ArchiveOctober 2006

Halloween Dates from an Ancient Celtic Festival

Halloween dates from the ancient Celtic festival Samhain which was the first day of Winter on November 1st , it later became All Souls Day which was an important date in the church calendar. The night before Samhain is Hallowe’en or All Hallow’s Eve, and this was traditionally the night for the festivities. As children we always had a Hallowe’en party and had the greatest fun planning it for weeks before. We made black witches’ hats, scary masks and polished up our collection of ghost stories. Trekking from house to house we gathered ‘monkey’ nuts and apples and a few coins if we were lucky. Hollowed out turnips were used to make lanterns with eerie toothless faces and we put these on the gate post of the house where the party was being held. 

Nowadays the children can buy their readymade Hallowe’en outfits, pumpkins abound, ‘trick or treat bags’ can be bought and its very easy to organize a party for children or adults. Hallowe’en is an excuse to play all sorts of old-fashioned games – like snap apple and dunking for apples and to indulge in some divination. 

To get everyone in the spirit of things, drape twists of black and orange crepe paper all over doors and window frames. Weave cobwebby tangles of grey wool and make broomsticks from autumnal twigs and leaves. 

For the feast make some Witches’ Bread or Barm Brack and hide a ring, pea, stick and rag inside so your guests can predict their fortune. Colcannon is another traditional Hallowe’en dish - don’t forget to put a little bowl on the windowsill for the fairies and to ward off evil spirits. After hollowing out a pumpkin for a lantern you could use the cut away flesh from inside to make some warming Pumpkin Soup. Warm apple cake fresh from the oven with cream and soft brown sugar is irresistible, or easier still some Baked Apples would be delicious. Have fun and remember don’t eat any blackberries after Hallowe’en because the devil or the púca might have spat on them!


Songs have been sung and poems have been written about Colcannon. It’s one of Ireland’s most famous traditional potato dishes. It’s comfort food at its very best and terrific for a party.
Serves 8 approx.

450g (1lb) Savoy or spring cabbage
1.35kg (3lb) 'old' potatoes, e.g. Golden Wonders or Kerrs Pinks
250ml (8fl oz) boiling milk approx.
30g (1oz) scallion or spring onion, optional
salt and freshly ground pepper
55g (2oz) butter approx.

Scrub the potatoes, put them in a saucepan of cold water, add a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil. When the potatoes are about half cooked, 15 minutes approx. for 'old' potatoes, strain off two-thirds of the water, replace the lid on the saucepan, put onto a gentle heat and allow the potatoes to steam until they are cooked.

Remove the dark outer leaves from the cabbage. Wash the rest and cut into quarters, remove the core and cut finely across the grain. Cook in a little boiling salted water or bacon cooking water until soft. Drain, season with salt, freshly ground pepper and a little butter. If using kale, remove the central rib. Cook the kale in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender. This may take 8-10 minutes, depending on the type and maturity of the kale. Curly kale is sweetest after it has been mellowed by a few night frosts.

When the potatoes are just cooked, put the milk, and the finely chopped scallions into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pull the peel off the potatoes and discard, mash quickly while they are still warm and beat in enough boiling milk to make a fluffy puree. (If you have a large quantity, put the potatoes in the bowl of a food mixer and beat with the spade.) Then stir in the cooked cabbage and taste for seasoning. For perfection, serve immediately in a hot dish with a lump of butter melting in the centre.

Colcannon may be prepared ahead up to this point and reheated later in a moderate oven 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4, for 20-25 minutes approx. Cover while reheating so it doesn't get too crusty on top.

Halloween Barmbrack

This delicious tea brack recipe was given to me by Lana Pringle, who lives in Shanagarry. Lana makes her delicious cakes by hand and cooks them in her old Aga.
Halloween is a terrific time to have a party. In Ireland a barmbrack is a must for the festivities. The work “barm” comes from the old English “beorma”, meaning yeasted fermented liquor. “Brack” comes from the Irish “brac”, meaning speckled – which the cake is, with dried fruit and candied peel. Traditionally a Halloween Barmbrack is made with yeast but for easy entertaining this tea brack is much less stressful to make. Halloween has always been associated with fortune telling and divination, so various objects are wrapped up and hidden in the cake mixture – a wedding ring, a coin, a pea or a thimble (signifying spinsterhood), a piece of matchstick (which means that your husband will beat you!).

400g (14 oz) dried fruit, raisins and sultanas
50g (2 oz) cherries
50g (2 oz) chopped candied peel - see recipe
110g (4 oz) soft brown sugar
110g (4 oz) granulated sugar
450g (15 fl oz) tea 
400g (14 oz) plain white flour
1/8 teaspoon of baking powder 
1 egg, free-range and organic
3 tins 10 x 15 x 7.5cm deep (4 x 61/4 x 3 inch deep)
or 2 tins 25.5 x 38 x 6.5cm deep (5 x 8 x 21/2 inch deep)

Put raisins and sultanas into a bowl, cover with tea (Lana occasionally uses a mixture of Indian and Lapsang Souchong, but any good strong tea will do) and leave overnight to allow the fruit to plump up. Next day add the halved cherries, chopped candied peel, sugar and egg and mix well. Sieve the flour and baking powder and stir in thoroughly. The mixture should be softish, add a little more tea if necessary 50ml (2 fl oz). 

Grease the tins with melted butter (Lana uses old tins, heavier gauge than are available nowadays, light modern tins may need to be lined with silicone paper for extra protection.)

Divide the mixture between the three tins and bake in a moderate oven 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 40 minutes approx.

Lana bakes her barmbracks in the Aga, after 40 minutes she turns the tins around and gives them a further 10 minutes approx.* Leave in the tins for about 10 minutes and then remove and cool on a wire rack. 

*If you are using two tins the barmbracks will take 1 hour approx.

Irish Apple Cake

Apple cakes like this one are the traditional sweet in Ireland. The recipe varies from house to house and the technique has been passed from mother to daughter in farmhouses all over the country for generations. It would originally have been baked in a bastible or pot beside an open fire and later in the oven or stove on tin or enamel plates. These are much better than ovenproof glass because the heat travels through and cooks the pastry base more readily - worth remembering, as a tart with a soggy base is not attractive! In Ireland all apple cakes are made with cooking apples.
Serves 6 approx.

