nostalgia

Marmalading

It seems like an age since I bought a bag of bitter seville oranges and filled the kichen with the exciting tangy aroma of these citrus treats. What a way to warm your body and soul in January when the promise of sunshine and Spanish holidays arrives in the little mesh bag in our shops.

Since then we have had snow storms and bitter winds. But my jar of home made marmalade has indeed brought a smile to my face in the mornings, lathered on top of brown soda bread and butter. My ultimate comfort food. Some thing about the bitterness of the soda bread combining with the texture of the orange rind.

As a child I helped every year with the marmalade production. The Universal Marmalade Cutter was put to good use every year. I assumed everyone had one.

IMG_4775But my friends were bemused when I produced it. It is actually on etsy as a cute antique.

Using my mother’s recipe, which was sketchy at best, the first batch didn’t set. I implored her to make it set. She sadly passed away last September and I hoped she might still be able to help me in my predicament. But no, I am on my own with her cookbook from now on.

As I cook, her phrases come to me and so much of my methods are learned from her. I get huge comfort from this connection. One of the wonderful things about cooking is this tremendous tradition that links us back generations.

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The top of the page is marked ‘Good. I always make this’. There are recipes in the book written by us as children. It is strange to recognise your sister’s childish writing or your brother’s bold capitals.

A thousand moments are captured within its pages.

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Up By Napper Tandys House

This Sunday I went walkabout in Dublin’s oldest streets. Researching the price of organic cherry tomatoes, I made for the Dublin Food Coop. From Thomas Street, I passed throught Meath Street and The Coombe. Quiet and clean swept it being a Sunday, the redbrick houses are history in themselves. The families that grew up there, the messages bought, the workers arriving in , scraping theit boots on the built in irons that still protrude from the redbrick at foot level.

The men who arrived home without work during the lockout and strikes of 1913 – the stories those walls could tell.

IMG_3017Google maps brought me to the market – a buzzing hive of activity. Tourists from all over th world had found their way to this hub of crafts, music collections ,coffee and food.

Cherry tomatoes were to be found @ €5 per kilo. Sourced from Spain so methinks there is a gap in the market for Irish Organic Cherry tomatoes.