Monthly Archives: August 2012

A Rainbow of Food in a Typical Irish Summer!

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With one fabulously sunny day in an Irish summer likely to be remembered as something of a washout, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation in my mind…it was time for a barbecue.
I should explain here for those who don’t already know me…I’m a foodie. A ‘gastronaut’. A gourmande. A connoseur of fine food – and drink. Or so I like to think anyway!  In short, I love food!
Like most of us, I think, many of my childhood memories include food, and all celebrations involve feasting.
Well, the rare appearance of the sun is as good an excuse for a celebration as any other, and a barbecue at our house is always a feast fit for a king!
I could talk about the meat, and yes there was meat aplenty. Chicken, burgers, sausages, and our very own lovely lamb chops. But my favourite part of a BBQ is the salad assortment, and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.
I always make a mountain of potato salad, using Avoca’s recipe. It’s the family’s favourite BBQ accompaniment, without a doubt. I took the first new potatoes of the season, scrubbed but not peeled, I boiled them, and while still hot, dressed with a little French dressing. Then you just add mayonnaise, maybe some fresh mint if you have it, and a dollop of natural yogurt to keep it fresh-flavoured.

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Next, my favourite…taboullet. Call it what you like, but it’s gorgeous and easy peasy to make. If you’ve never considered Bulgar Wheat, then it’s time you did. It’s like a crunchier version of cous cous. Just boil the kettle, pour over the grain and leave it for 15 minutes. It’ll have plumped  up and be ready to eat. I added loads of chopped up fresh coriander and mint, little cucumber cubes, lemon juice and a bit of dressing. Plenty of black pepper of course. Yum yum!

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Time for a bit of colour.  Just throw whatever tinned beans you’ve got into a bowl. I used kidney beans, but you can use chick peas, black eyed beans, haricot beans or even a tin of baked beans – rinsed – if you’re stuck. Rinse your beans in a colander first, then throw them in a bowl with a chopped up red pepper, a stick or two of celery chopped fine, a crushed clove of garlic, a rinsed tin of sweetcorn, and a splash of French dressing.  Mix it up, and admire the rainbow colours just waiting to be gobbled up!

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Next for a little experiment.  I recently enjoyed a delicious dinner at Concra Wood Golf Club, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, of pork ribs served with a side of celeriac coleslaw.  It was delicious, and I resolved to try it at home.  So I peeled and grated a celeriac.  A what?  It’s the fat, ugly cousin of celery.  Looks a bit like a turnip with acne, poor thing, but tastes great!  Anyway, I grated a carrot or two, and mixed the two together with lashings of mayonnaise, and a bit of lemon juice.  Next time, I’ll grate even finer, but the taste was good!

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With a mixed green salad, and a few cherry tomatoes, I was happy without even the meat! A big glass of shandy – or Panache as our gourmet French friends call it – rounds it off as a serious summer feast. Who needs the Sun?!

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Aside
Up close and personal with fused glass

Keep your glass glimmering!

People often ask me how to look after their lovely new fused glass piece.  It’s really very simple, and not scary at all!!

Just use water!  That’s right: your fused glass candle holder, bowl or suncatcher, can be washed in warm water and washing up liquid, rinsed off and dried, just like a tumbler.

Why not try using your candle holder as a little sweet dish, or put peanuts in it to serve with drinks?  Your King’s Forge Glass ‘web’ bowl will hold bread rolls, or fruit, and there’s no end to the uses for a solid glass platter.  Don’t be afraid to get your glass dirty, as now you know, you can wash it clean again!

Some items may have added ribbons, if it is a hanging piece, or perhaps little rubber ‘feet’ to protect the base of a bowl. You might prefer to remove these before washing.

Okay, I wouldn’t put it in the dishwasher, but that’s not a good enough reason to leave your glass out of your daily life.  I’d like to think the more you use your glass, the more you’ll love it!

If you’ve any queries about your King’s Forge glass piece, don’t hesitate to contact me, either through the website www.kingsforgeglass.com or through my Facebook page.

How to keep your glass sparkling