8 ozs (225g) flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
4 ozs (110g) butter
4½ ozs (125g) castor sugar
1 egg, preferably free-range
2-4 fl. ozs (50-120ml) milk, approx.
1-2 cooking apples - we use Bramley Seedling or Grenadier
2-3 cloves (optional)
egg wash

Ovenproof plate 

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles the texture of breadcrumbs, add 3 ozs (85g) castor sugar, make a well in the centre and mix to a soft dough with the beaten egg and enough milk to form a soft dough. Divide in two. Put one half onto a greased ovenproof plate and pat out to cover. Peel, core and chop up the apples, place them on the dough and add 1½ ozs (45g) sugar, depending on the sweetness of the apples. Roll out the remaining pastry and fit on top, this is easier said than done as this 'pastry' is more like scone dough and as a result is very soft. Press the sides together, cut a slit through the lid, egg wash and bake in a moderate oven 180C/350F/regulo 4 for 40 minutes approx. or until cooked through and nicely browned. Dredge with castor sugar and serve warm with Barbados sugar and softly whipped cream.

Book of the Week –

This recipe for Pumpkin Soup comes from The Festive Food of America by Martina Nicolls published by Kyle Cathie with wonderful photographs by Will Heap. It is a vibrant collection of both the traditional and more unusual foods that are cooked on festive occasions throughout the year. Be it Creole cooking in New Orleans where Mardi Gras is (still) celebrated in grand style to a warming feast at Hallowe’en , and from Labour Day fare to Thanksgiving, the Americans know how to feast .

Buy this Book from Amazon

This is Martina’s description of Hallowe’en festivities in America.
“All Hallows’ Eve, 31st October is the night witches fly on broomsticks across the moonlit sky, Jack-0-lanterns (hollowed-out pumpkins with grinning, demonic faces lit by candles) flicker mysteriously in dark windows and children all over America dress in spooky costumes and frightening masks. They go from house to house asking for ‘Trick or Treat’ – custom evolving from pagan Celtic fire festivals to frighten away evil spirits returning from the dead. These pagan rituals eventually became secularised, and developed into children’s games. They were probably brought to America by immigrants, particularly the Irish in the late 19th Century. A treat is asked for or a trick is played. Bags of sweets and cookies are quite acceptable and if not forthcoming the wicked witches’ curse will descend upon the house and its unfortunate occupants. The evening usually ends with ghost stories around the fire and mugs of hot Pumpkin Soup”

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkins were introduced to the early settlers by Indian tribes and are traditionally made into pies and soups. This is a beautifully coloured soup.
Serves 8-10

1 large orange pumpkin
1kg piece of pumpkin, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Small bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 celery leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
85g butter
1.6 litres of chicken stock
350ml single cream
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
225g croutons
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Slice the top off the pumpkin to make a lid, scrape out the seeds and stringy bits and carefully scoop out 1kg of flesh for the soup. (Use a separate piece of pumpkin if you prefer.)

Sauté the onion, spring onions, celery leaves and garlic in 50g of the butter until tender but not brown.
Add the pumpkin chunks and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the stock and simmer, stirring until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and pureé in a food processor until smooth. Return to the pan, whisk in the cream and remaining butter and heat thoroughly without boiling. It should be satin smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Warm the hollowed-out pumpkin in a preheated oven, 180C/350F.gas 4, for 15 minutes. Pour in the hot soup, sprinkle with parsley and serve the croutons separately. Or, if preferred, serve in bowls.

Foolproof food

Witches Bread with Chocolate and Raisins

450g (1lb) flour, preferably unbleached
1 level teaspoon bread soda, sieved
1 level teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
50g (2oz) dark chocolate roughly chopped
50g (2oz) raisins
400ml (14fl oz) buttermilk or 350ml (12fl oz) + 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7.

In a large bowl sieve the flour and bread soda and add the salt, sugar, chocolate and raisins. Make a well in the centre and pour most of the buttermilk in at once. Using one hand, mix in the flour from the side of the bowl, adding more buttermilk if necessary. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, turn the dough onto a floured board. Wash and dry your hands.

With floured fingers tidy up the dough gently and flip over and tuck it in underneath. Pat the dough into a round about 4cm (11/2in) deep. Cut a deep cross on it and prick in the centre of the four segments to let the fairies out. 

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6, for 35 minutes or until cooked. If you are in doubt, tap the bottom: if it is cooked it will sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack. Serve freshly baked, cut into thick slices and smeared with butter. 

Make 8 – 10 mini witches, don’t forget to cut a cross in them also. 

Hot Tips

Cuthbert’s Polish Bread
Look out for Cuthbert’s sliced white Polish bread in shops in East Cork. Small local bakers really need our support to help them to compete in a very tough marketplace. This is a real find – bread like it used to be and ‘a little taste of Poland’. 

‘Tots to Teens’ the latest in the BIM series of health information leaflets aims to inform parents of the positive benefits of including fish in children’s diets. It is available from GP’s, dietitians and fish retail outlets, and on request from BIM 01-214 4100 or visit  

First Cross Border Organic Food Conference
National Organic Week runs from 6 - 12 November. One of the flagship events is the first all Ireland Organic Food Conference on 7th November at The Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. 
The event has been produced by Atlantic Organics Ltd, a new organic food company which was set up with EU funding support. The Conference is for everyone in the 32 counties involved in organic food, from production and processing through to retailing.
To register contact Atlantic Organics Ltd on Tel: 071 98 54014 or email:  For further information visit www.atlantico

The Tate and Lyle Tin

I’ve always loved the distinctive design of the tins of treacle and golden syrup on my kitchen shelf.
There’s something comforting and reassuring about a product and design that remains constant in our fast changing world.
The Victorian design of the Tate and Lyle tin has altered little over the years; although the tin itself was made from strong cardboard during the war years when tin was in short supply.
The Lyle’s tin is itself a piece of history. Its image of the lion and bees and the biblical quotation, testify to a distinctly Victorian image of moralism, industrial drive and budding concern for social welfare.
The tins were surprisingly strong. Legend has it that famous explorer Captain Scott took some golden syrup on his ill-fated Antarctic expedition in 1910. One of the cans was discovered by explorers with the syrup inside still in good condition in 1956.

