What is it? – 2

November 26, 2007

Regular readers of this website will be fully aware that my garden is a constant source of amazement to me! Why? Well ..you see …I try to go there as infrequently as possible and only when the weeds need knocking down! Anyway.. to cut a potentially long story short.. when I do go there I am constantly amazed by my gardening skills! While other gardens, courtesy of their tended lawns and such, look pristine all year round mine has that ah… natural feel. So many strive for this look but only a pure gardening genius such as I can achieve the look effortlessly.

And so give you the latest product of my labours.

What the hell is it?!


…..Yes.. I’ve figured out it’s a mushroom and regular readers will remember my last great mushroom journey – What is it!!???? – that revealed some edible fungi in my garden thanks to encyclopedic knowledge of David Mitchell over at The Northern Ireland Fungus Group: http://www.nifg.org.uk

But what it is… there are more sprouting every day! This one looks ghostly dangerous and menacingly …may be inhabited…….



Thick As Champ…..pt 2

November 14, 2007

For those of you who don’t know what champ…<da dummmm da dummmm>spuds.gif it’s a traditional Irish recipe, made with our staple… the humble spud! Follow the BBC recipe below for a tasty, traditional meal…..won’t it be interesting in years to come when our kids are passing out McDonald’s recipes as a traditional family favourite!? Hmm .. ok…maybe not!

Champ, the easy way!

Prep time: 30mins

Cooking time: 10-30mins

125g/4oz spring onions, chopped, or 40g/1½oz chives, chopped
300ml/10fl oz milk
6-8 potatoes
salt and pepper
75g/3oz butter

1. If using onions, simmer these in the milk until soft.
2. Boil the potatoes in salted water until just cooked, then mash.
3. Add the onions and their milk and the chives, if used, together with the milk which you have heated separately.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the butter melt over the finished dish

As with all things Irish….enjoy in moderation….your waistband will thank you!

Food waste- who’s fault is it?

November 2, 2007

I just loved reading this piece by Dennis Winterman on the BBC Website. It’s not very often you food2.jpgread sense anywhere these days but this is one of them! His piece – The lost art of leftovers – explores the wastage of our normal cookery lives. According to Dennis our lost skills in using leftover account for:-

“… 6.7 million tonnes of food we throw away each year. A third of all the food we buy is now thrown into the bin and half of it is still perfectly edible, according to the government’s waste reduction agency, Wrap. You’re throwing away one bag of shopping in three, it says.”

Good grief…. every £90-00 I spend in Tesco’s I’m throwing away £30!! It is startling when you think of it that way.

Dennis goes on to argue that:-

  • we’re basically all too lazy to use up leftover food and prefer just to chuck it;
  • we really don’t know how to shop for food – we just throw anything in the trolley and don’t have a plan;
  • domestic science should have been extended to into boys’ education instead of being virtually eradicated from the school timetable;

It’s pretty hard to disagree with all of this. He goes on to say:-

“This wanton wastage is not only costing us money – up to £400 a year – but is hurting the environment: the methane released by decomposing food in landfills is the most potent of greenhouse gases. Cutting it out would be the same as taking one fifth of cars off the road, says Wrap.”

I now feel throughly chastised for my extremely lazy attitude to using up those leftovers and intend to discover what to do with the 2 potatoes, 6 pieces of carrot and three marrowfat peas left after to-night’s night’s dinner.

I’ll let you know if I find a recipe that is edible…. in the meantime if you come up with any ideas don’t be afraid to append them below.

***Check out the WRAP website and their campaign Love Food Hate Waste. ****