January may be the height of the marmalade-making
season, but this marmalade – and this post – are all about last May.
It’s like she’s giving them new life.
It’s the beginning of May and my mother has resurrected a clutch of Seville oranges from her freezer. Bitter and icy now, they will soon, with her help, and like many’s the orange before them, morph into a generosity of sweet, warm marmalade. Though I’ve seen Mum do this a thousand times, I am, for the first time ever, taking notes.
…or rather, these spuds are for one of you.
Yes, hang around here long enough and you’re likely to be the proud recipient of something spud-like, in this case a hamper of goodies – including a selection of crisps and easy-cook potato family packs – from those spud innovators, Keogh’s, whose second National Potato Day – this coming Saturday, August 25th – is nigh upon us.
The full extent of the festivities for the event will be revealed in the coming days and though – lucky girl that I am – I have been privy to a sneak preview of same, I have also been sworn to official secrecy on the matter. Suffice to say, however, that there will be no shortage of splendiferous spuddery on the day. In the meantime, while you attempt to keep the inevitable excitement at bay, there are a number of things you can do:
(1) Add a comment below sometime before midnight (GMT) next Sunday, August 26th, if you’d like your name in the hat for the spuddy hamper pictured above and if you are the proud possessor of an address in the Republic of Ireland to which it can be sent. I’ll pick a winner and notify the happy recipient on Monday August 27th and the spuds and crisps and I-love-spuds paraphernalia will be on their way.
(2) Pop over to Keogh’s and sign their petition to make the spud the official national vegetable of Ireland.
(3) To be in with a chance of other goodies, check out potato.ie and enter their National Potato Day quiz – with the rather fabulous prize of a short break for two in Catherine Fulvio’s Ballyknocken House and Cookery School, which includes one night’s accommodation with breakfast, a four course dinner (with spuds I hope!) plus pre-dinner drink as well as places on a half-day weekend cookery class. Wouldn’t mind winning that little lot myself!
Update 7/9/12: Congratulations to spud fan Aoife O’Regan, who fought off stiff competition in the selection of a number from random.org to nab the Keogh’s hamper, the edible contents of which I am sure have been well eaten by now!
There I was, waiting patiently throughout the
spring extended winter for my rhubarb plants to make their entrance proper and bring forth stalks enough for me to cook with.
I had very particular plans for the first rhubarb of the season, in the shape of a recipe that may possibly explain why Martijn Kajuiter of the fabulous Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co. Waterford, has a Michelin star and I do not.
My somewhat over-enthusiastic rhubarb
I was a little perturbed however, when, with a dry spell and a little bit of heat, my rhubarb plants got ahead of themselves and started producing seed heads – a thing I have not seen rhubarb do before. Pretty though the seed heads may have been, they weren’t going to do rhubarb production any favours. They consequently met a swift end and the plants were left to get on with their normal stalk-producing business. Thankfully, there was enough of that happening to meet my stewy dessert purposes.