Almost every day I reach for the red and gold tin to add a dollop of treacle to the yeast when I mix the Ballymaloe Brown Yeast Bread.
The green and gold syrup tin, consistent since 1883, also reminds me of boarding school, nostalgic memories of slathering golden syrup onto slices of Sister Marcella’s soda bread. Presumably it was cheaper than honey, but we loved its sweet, slightly malty taste.
Nowadays I drizzle it on pancakes and use in a whole variety of sweet treats like chocolate and toffee squares and flapjacks.
Here are a few of my favourite recipes to tempt you.

Florrie’s Chocolate and Toffee Squares

These much loved biscuits sometimes called Millionaire’s Squares are a fiddle to make, so get the maximum flavour for your effort by making them with butter and best quality chocolate.

Makes 24 or 32

Biscuit base
12 ozs (340g) self raising flour
8 ozs (225g) butter
4 ozs (110g) castor sugar

Toffee Filling
8 ozs (225g) granulated sugar (can be reduced to 6 ozs)
8 ozs (225g) butter
4 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tin Nestles full creamed sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate Top
6-8 ozs (170g-225g) Lesme, Callebaut or Valrhona chocolate, melted

1 large swiss roll tin 10 x 15 inch (25.5 x 38cm) 

First make the shortcake base.
Mix the flour with the sugar, rub in the butter and work until the mixture comes together. Alternatively, blend the three ingredients in a food processor. Roll the mixture evenly into the lightly greased tin. Prick the base with a fork. Cook in a preheated oven 1801C/3501F/regulo 4 for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden in colour and fully cooked.

Next make the filling.
Melt the butter over a low heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, golden syrup and lastly the condensed milk, stir after each addition and continue to stir over a low heat for the next 20 minutes approx. 

(The toffee burns very easily so don't stop stirring.)

When the toffee is golden brown, test by dropping a little blob into a bowl of cold water. A firm ball of toffee indicates a firm toffee, if its still a little soft continue to cook for a few more minutes but be careful if it gets too hard it will pull your teeth out later! When it reaches the correct stage pour it evenly over the shortbread base. Allow to cool. 

Melt the chocolate over a gentle heat preferably in a pyrex bowl over simmering water and spread evenly over the toffee. Decorate immediately with a fork to give a wavy pattern.

Cut into small squares or fingers when the chocolate is set.

Foolproof Food

Butterscotch Sauce

This irresistible sauce is delicious served with ice-cream. Also great with pancakes and sliced bananas or chopped nuts, eg pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts, or with sticky toffee pudding.

4 ozs (110 g) butter
6 ozs (170 g) dark soft brown Barbados sugar
4 ozs (110 g) granulated sugar
10 ozs (285 g) golden syrup
8 fl ozs (225 ml) cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence

Put the butter, sugars and golden syrup into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt gently on a low heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and gradually stir in the cream and the vanilla essence. Put back on the heat and stir for 2 or 3 minutes until the sauce is absolutely smooth. 

Serve hot or cold.

Note: This sauce will keep for several weeks stored in a screw-top jar in the fridge.

Ballymaloe Brown Yeast Bread

When making Ballymaloe brown yeast bread, remember that yeast is a living organism. In order to grow, it requires warmth, moisture and nourishment. The yeast feeds on the sugar and produces bubbles of carbon dioxide which causes the bread to rise. Heat of over 50˚C will kill yeast. Have the ingredients and equipment at blood heat. White or brown sugar, honey golden syrup, treacle or molasses may be used. Each will give a slightly different flavour to the bread. At Ballymaloe we use treacle. The dough rises more rapidly with 30g (1oz) yeast than with 25g (¾oz) yeast.

We use a stone ground wholemeal. Different flours produce breads of different textures and flavour. The amount of natural moisture in the flour varies according to atmospheric conditions. The quantity of water should be altered accordingly. The dough should be just too wet to knead - in fact it does not require kneading. The main ingredients - wholemeal flour, treacle and yeast are highly nutritious.

Note: Dried yeast may be used instead of baker's yeast. Follow the same method but use only half the weight given for fresh yeast. Allow longer to rise. Fast acting yeast may also be used, follow the instructions on the packet.

Makes 1 loaf
450g (16oz) wholemeal flour OR
400g (14oz) wholemeal flour plus 50g (2oz) strong white flour
425ml (15floz) water at blood heat (mix yeast with 140ml (5floz) lukewarm water approx.)
1 teaspoon black treacle or molasses
1 teaspoon salt
30g (3/4oz -1oz) fresh non GM yeast

sesame seeds – optional

1 loaf tin 13x20cm (5x8inch) approx.
sunflower oil

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8.

Mix the flour with the salt. The ingredients should all be at room temperature. In a small bowl or Pyrex jug, mix the treacle with some of the water, 140ml (5floz) for 1 loaf and crumble in the yeast.

Sit the bowl for a few minutes in a warm place to allow the yeast to start to work. Grease the bread tins with sunflower oil. Meanwhile check to see if the yeast is rising. After about 4 or 5 minutes it will have a creamy and slightly frothy appearance on top. 

When ready, stir and pour it, with all the remaining water, into the flour to make a loose-wet dough. The mixture should be too wet to knead. Put the mixture into the greased tin. Sprinkle the top of the loaves with sesame seeds if you like. Put the tin in a warm place somewhere close to the cooker or near a radiator perhaps. Cover the tins with a tea towel to prevent a skin from forming. Just as the bread comes to the top of the tin, remove the tea towel and pop the loaves in the oven 230C/450F/gas mark 8 for 50-60 minutes or until it looks nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped. The bread will rise a little further in the oven. This is called “oven spring”. If however the bread rises to the top of the tin before it goes into the oven it will continue to rise and flow over the edges. 

