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Friday Photo

I’ve been challenged to post a black and white photograph depicting my life every day for 7 days…. here’s today’s one.

I think it sums up life here very much!

Wellingtons…. study in black and white.

Friday Photo

No idea what flower this is…. don’t even remember planting it, but it is pretty.

Pretty white flower

Gateau Diane

Meringue was something I could always make, and my poor Mum never could.  She was a dab hand at anything to do with pastry, but for some reason meringues never worked for her.  When she opened a tea shop many, many years ago, I was always charged with making a pavlova for the weekend customers.

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Friday Photo

Learning at Mammy’s side!

El Bulli and chick

Friday Photo

Not sure how I’ve got this far in life without this knowledge????

left and right socks???

 

Shopping ‘Local’

A couple of weeks back we had Irish guests staying… not often that we have homegrown guests.  However, one of the guests past a comment about the fact that as we grow much of our own food, we don’t really contribute to the local economy!

His comment kind of floored me.  It really stopped me in my tracks.  I suppose without going into a deep analysis of it, I would have considered us to be good at supporting ‘local’.

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Home grown tomatoes

I was prompted to analyse our shopping.

If I’m truthful, no we don’t buy from the nearest local shop.  There are a few reasons – they don’t stock what I’d want to buy food-wise.  I gave up buying newspapers years ago … and they don’t stock my preferred read anyway.  Yes, they do stock nice gift items.  I, however, tend to bake/gift home-made food items.

So here’s how our shopping breaks down:

Meat : we grow pigs and sheep too – so we never, ever buy pork, bacon or lamb. We also raise our own duck meat.  Chicken : we have a certain supply, but do buy free-range on occasion.  Beef which is considered a luxury in this house is bought from a local butcher, who now rings me when he kills and saves the cuts I like  – now, that’s customer service!  We plan to get a few turkeys this year too, just to add to the mix of meat choices.

Fruit and vegetables : again we grow a lot.  We try to eat seasonally, but sometimes you get a glut of vegetables coming at you so fast that you cannot eat another carrot or pea – so we freeze them to have later in the year.  Right now I’m busy preserving all sorts.  When we moved here there was a local vegetable shop, that’s now gone.  Our local country market which was another great resource closed down earlier this year, so we are left with the ‘multiples’ as our only choice.  However, even then I do aim for Irish and /or organic/fairtrade (thinking bananas and exotics).

Eggs : we have our own and if I do need more, I buy from our neighbour.

Fish : there are no local fish shops, so we shop in Barna (Co. Galway) for our fish when we can.  Not quite local to us, but it is a small independent fish shop that does great fresh fish.  We’ve also been known to swap pork for line caught tuna. Nice!

Flour:  we buy organic in 25kg bags from a local bakery.

Cleaning products : we do refills from our local independent Organic Store.  They are also a great spot for nice cheese, chocolate and seasonal vegetables.  (I just don’t get there every week.)

Animal Feed : We buy Tipperary grown grain from our local mill, and organic pig feed from “Robins Glen“.

Butchery : We are lucky to have a neighbour who does the necessary dispatching on hens and ducks.  And, we have two local butchers who take care of our pigs and sheep for us.

Yes, unfortunately, we do buy the staples from the ‘multinationals’…. tea, butter, etc.

So are we contributing to the local economy?  I think so.  We are bringing guests into this part of the country that would not otherwise visit.  We recommend local attractions.  Friday night guests are often encouraged to attend the dance at our local GAA Club.

So, yes, I do believe we are contributing in our own small way to our local community.

I’m still here

If you’ve moved on from following the blog…. I wouldn’t blame you.  Life really has got in the way of blogging the past few months.

However, I am still here.  Still doing things and rushing about trying to keep head above water.

We’ve had a busy summer again.

Alfie was in and out of hospital quite a bit.  The last stint was 2 weeks from 16th August, which, of course, clashed with one of our busiest times with AirBnB.  Alfie is feeling a lot better now, so fingers and toes crossed that we have reached the end of that journey.

View from the Cliffs of Moher

We did manage a couple of days off at the beginning of August to spend time with friends and to do the ‘tourist’ thing for ourselves.

I shall write about some of those experiences as well as the many topics spinning around in my head that I want to share with you.  So over the coming weeks, I may be having a rant or two!!!  And I guess, it is a good sign when guests want me to share recipes with them, so you can look forward to some recipes too!

How have you all been?

How has your summer gone?

Did you get to have holidays?