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
“I’ve never had a good mushroom soup,” said Kev.
Bejaysus but it was quite the statement with which to launch into a lunchtime conversation at work.
It turns out that most of the people around the table had rather definite opinions on mushroom soup. While I would not, myself, have gone as far as to say that I had never had a good mushroom soup, I’ve certainly had my fair share of bad ones. Brian volunteered that he had once had a good mushroom soup from a packet, Dave that he once had a good mushroom soup experience, but it was somewhere exotic like Thailand. From the point of view of those seeking mushroom soup nirvana, it all sounded pretty grim, frankly. Except for the bit about being in Thailand. It also had the distinct whiff of a challenge, one that would more than likely find me whipping mushrooms and spuds into some kind of soupy frenzy.
Cue the return of Gorta’s Soup For Life campaign – where, for one week starting this coming Friday, April 8th, a range of restaurateurs in Dublin and Cork will be donating €1 per bowl of soup sold to fund Gorta’s work in Africa. The making of some decent mushroom soup seemed an appropriate way to follow on from my last year’s soupy contribution to their campaign.
I do not like throwing food in the bin, I do not like it one little bit.
It feels like a defeat (boo!) when my perishables expire before I can put them to good use and, conversely, a victory (yay!) when I have successfully cooked and/or eaten my way through the latest contents of the fridge.
A recent survey conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells me that I am by no means the only person who feels this way. 97% of people, when asked, said that they were bothered by food waste. Thing is though, almost half of those people confessed to doing little or nothing to prevent it. So, really, they can’t be that bothered by it, can they?
Perhaps the EPA’s Stop Food Waste campaign, which aims to heighten awareness among consumers and provide commonsense tips on how to avoid food waste, will prod more people into taking action.
At the launch of the campaign this week, some familiar foodie faces were on hand to lend both their support and their use-it-don’t-lose-it recipes.
Rachel Allen, with a little help from TV3's Aidan Cooney