We usually remove the loaves from the tins about 10 minutes before the end of cooking and put them back into the oven to crisp all round, but if you like a softer crust there's no need to do this.

Makes 4 large or 5 smaller loaves
1.8 kg (4lb) wholemeal flour OR
1.5 kg (3 1/2lb) wholemeal flour plus
225g (1/2lb) strong white flour
1.6-1.7litre (2 3/4-3pints) approx. water at blood heat – use 285ml (1/2 pint) of the lukewarm water to mix with the yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2-3 well rounded teaspoons black treacle
50-100g (2-3oz) non GM yeast

sesame seeds (optional)

4 or 5 loaf tins 13x20 (5x8inch) approx.

Elizabeth Mosses Gingerbread
Makes 2 loaves

1 lb (450g) flour
1/2 teasp. salt
1 1/2 teasp. ground ginger
2 teasp. baking powder
1/2 teasp. bread soda
1 fistful of sultanas if liked
8 ozs (225g) soft brown sugar
6 ozs (170g) butter, cut into cubes
3/4 lb (340g) treacle
1/2 pint (300ml) milk
1 egg, free range if possible

2 x 9inch (23cm) x 5inch (12.5cm) x 2inch (5cm) loaf tins lined with silicone paper

Preheat the oven to 180C\350F\regulo 4.

Sieve all the dry ingredients together. Gently warm the brown sugar with the cubed butter and treacle. Then add milk. Allow to cool a little and stir into the dry ingredients, add the beaten egg and the sultanas if desired. Mix very thoroughly and make sure that there are no little lumps of flour left. Bake in one or two lined loaf tins for approx. 1 hour in a moderate oven.
This gingerbread keeps very well. 

Hot Tips

Pig Out Day Courses with Frank Krawczyk
Frank, one of Ireland’s best known and most respected salami and sausage makers will share the secrets of his art during a one-day action packed demonstration using every single part of a pig to produce a huge range of pork delicacies. Courses will be held on November 11th and 25th, enquiries to Frank Krawczyk, Derreenatra, Schull, Co Cork, Tel 028-28579 email;  

Glebe Brethan
An artisan gruyere-type cheese made from Montbeliarde cow’s milk has won a Gold Medal and a Major Category Award for Best New Cheese at the recent prestigious British Cheese Awards. Glebe Brethan is made on the Tiernan family farm in Dunleer, Co Louth where they have a long tradition of dairying. Tel Mairead or David Tiernan 041-6851157  

The first Soil Association Food Festival to be held in Scotland is taking place in Glasgow on 4 and 5 November. It promises to showcase the best in organic products in the run-up to the busy Christmas period. With Scotland accounting for over 50% of organically managed land in the UK there will be plenty of tasty organic food and drink on offer, as well as talks, tastings and much more. WhyOrganic[]

Darina’s book of the week
Duchy Originals Cookbook by Johnny Acton and Nick Sandler, published by Kyle Cathie.
Duchy Originals was founded by Prince Charles in 1990. The company had a clear mission: to promote top-quality British food produced according to the principles of sustainable agriculture. The venture has succeeded beyond all expectations. Since making its debut with a delicious oaten biscuit made from organic grain grown on the Prince’s Gloucestershire farm, Duchy Originals has expanded its range to include more than 200 products, from Scottish heather honey to Essex Bronze turkeys. It is now one of Britain’s leading premium and organic food brands.

The recently published, Duchy Originals Cookbook , enshrines the two principles that have guided the brand since its inception: to combine traditional wisdom with contemporary creativity and to encourage people to think about where their food has come from. Following the rhythms of the seasons, the authors Johnny Acton and Nick Sandler, spent a year immersed in the Duchy Originals world. They visit Duchy suppliers throughout the UK, from the Amiss family in Devon with their clouds of white geese to the venerable Walkers biscuit makers of Speyside in Scotland.

Ginger Nuts

This recipe produces a soft, chewy ginger nut. These biscuits must not be overcooked or they will lose their ‘juiciness’. Duchy Originals don’t currently sell ginger nuts, but if they did, they would be as good as these.
Makes 35-40 biscuits

You will need a silicone sheet or a well-greased baking tray and a wire rack.

150g (5½ oz) light muscovado sugar
50g (2oz) sesame seeds
15g (¾oz) dried ginger
50g (2oz) desiccated coconut
150g (5½oz) golden syrup
150g (5½oz) unsalted butter
200g (7oz) plain flour

Preheat the oven to 140C/290F/gas mark 2

Combine the sugar, sesame seeds, ginger and desiccated coconut in a large bowl.
Melt the golden syrup and butter together and combine with the above ingredients.
Add the flour and stir into a thick paste. Pick up a little bit of the dough with a tablespoon and roll into a ball (a 15-20g(½-⅓oz) ball will make a medium-sized biscuit)

Place the balls of biscuit mix on the baking tray, quite well spaced because they will spread during cooking.
Bake immediately for 15 minutes. You don’t want the biscuits to brown. If they do, you are cooking them for too long or on too high a heat.

When the biscuits come out of the oven they are a little flimsy so let them rest for a minute or two before you transfer them to cool on a wire rack.
The ginger nuts will keep very well for a week or two in an airtight container.

Saké and Kappa-ya in Galway city

Sally Barnes of Woodcock Smokery near Skibbereen, beat over 4,500 entries to win the title of Supreme Champion,
More news from Carmel Somers

I’ve only tasted saké once or twice in Japanese restaurants, it seemed to be the appropriate beverage to drink with a Japanese meal but what I tasted was distinctly underwhelming. It came in a porcelain ‘bud vase’ and was served warm in little thimble like containers, a drink to be endured rather than enjoyed. 
Saké has played a central role in Japanese life for over 2,000 years, so I knew there had to be something more exciting on offer.

