Monday, October 09, 2006


Well, my last post wasn't very uplifting at all. I really hate to read back on things like that (one of the main reasons I've always been so bad at keeping a diary) but I've determined that I will not delete posts unless I really, really have to.

This weekend wasn't so bad. I have a real problem with procrastination (I blame it on doing Hamlet for my Leaving Cert - the theme of procrastination was very important to our teacher and she went on and on and on about it) but although I spent a good part of the weekend telling myself "I'll do that later" I actually did things as I was busy working out in my head how I'd manage to get everything done later. Simple things like getting some clothes washed, washing my hair, doing the dishes, cooking instead of getting a take-away, got to the recycle depot - but all things that would be too much to get done in an hour before work this morning!

I went to a different market on Saturday morning as I was in town anyway and have wanted to check out the Temple Bar farmers' market. This used to be a French food market with a few stalls of quite expensive stuff. It's now a wonderfully busy real farmers' market with a few different fruit and veg stalls. I found one stall which is a family-run certified organic farm in north county Dublin - I probably will not find much more local than that and the prices were very reasonable. I bought a bag of fresh mint for making tea with as well as some potatoes, carrots and a huge courgette (really a marrow at that size I think). On another stall I bought three Irish cheeses for €10 - good value and actually produced on the farm who were running the stall. I got a small brie, some nicely aged gouda and some raclette. Haven't tried the raclette yet but will do that next weekend I think. I also got some nice Irish apples which aren't too tart so all in all I was happy. So now I have a dilemma of sorts - this market is about the same distance away as the Marley Park one I usually go to. I can get more local veg and cheese in Temple Bar but the farmer in Marley Park who sells meat (Jens Krumpe) is really excellent. I suppose I'll try alternating between the two - I may try and get an email address out of Jens so that even if I'm not there one week I can order something for the next week. You need to be there fairly early if you haven't ordered. A lot of the other stalls were at both markets and I suppose one other advantage of Temple Bar is that it's more accessible by public transport so I wouldn't have to use the car as much.

Otherwise over the weekend I made some delicious stewed apple and managed to freeze two Tupperware ice-cube trays full. I've a promise of more cooking apples from a friend next week or the week after so will make some more of this to use during winter. I must learn how to make custard from scratch rather than using powder.

I covered over the flowerbed in my front garden (which I had weeded a couple of weeks ago anyway so it didn't look too bad) with newspaper, some leftover compost I had and lots of lovely topsoil which I got from a freecycler. It rained lots yesterday so I didn't need to do anything else. I hope to grow something there next year - will have to find something shade loving. In the meantime it looks wonderfully tidy with all the weeds covered up. While I was out in the garden I even cut the grass and swept the front driveway and path at the side of the house.

Didn't get any more work done on the composter as it lashed rain all day yesterday and I'd only gotten the spade then. Will try and do a bit this evening if I get home before dark.

The main reason I did manage to end up cooking is that I really wanted to try my new Tupperware slicer - I had a very shaky first go (turns out I was doing it backwards which as a leftie I'm more used to doing than you might think). So for dinner I had some sausages on a bed of thinly sliced apple all topped with some thinly sliced potatoes and with some stock poured over to cook it all in. Shoved it in the oven for 30 minutes and instead of sitting down and relaxing (as originally planned) I emptied the dishwasher and whizzed around the downstairs of the house cleaning the floors. Added some cheese to the top of the roasting dish for the last five minutes and it was yum! Only problem is I used too much stock so the apple dissolved into practically nothing.

This dish was loosely based around something my oldest sister told me about another sister doing one time and has lots of potential. I think next time I'd just use pork and cook it for longer on a lower heat with a lot more apples and adding potatoes at a later stage. And much less stock or maybe a combination of stock and cider.

I made garlic potato gratin yesterday for dinner. I am finally getting the hang of my slicer and I LOVE it. I can see a lot of thinly sliced things in my future.

And I finished knitting the scarf for my sister's birthday - it's not perfect but it's oh so warm - I hope she likes it.

I'll post about my visit to the Ecoshop in Glen of the Downs later. I really need to get the hang of shorter posting.

But here's a joke to finish for now:
What's orange and sounds like a parrot?

A carrot.


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