They were worth the tummy ache.
At least, they must have been, because we could never resist picking and eating the apples from our tree long before they were ready (and, in truth, they never got that sweet anyway). We would use them to play bob the apple at Hallowe’en and, later, they would be arrayed on makeshift tables in the shed and would keep us in stewed apple, apple tarts and glorious baked apples for the winter.
Neither, I might add, could we resist climbing our apple tree and, on occasion, swinging from its branches.
My brother demonstrating the fine art of swinging from an apple tree
It was the simplest of ideas. To meet of a summer’s evening, drink tea and eat cake.
Gisela, from Life is a Festival, who organised yesterday’s Dublin Tea Up, asked only that you bring yourself, your favourite mug and a baked contribution if you were so inclined (and yes, as you’ll see later, I was).
The result was an Irish teatime gone into overdrive – currant scones and butter, rhubarb tart, swiss roll, iced buns, treacly flapjacks and more. There was even a lady who, in true Mrs. Doyle style, would (go on, go on) offer you one of her baked treats (you will, you will) until such time as you took it (which I did, I did).
Tea from Clement & Pekoe plus lots of scones, cake, tart and buns
It was a sign.
A large, elephant-shaped sign.
Painted with some mighty inescapable strawberries.
Let me guess, you've never seen a strawberry elephant before either...
The elephant was a resident of The Hempel Hotel in London, the venue for this weekend’s Food Blogger Connect 2010 (and, yes, I will be reporting on the bits of FBC that involved neither elephants nor strawberries in due course).
I think maybe the folks at Bord Bia had placed Mr. Elephant there as a not-so-subtle reminder to me that it was the start of Irish National Strawberry week. Like I needed a reminder.