Well, as luck would have it, I recently received a beautifully embossed invitation from the Japanese Ambassador to a Saké Tasting at Kappa-ya in Galway city. This little restaurant, owned by Junichi Yoshiyagawa and Yoshimi Hayakawa, has been on my ‘must do’ list for over a year now. Good news travels fast in the restaurant world and I’d heard about the delicious food that was making waves in foodie circles in Galway, so – a double whammy.

Saké is Japan’s national drink, its most ancient and sacred beverage. Even today saké plays a profound role in native Shinto belief. Tiny cups of saké are placed as offerings in domestic shrines at festive times of the year. In the Shinto wedding ceremony, it is the exchange of cups and the drinking of saké that seals the marriage vows.

Saké is a clear liquid made from fermented rice and water with an alcohol content of 14-17%. Steamed white rice is inoculated with a special mould (koji kabi; Aspergillus oryzae) and then fermentation occurs. It takes 45-60 days to produce saké from start to finish. There is no ageing period involved. Unlike wine or distilled spirits, saké can be drunk immediately, in fact some people believe that it is best drunk within three months of bottling. Saké has no vintage years and is best drunk within a year of being made. Unlike wine, ageing doesn’t enhance the flavour. Because it is fermented rather than distilled, it should be drunk reasonably quickly once the bottle is opened.

The best saké is made from the finest rice and the purest water. Much of Japan’s saké is mass produced nowadays, but there are still some traditional breweries which continue to produce saké in a time honoured way.

Recently I met Mr Kujeihi Kuno, the current director of Banjo Jozo, founded in 1647. He is the fifteenth generation to bear the family’s professional name, and the ninth generation to specialize in saké production. This innovative traditionalist brought his artisan sakés from Japan and proudly served them with Junichi’s delicious food. 

Not one was served lukewarm, some were chilled, others enjoyed at room temperature. Each was fresh and delicious with hints of melon, bitter almonds, seaweed and spices – the experience was a revelation after my earlier experiences with warm sweet saké. Hopefully these superb sakés will be available on the Irish market before too long.

From the cook’s point of view, saké has many desirable attributes. The Japanese have long been aware that rice wine is a tenderizer. It is one of the ‘big 4’ of Japanese cooking ingredients, coupled with dashi stock, soy sauce and miso fermented bean paste. The amino acids in the saké tenderize. Saké also has the effect of repressing saltiness, takes away strong smells and helps to eliminate fishy tastes. It also makes a delicious aperitif, but carefully partnered with Junichi’s Japanese food as chosen by Enrico Fantasia, it was sublime. Contact the Japanese Embassy for details of availability – 01-2028300.

Kappa-ya, 4 Middle Street, Galway. Tel 086-3543616 

Here is a recipe from Kappa-ya

Tori no sakamushi (Steamed Chicken)
Serves 1

1 free range chicken breast

Sake 50cc
Salt & Pepper pinch
Ginger 1 slice, crushed
Garlic 1 slice, crushed
Leek 10cm, chopped
Scallions half bunch finely chopped
Sauce; Ponzu:Sesame oil=2:1

Season the chicken breast with salt and freshly ground pepper and put onto a deep plate.
Cover the chicken with saké.
Sprinkle the ginger, garlic and leeks onto the chicken, then cover the plate with cling film.

Steam it in the oven or steamer for 15-20min.

Leave the chicken in the sake to cool, (in this process, all flavour goes into the chicken) Cut chicken into bite size pieces. It will be delicious to eat at room temperature or re-heated. Put chopped scallions into a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to remove the bitterness. Strain.
Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with the chopped scallions.

Coincidentally I just got a copy of a new Japanese Cookbook - Japanese Pure and Simple by Kimiko Barber, published by Kyle Cathie. 
Buy this Book from Amazon

Japanese food is synonymous with great health – from fighting the effects of ageing, to reducing the risk of cancer and shedding excess pounds. The benefits of the Japanese diet are out in the press, and its unique combinations and subtle, sophisticated flavours have created a huge market for trendy sushi bars and Japanese restaurants. But the food itself is not complicated, and once you understand the washoku philosophy of food, there is no dish that cannot be made in your home – which, let’s face it, is the most nourishing, healthy way to feed yourself and family.

Kimiko Barber was born in Kobe, Japan and arrived in UK in 972. After over ten years in investment banking in both London and Tokyo, a chance visit to Books for Cooks, a Mecca for foodies in Notting Hill, inspired her to change her career and focus on cooking and entertaining. She teaches Japanese and Asian fusion cooking in various cooking schools. Her first book Sushi Taste and Technique won the bronze award in Best Food Book category in Jacob’s Creek World Food Media Awards. She is an enthusiastic organic kitchen gardener.

Here are some recipes from the book.

Seared Beef Salad with Watercress and Grapefruit
This cooking method is called tataki, which literally means ‘to hit’ or ‘to beat’: you hit the meat with the palm of your hand to flatten and tenderise it. Traditionally the seared meat is plunged into iced water to stop further cooking and to tighten it. ‘But recently I have used rice vinegar instead – the purpose of searing is not to cook the meat through but to burn off the fat and seal in the taste, whereas plunging it in ice water will congeal the fat you are trying to get rid of’ (Kimiko Barber).

200g (7oz) rump or sirloin steak
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 grapefruit, segmented
100g (3½oz) watercress, trimmed
100g (3½oz) rocket
1 pack of salad cress

For the salad dressing:
Juice of 1 grapefruit
100g (3½oz) grated fresh ginger juice*
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce

Take the meat out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature (as cold meat is tough and takes longer to cook).

Brush the meat with the vegetable oil and rub with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat and sear the meat on both sides. Place the meat on a chopping board and let it cool enough to handle. With a sharp knife, slice the meat into 5mm (¼in) thick slices and pour over the rice vinegar. Separate each slice and give it a light but firm slap with the palm of your hand.

Remove the pellicle (thin skin) from each grapefruit segment. Put the watercress, rocket, salad cress and grapefruit in a salad bowl and arrange the meat on top. Mix the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad, toss and serve.

*To extract the juice from grated ginger, simply squeeze it and discard the fibrous remains.

This recipe can work very well as a main course for a smart dinner party. You can change the combination of salad to suit your preference.

