prepare your roasties ahead of time and freeze them.
The idea fairly stopped me in my tracks, because I’ve just never thought that a spell in the freezer did a cooked potato any favours. I somehow imagined that roasting a spud that had been previously frozen was a recipe for sogginess, but there was only one way to be sure – a taste-off between potatoes cooked, frozen and roasted the Brenda way and my own freshly prepared version. I donned my roastie lab coat and went, once again, into investigative action.
Yesterday, I decided that I should let somebody else cook the spuds for a change. Seems only fair, no?
It’s not like it was a difficult decision. Joe Macken, serial restaurateur and the man behind (among others) the ever-popular Jo’Burger in Rathmines and CrackBird, the restaurant that popped-up-and-stayed, had invited a small band of bloggers to visit his latest Dublin eatery, Skinflint, to see his operation and (of course) try the food.
To be honest, the mere fact that there was a potato pizza on the menu meant that I was in like flynn. I’m easy like that. At least when it comes to spuds. And the opportunity to eat, among others, with Aoife from I Can Has Cook, Catherine from The Runcible Spoon and Bill and Sharon from Gunternation was not one to be passed up either.
Skinflint, Crane Lane, Dublin 2