In the slightly rearranged words of Kermit the Frog, it’s not easy, green bean.
At least, it’s not easy when you suddenly come in for a lot of green beans, as I just have. And let me tell you, this mob has that menacing look that certain vegetables acquire when gathered in great numbers, daring you not to waste a single pod.
In physics terms, dealing with said mass of beans is a space-time problem – I could freeze them if I had space or pickle them if I had time. Meanwhile, I am tackling them with that which I know best: heat and potatoes.
New butter on the block
The ladies at Improper Butter – Elaine Lavery and Hannah O’Reilly – are on to something. Simple idea (small packs of brightly flavoured compound butters which can snazz up anything from a sandwich to a steak), clever name (for those familiar with the Irish language – ‘im’ means butter) and snappy tagline (‘Butter. But better.’)
I do apologise. This is long and – for a spud sunday – it is somewhat late, but the gnarliness of the subject matter made it so. Spuds can get quite weighty at times, but I do love ’em all the same.
1. Three large bottles of Bulmers cider.
2. One 12-pack of Tayto crisps.
3. One box of Rennie’s indigestion tablets.
That’s what the ladies ahead of me at the Centra supermarket counter were buying around teatime on a Saturday evening. I presumed – and who amongst us can resist passing judgement on our neighbours’ shopping baskets – that it was the anticipated ingestion of items one and two that (hic!) had lead to the need for item three. Welcome to a little slice of modern Irish eating.
I was on my way home from a day spent at the GIY Gathering in Waterford – the 5th annual conference of the ever expanding Grow It Yourself movement – and was trying to decide what I made of the day, including the closing panel debate which dealt with the rather weighty question of whether Ireland needs GM potatoes (a subject worthy of carrying its own public health warning: this may hurt your head and you may find certain aspects hard to swallow and/or digest). I eyed up the Rennie’s but decided that it was going to take something a bit stronger to cope with the assimilation of it all.