Teriyaki Pork Steak
Succulent tender pork steak is perfectly matched with nutty sweet teriyaki sauce and a dash of rice vinegar highlights the tastes and flavours.

4 pork steaks, each weighing 125g (4½oz)
4 tablespoons cornflour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
Handful of watercress

For the teriyaki sauce:
4 tablespoons sake
4 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
50g (2oz) fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Take the meat out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking. Dust the steaks with the cornflour. Heat a frying pan over a moderate/low heat and add the vegetable oil. Sauté the steaks for 3 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid to steam-cook for a further 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and add all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce. Shake the pan to coat the steaks evenly with the sauce and reduce it a little. Add the rice vinegar and stir the sauce. Remove the steaks and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Arrange the meat on individual plates, drizzle over the sauce and serve with a garnish of watercress.

This teriyaki cooking sauce works well with lamb chops. Serve with cauliflower miso gratin or leek and carrot mini frittatas.

Prawn, pomegranate and green chilli sushi
The pomegranate originates in the Middle East and is widespread throughout Asia. They were brought to Japan from China in the twelfth century; the flowers were used for ornamental and the fruits for medicinal purposes. There are many references to them in mediaeval Japanese paintings and literature.

2 ripe pomegranates
4 tablespoons pomegranate juice
350g (12oz) prepared sushi rice – see recipe 
200g (7oz) cooked prawns
1-2 large green chillies, finely chopped
Few sprigs of coriander and mint leaves

Halve the pomegranates horizontally, separate the individual fruitlets from the rind and reserve. Moisten the inside of a large mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of the pomegranate juice to stop the rice sticking. Add the prepared sushi rice, sprinkle over the remainder of the pomegranate juice to separate the rice and mix. Add the cooked prawns, chopped chillies and reserved pomegranate and mix with a flat spatula in a cut-and-turn motion. Transfer the sushi mixture into either a large serving dish or individual dishes. Garnish with the coriander and mint leaves and serve.
This recipe works equally well with white crabmeat instead of prawns.

Isaac’s Sushi Rice
450g (1lb) sushi rice ” No 1 Extra Fancy”

600ml (1 pint) water

Vinegar Water

50ml (2fl oz) rice wine vinegar
1½ tablespoons sugar
2½ teaspoons salt

Rinse the rice for 10 minutes in a colander or sieve under cold running water or until the water becomes clear.

‘Wake up’ the rice by sitting it in 600ml (1pint) cold water for 30 to 45 minutes. In the same water, bring to the boil and then cook for 10 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Do not stir, do not even take off the lid. Turn up the heat for 10 seconds before turning the heat off. Remove the lid, place a tea towel over the rice, replace the lid and sit for 20 minutes.

Mix the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt together in a bowl until dissolved. Turn the rice out onto a big flat plate (preferably wooden). While the rice is still hot pour the vinegar solution over the rice and mix the rice and vinegar together in a slicing action with the aid of a wooden spoon. Don’t stir. You must do it quickly preferably fanning the rice with the fan. This is much easier if you have a helper. Allow to cool on the plate and cover with kitchen paper or a tea towel. (It will soak up the liquid as it cools.)

Foolproof Food

Crab Apple or Bramley Apple Jelly

Apples are very plentiful this autumn – a delicious way to use up the windfalls.
Makes 2.7-3kg (6-7 lb)

2.7kg (6 lb) crab apples or wind fall cooking apples
2.7L (43pints) water
2 unwaxed lemons

Wash the apples and cut into quarters, do not remove either peel or core. Windfalls may be used, but make sure to cut out the bruised parts. Put the apples into a large saucepan with the water and the thinly pared rind of the lemons, cook until reduced to a pulp, approx. 2 hour.

Turn the pulp into a jelly bag* and allow to drip until all the juice has been extracted - usually overnight. Measure the juice into a preserving pan and allow 450g (1lb) sugar to each 600ml (1pint) of juice. Warm the sugar in a low oven.

Squeeze the lemons, strain the juice and add to the preserving pan. Bring to the boil and add the warm sugar. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly without stirring for about 8-10 minutes. Skim, test and pot immediately.
Flavour with sweet geranium, mint or cloves as required. 

Hot Tips

Apology – I neglected to mention the full title of the Lebanese Cookbook in my article of 30th September – it is The Lebanese Cookbook by Hussien Dekmak, published by Kyle Cathie.

Irish Seedsavers Association (ISSA) will hold an Apple Tasting on Sunday 15th October 12 noon – 5pm at Capparoe, Scariff, Co Clare
Over 100 varieties of rare, native apples are grown by Seed Savers. At this time of year the apples are harvested and in peak condition. Seed Savers invite you to join them tomorrow and take part in a tasting and trial and give your opinion on the apples. Guided tours of the heritage gardens and orchards will be taking place. If you have any windfall/damaged apples bring them with you and with their state of the art apple press, they can turn them into the best apple juice you have ever tasted!
No booking necessary, cost €5. Tel 061-921866  

Pig in a Day Course at Ballymaloe Cookery School on Wednesday 18th October.
Philip Dennhardt a brilliant young butcher from Stuttgart will show how to butcher and cure one of our own free range pigs from nose to tail – dry and wet cured bacon, pancetta, ham, homemade sausages, salami, chorizo, brawn, pate de campagne …. Tel 021-4646785 

Farmleigh House, Catstlknock, Dublin 15 – Check out their impressive foodie line-up for Autumn.
Enjoy lunch at new Boathouse Restaurant or coffee at the Motorhouse café – see  Tel -01 8155966 or Boathouse Tel 01-8157255

Great Taste Awards in London 
At last month’s awards Sally Barnes of Woodcock Smokery near Skibbereen, beat over 4,500 entries to win the title of Supreme Champion, Best Irish Food (sponsored by Bord Bia) and best chilled product – 
Of the 510 gold medals awarded by over 400 food experts, 116 went to Irish producers.

