Ballycotton's finest: you know you're in East Cork when...
I seek ’em here, I seek ’em there, I seek them potatoes everywhere (a fact which, to be fair, will come as no surprise to even the most cursory reader of this blog).
And so it was in East Cork a few weeks back, when a trip to the Midleton Farmers’ Market by your intrepid spud reporter yielded a bag of Willie Scannell’s best. These are potatoes of quite some repute, grown on salty clifftop fields near the picturesque fishing village of Ballycotton and supplied, among others, to the renowned Ballymaloe House nearby, so I could hardly have let a trip to the area pass without scoring a bag or two. They crowned a visit to East Cork which had originated with an invitation to Barnabrow House. A few miles out the road from Midleton, and just shy of Ballymaloe, it had been my East Cork home for a night.
Around Barnabrow Country House
There I go, scribbling in last week's Sunday Times
on value-for-money lunching in Ireland
(the online version, sadly, lives behind the Sunday Times' paywall)
Brian, one of my quotees in last week’s Sunday Times article (which you can glimpse above), is a great man for the ol’ liquid lunch (and yes, we are talking soup, as opposed to anything stronger). Soup, says he, is the bees knees when it comes to make-it-yourself lunches, and, of course, he’s not wrong. So, in an inspired move, I thought this week, that I might make some soup – for lunch, like – except that, by the time I was done, soup had become stew, and lunch had become dinner and such, as the fella says, is life. No matter. I scarfed it down anyway, and you might just do the same.
White winter vegetable soup: potato, celeriac, cauliflower and roasted garlic
Ah yes, it’s that time of year where we resolve to swap the excesses of Christmas eating for regimes that are altogether more virtuous. Quite how many of us manage to stick to those resolutions for any length of time is another matter entirely (and far be it from me to judge – I have left a trail of failed resolutions in my wake over the years).
Still, I can do my little bit and, this year, it starts with this white winter vegetable soup.