Yes, the astute among you will have observed that it is not, in fact, Sunday at all. Thanks to an abysmally flaky internet connection, this week’s installment of Spud Sunday comes to you as a later-than-usual Monday edition…
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” said David Puttnam.
We were talking about his having taken up residence in West Cork some 22 years ago. Then he glanced down the table towards his wife and smiled, “well, it’s the second best thing, the best was marrying Patsy…”
Either way, it was quite a statement from a man whose career has included film production credits for, among others, the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire, and it said a lot about how locals and blow-ins alike regard this particularly captivating corner of the world.
View from Glebe Gardens, Baltimore, West Cork
Four pounds of cheese.
No, despite my near addiction to all things dairy, I am not actually referring to the amount of cheese that I am likely to consume in a single sitting. What that weighty amount of dairy goodness does represent is the amount of cheese thrown out by the average American over the course of a year, according to an article in the July, 2011 issue of National Geographic, entitled How to Feed A Growing Planet. That article, in turn, inspired my friend Jenni to start the Four Pounds of Cheese project – an experiment where participants would document, for a week, just what it was they were wasting, food-wise. Having been brought up to the tune of my mother’s “waste not, want not” mantra, I am programmed to abhor waste. That doesn’t mean that I’m not capable of wasting food with the best of them. It does, however, mean that I’ll feel dreadfully guilty when I do. Needless, to remark, I was keen to join in.
Last Monday, the week of waste watching began and it didn’t get off to a great start.
I ate out for lunch and the salmon I ordered was served in the classic Irish manner, meaning it came with two kinds of potato (mashed and roasted, in this case). Despite a valiant effort, I didn’t manage to clear my plate, so, to my shame, the very first thing I managed to waste were some of those selfsame spuds. And then I did what I suspect many of us do: I ordered dessert anyway. Different compartment, right? Surprise, surprise, I couldn’t finish that either. Sheesh. Waste 1, Spud 0.
Too many potatoes, even for me
Yes, ’tis true. There’s nothing worse than turning up to a potluck empty-handed when everyone else has brought dishes that people would stampede to get to. Yet, despite having had the best part of two months to ponder the latest five star makeover – which called for a little gourmet creativity to be applied to our choice of seasonal farmer’s market produce – I sat there yesterday morning, deadline looming and nary an idea in my head about what to bring to the makeover party.
I sipped my coffee and considered the options. Deploying the ‘laptop ate my blogpost’ excuse was top of the list, followed closely by a handwritten sicknote from my Ma. Alternatively, I could take my chances, potter down the road to my local vegetable vendor and hope for inspiration to strike (or, failing that, lightning, in which case I would probably have singed hair but an excellent reason for needing an entirely different kind of makeover). Lucky for you (and for my future hairdressing expenses) the lightning stayed away.
My most local source of fruit and veg, after my own backyard, that is