More news from Carmel Somers at the Good Things Café in Durrus, West Cork 
2 Day practical Kitchen Miracle programme. 
Carmel has slotted in an extra course before Christmas. The new course date is 28th & 29th October (the October bank holiday weekend).Limited places available.
Call 027 61426 or email 

Jersey Bull Calves a Forgotten Flavour

For the past few years there has been a big mutton revival going on in the UK, championed by top chefs and the Prince of Wales. Others, like Fergus Henderson of St John have given offal a cult following. The most recent development on the UK food scene was the launch of real veal at the recent Organic Food Awards in Bristol. 
This initiative will be of interest to Irish dairy farmers and has potential for the bull calf industry. Intensively reared veal has long carried a stigma among chefs and diners because of the negative image of the production system used to produce white veal. Chefs are calling for high welfare veal to be more widely available.

A campaign for good veal backed by the country’s leading chefs and organic farming industry was launched recently with the publication of the Good Veal Guide. Chefs led by Barny Haughton, and supported by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Sophie Grigson, are backing the initiative. 

Veal is often boycotted by the animal welfare conscious because of the negative image of young calves in dimly lit pens. However, the reality now is that production methods adopted by organic farmers mean the animals have plenty of space and light. They are outside in warmer months, enjoy a varied diet and very often the care of a foster cow.

With a life span of six months, organic calves live twice as long as even the slowest growing chicken, share the same life span as a good organic pig and live longer than many organic lambs.

Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming, says ‘we applaud this initiative for providing better lives for calves through higher welfare systems and thereby helping to save them from the inhumane live export trade’.

Chef Barny Haughton of Quartier Vert and Bordeaux Quay in Bristol has been championing sustainable food production for over 18 years. He produced The Good Veal Guide to coincide with the launch with delicious recipes.

“Organic veal is a meat with a delicate, but sweet flavour”, says Barny Haugton. “It is tender in texture, pink in colour and it is also wonderfully versatile; from saltimbocca – thin slices, a few seconds in the frying pan with butter and lemon – to osso bucco – shanks, slowly braised with tomatoes and white wine - to a beautiful golden veal and ham pie. It is for sound gastronomic reasons that veal is at the heart of traditional European cooking”, he continues.

The first humane organic veal system was pioneered ten years ago by Helen Browning, the dynamic organic farmer who runs Eastbrook Farm in Wiltshire. Also Food and Farming Director of the Soil Association she says that consumers can play a key role in reversing what can be an uncertain future for many calves. “The calf’s mother will go back into the organic dairy herd producing the pints, the yoghurts and the cheeses that many of us enjoy every day”, she says. “But what of the calf? The typical male dairy calf will never turn itself into a great beef animal, but good farming will produce superb meat from these livestock at a younger age. This veal should not be tarred with the same brush as the imported white slab of protein often served in the UK.”

Helen Browning is a dynamic farmer who also rears organic pigs –My ears pricked up immediately when I heard about this initiative because my father-in-law Ivan Allen had a Jersey herd for over 35 years. Myrtle served the bull calves in the restaurant and called it baby beef. They were killed at about 5 months, the meat was pale rosy pink, the flavour sweet and delicate. Now that I have two little Jersey cows for milk for the house and cookery school we also cherish our heifer and bull calves equally and are looking forward to tasting ‘a forgotten flavour’. 

Rosé Veal Chop
Humanely reared veal is often referred to as Rosé Veal to distinguish it from its intensively reared counterpart.


6 Rosé veal chops, 1 inch (2.5cm) thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
2oz (50g) butter
24-30 fresh sage leaves
6 segments of lemon

Heat the pangrill, drizzle the chops with extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cook for 5-8 minutes on a hot pan grill.

Meanwhile, heat 2oz (50g) butter in a frying pan to a medium heat. Dry the sage leaves and add to the pan.
Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until they frizzle up. 

Put the chops on to a hot serving plate, spoon the frizzled sage leaves over each chop.
Serve with a segment of lemon.

Veal Escalopes with Butter and Lemon – Vitello al burro el limone
from Gennaro’s Italian Year by Gennaro Contaldo, published by Headline

Serves 4

4 veal escalopes, each about 150g (5oz), thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Plain flour for dusting
50g (2oz) butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1½ lemons, plus a few slices of lemon, thinly sliced and zest and pith removed
100ml (3½ fl.oz) white wine

Season the meat with salt and pepper, and dust them with flour, shaking off any excess.

In a large frying pan, heat the butter and extra-virgin olive oil, then add the veal escalopes and lemon slices, and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. Add the lemon juice and white wine, shaking the pan to make the sauce creamy.

Remove the meat and lemon slices and arrange on a serving dish or on 4 plates. Pour over the sauce from the pan and serve immediately.

A Classic Blanquette of Veal
Serves 6

3 lb (1.3kg) good stewing veal
2-2¼ pints (1.2-1.5 litres) light veal or chicken stock
1 large onion with a clove in it
1 large carrot, scraped and quartered
1 bouquet garni
2 sticks celery
8 parsley stalks
Pinch of salt
24 baby onions
¼ pint (150ml) stock
½ oz (10g) butter
24 button mushrooms without stalks
½ oz (10g) butter
2½ fl.oz (62ml) stock

Roux made from 2 oz (50g) butter and 2oz (50g) flour

Lemon juice
Heart shaped croutons
4oz (110g)clarified butter
Chopped parsley

For Liason:
2 eggs
¼ pint (150ml) cream

Trim the veal of all fat and gristle. Cut into 1½ inch (4cm) cubes. 

Put the veal in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Drain off the water and rinse away the scum from the veal. Wash the saucepan. (This is called blanching the veal.)

Put the veal back into the casserole with the stock, onion, carrot, bouquet garni, celery, parsley stalks and salt.

Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 1-1¼ hours or until tender. 

Meanwhile, peel the onions. Simmer in a covered casserole for 40 minutes approx. in ¼ pint (150ml) stock and ½ oz (10g) butter. Toss the mushrooms in butter and a squeeze of lemon juice, add 2½ fl.oz (62ml) stock, and simmer in a covered casserole until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Sauté the croutons on both sides in clarified butter until golden brown, keep warm.

