‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the ‘net,
They googled for roasties, the best they could get.
Which spud to choose, to avoid roastie blunders?
Roosters or Pinks, Maris or Wonders?
Goose fat or dripping? Oil or butter?
Who reigns supreme, in the smoke and the splutter?
And lo, there’s Heston, Jamie and crew,
All armed with advice on just what to do.
Parboil and ruffle, steam ’til they’re dry,
Then into the oven and roast ’em on high.
Serve with the trimmings, the turkey and ham,
Piled onto the plate in a glorious cram.
Feast yourself silly, with roasties galore,
Crispy and Christmas and here once more.
You know it’s Christmas when…
You’ll forgive, I hope, the indulgence in a bit of cheesy seasonal rhyme. It marks this year’s edition of an event that has become almost as predictable as Christmas itself – the Daily Spud roastie post.
I don’t suppose it’s down to my influence necessarily, but a friend, the other day, did remark on how it seemed that everyone was now jumping on the potato bandwagon. You could certainly be forgiven for thinking as much based on coverage this week alone, where, hot on the heels of my own newspaper piece last week, we had Irish chef (and new dad) Neven Maguire featuring potatoes in general, and Tayto crisps in particular, on this week’s episode of his Home Chef series on RTE televison. And then, in his latest series on Channel 4, Heston Blumenthal, too, turned his gloriously scientific attention, this week, to the potato (you may be able to catch said episode of How To Cook Like Heston for a limited time here on Channel 4’s 4OD service). Triple cooked chips and Heston’s mashed spud perfection were followed by the lesser known delights of smoked potato doughnuts and potato milk jam – the latter a recipe that was right up there with the spud shake in the unusual (and, for some, challenging) spud recipes league. In other words, it had my name written all over it.
There I was, fully prepared to launch into a little rant about cooking-vs-entertainment when, as irony would have it, I heard that I was nominated for one of this year’s Entertainment.ie awards.
Well now, that’ll teach me!
The awards are open to public voting so, if you should feel so inclined, please do pop over here, look for the best blogger section and do the needful for the Spud. They’ll even let you vote once per day until the 7th of January – I might make a specially extended advent calendar just for the occasion.
It goes without saying that I am more than honoured to have been nominated along with several luminaries of the Irish bloggerati and, while I’ve never thought of myself as an entertainer per se, I guess that at least some of what I do can be classed as entertainment (which is fine, as long as you don’t expect me to do any tap-dancing).
Chefs, at least those of the celebrity variety, might also be called entertainers. You need look no further than your favourite television cookery shows to see that. They don’t always stick exclusively to cooking, though usually I like ’em best when they do.
Which brings me to the “fantastic live theatre show” (sic) which ran during last weekend’s Taste of Christmas event in Dublin. The problem wasn’t so much with the entertainment value – which was, at times, questionable – but that I think the audience were shortchanged.