When the veal is tender, strain off the cooking liquid, bring to the boil and thicken with roux, simmer for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and onions, and simmer gently until heated through. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. 

Meanwhile, remove the carrot, onion, celery and bouquet garni from the veal pieces and discard. Add the veal to the sauce.

*May be prepared ahead to this point.

Just before serving, slowly reheat the veal, onions and mushrooms if necessary, mix the egg and cream together and pour in some of the boiling liquid and then stir into the casserole. Be careful not to allow the blanquette to boil once the liason has been added, otherwise it may curdle.

Serve in a warm dish surrounded by pilaff rice.

Dip the ends of the croutons into the blanquette and then into the chopped parsley. Use to garnish the dish. Serve with a simple pilaff rice.

Pilaff Rice
2 tablesp. finely chopped onion or shallot

1oz (30g) butter
13oz (375g) long grain rice, preferably Basmati
32 fl.oz (900ml) home-made chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a casserole, add the finely chopped onion and sweat for 2-3 minutes, add the rice and toss for a minute or two until the grain changes colour. Season with salt and pepper, cover with chicken stock and bring to the boil. Simmer either on top or in the oven for approx. 10 minutes, or until the rice is just cooked and all the water is absorbed.

Note – Basmati rice cooks quite quickly, other types of rice may take up to 15 minutes.

Osso Bucco alla Milanese
Serves 6

2 hind shanks of veal, sawed into about 8 pieces, about 2 in (5cm) long
Securely tied around the middle
2oz (50g) butter
5oz (150g) chopped onion
4oz (110g) carrot, finely chopped
4oz (110g) celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
2 strips lemon peel
4 fl.oz (125ml) vegetable oil
3oz (75g) flour
8 fl.oz (225ml) dry white wine
12 fl.oz (350ml) beef stock
12oz (350g) canned Italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juice
¼ teasp. fresh thyme leaves
4 leaves fresh basil, chopped (optional)
2 bay leaves
2 or 3 sprigs of parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
1 teasp.grated lemon rind
2 tablesp. parsley, finely chopped

In a heavy casserole, just large enough to hold the veal, melt the butter and add the chopped onion, carrot and celery . Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and lemon peel. Remove from the heat.

Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Dust the veal shanks with flour and brown in the sauté pan. When brown on all sides place the shanks in the casserole on the bed of vegetables. 

Pour off almost all the fat in the sauté pan and add the wine, boil briskly for about 3 minutes scraping up the residue in the pan. Pour over the veal. In the same sauté pan, add the beef stock and bring to the boil. Pour into the casserole. Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme, basil (if using), bay leaves, parsley, salt and freshly ground pepper. The liquid should come up to the top of the pieces of veal, add more stock if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.gas 4.

Bring the casserole to a simmer on top of the stove, cover tightly. Place in the lower part of the preheated oven and cook for about 2 hours, turning and basting the veal every 20 minutes. The veal is cooked when it is very tender and the sauce is dense and creamy. Meanwhile make some gremolata by mixing together the garlic, lemon rind and parsley. Sprinkle over the veal as it finishes cooking.

Remove from pan, remove the strings. 
Boil up the sauce if necessary and spoon over the veal.

Mary Risley’s Braised Veal with Oranges
Serves 4

5lb ( 2.2kg) veal roast, cut from the heel of the round (with bone)
Or 4 veal shanks as for Osso Bucco
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
Bouquet garni (including 1 clove)
Sprig of fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
1 orange
4 fl.oz (125ml) chicken or veal stock
2 fl.oz (50ml) wine vinegar and a little sugar

Combine the onion, orange and lemon juice, bouquet garni, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl big enough to hold the veal. Marinate the veal for 12 hours, turning it two or three times.

Remove the veal from the marinade, wipe it off and coat with olive oil. 
Preheat the oven to 325F/160C/gas3.

Brown the veal on all sides in a casserole on top of the stove. Add the marinade and bake in the covered casserole in the preheated oven for 1-1½ hours.

Remove the zest from the orange with a vegetable peeler and cut into tiny julienne strips. Blanch these in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain in a small sieve and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Remove all the white part from the orange and section the orange.

Remove the veal from the casserole and keep warm. It will be easier to carve if it is allowed to rest for 20 minutes. In an electric blender combine the braising liquid with the stock and blend. Reheat this sauce in a small saucepan, whisk in the wine vinegar (sweetened slightly). Add the orange zest and the orange sections. Correct seasoning.

Carve the veal into thin slices, arrange them overlapping in a row on a heated serving dish and pour over the hot sauce and oranges.

Foolproof Food

Apple and Raisin Squares
Lovely with a cup of coffee or for the lunchbox.

8ozs (225g) self raising flour
8ozs (225g) porridge oats
1 level teaspoon bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)
8ozs (225g) butter
8ozs (225g) sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 eating apples
4 ozs (110g) raisins

9½ inch (24cm) square tin, lightly greased.

Mix the flour, oats and bread soda together. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together over a gentle heat and add to the dry ingredients. Press half the mixture into the lightly greased tin. Peel, core and chop the apple finely, mix with the raisins and sprinkle over, then spread the remaining oat mixture on top.

Bake for 30 minutes 180C/350F/gas 4, leave to cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares and transfer to a wire rack.

Hot tips

Fota Honey Show – Sunday 8th October 
Open to the public at 2.00pm

Slow Food Farmers Market, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, 11-5 Sunday 15th October with 30 artisan food stalls.
Part of the Slow Food Cork Festival 2006 running from 13-15th October, also includes Foodie films at Kino Cinema –  or at Cork Film Festival Office or Kellys Post Office, Grand Parade. Slow Food Workshops (including one on Spices and on School Lunchboxes), Festival Dinners, Mushroom Hunt at Longueville House near Mallow (022-47156). For festival enquiries – email:  

Eurotoques Mushroom Hunt, Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Co Monaghan
Sunday 15th October at 12 noon. Guide will be Louis Smith of GMIT
Tel Euro-toques office on 01-6779995 for bookings. Tel Castle Leslie 047-88100


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