Posts Tagged ‘Big Green Egg’

This past Easter weekend was all about family here at Oldfarm.

I had volunteered some months back to take care of my nephew and two nieces…. and in the end it was decided that rather than me stay in Dublin with them, I would bring them here.

That got Easter off to an early start with me travelling up to Dublin on Thursday and spending the evening with my brother and his family.  We went to Soulful Bistro – their neighbourhood hangout – for a lovely dinner.  I loved the quotes that were written on the walls and recesses of this place.

As luck would have it my sister (who lives in L.A.) happened to be in Dublin for a few days, so as Friday was such a glorious day, myself and the two nieces headed off to meet with her.  We wandered into the Battle of Clontarf Event which was still in the ‘being set up’ stage, but we were in time to watch some of the rehearsals of the battle! The nieces did wonder why the event wasn’t being celebrated on Good Friday as that was the actual anniversary???

Battle of Clontarf Rehearsals

Battle of Clontarf Rehearsals

Then rather than suggest a ‘walk’ to a 10 and 11 year old, we went for a beach photoshoot!  The schemes!  It was fun though – and 160+ photos later we’d had a lovely time on Portmarnock beach and had had a walk too! 🙂

Portmarnock Beach

Portmarnock Beach

Next up was lunch in Malahide with Dad, aka Gaga, in Cafe Provence.  Gosh was it busy for a Good Friday – queues out the door!

Finally at 4.30 it was time to get into the car and head to Tipperary.

Fair play to the kids…. they prepared sushi for us for dinner.  Another good plan as I wasn’t sure I had the energy left at this stage to cook dinner.



Saturday was nominated as baking day…… the 15 year old boy even wanted to get involved in this.  The baking list changed a few times, but final decision was….

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutella Cookies with Smarties

Chocolate Brownies with raspberries

Nutella Cookies

Nutella Cookies

Reckon there was a bit of a theme going on there 🙂

I have to admit I’d never had Nutella before…. it was interesting chocolate and nut combination

Easter Sunday was a beautiful day so the girls helped me in the polytunnel planting peas and beans.  Then it was weeding in the garden. While the boy helped Alfie with more manly tasks.

Their parents arrived on Sunday evening in time for dinner.  For the first time this year we were able to sit outside (even if it was with the chiminea lit).  It was just lovely to be able to sit, chill and chat while dinner cooked on the Big Green Egg.

It was also lovely to spend quality time with the nieces and nephew….. there were lots and lots of silly jokes and giggles.

How did you spend your Easter?

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Bet you’re all expecting this to be a totally romantic post?  Well, sorry to disappoint – it ain’t!

For those not living on this island, we’ve had the worst winter for storms and winds in a very very long time.  We are sinking in mud here at Oldfarm.  You cannot walk on the lawn – it is just like a sponge.  The pigs are totally fed up of the mud, as are the dogs, cats and hens.  The only ones enjoying it all are the ducks – and boy, they are loving it.

Two of the Khaki Campbells enjoying the flooded lawn

Two of the Khaki Campbells enjoying the flooded lawn

So far we have lost 6 Rowan trees, our last Crab Apple tree, a really old Victoria Plum tree, the roof off the fuel shed and a pig ark!

Last Wednesday we had possibly the worst storm yet.  It seemed to come out of nowhere at 2.20 pm – I remember the time as we were just moving an injured piglet into the ‘nursery’.  Once the job was done, we could hardly open the door to get back into the house, the winds had grown in such intensity.

As I stood in the kitchen looking out at the polytunnel, I was sure we were going to loose it.  The roof seemed to be lifting off it.  Thankfully it survived.

The storm howled about us until about 7 pm and then disappeared just as quickly as it had arrived.

Then, just when you think everything is good, the electricity went.  So it was early to bed on Wednesday night.

The electricity was still gone on Thursday morning when we got up.  The skies were still dark and ominous….. so in order to see what we were doing, yes, we had breakfast by candlelight!

Besides not having any light, a power cut means that we have no water!  Our well is 100 feet deep and needs power to pump it up to get it to the house.

It is very hard to plan your day when you’ve no power, but we did get jobs done.

When the power eventually came back on at 5.30 pm we were chatting about the worst bits, and what we would have done if it had lasted longer.

  • We were lucky that the freezer was packed to the brim, and we did not open it during the outage, and had been offered a small generator from a neighbour if it had continued.
  • We must stock up on rechargeable batteries – and have them charged!
  • Being without internet and phone was strange but doable!
  • Water was our biggest issue.  Thankfully we have a rainwater barrel that was full, but we must invest in another.
  • We kept the stove in the kitchen going at a low level and decided in a ‘worst case’ scenario we could have brought a mattress down and slept in the kitchen!  And we also have open fireplaces in most rooms.
  • The Big Green Egg came into its own!  Alfie made a pile of bread on it, and dinner was also cooked on it.  We need to keep stocked up on charcoal 🙂
Brown soda bread

Brown soda bread

White loaves

White loaves

There are still some 4/5,000 people still without power a week later.

So I guess the lesson learned is we should be like the boy scouts and be prepared. How do you manage when you have a power failure?

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It is a comment we use often here in Redwood!  We need to sell the sizzle!  You know what we mean – we know that the pork and bacon we produce is good, but how do we convince the customer?  Well, by letting them experience the sizzle!

In order to do that we are always trying to dream up new approaches…. so at this point I ought to say a huge THANK YOU to Jo at Caragh Nurseries for agreeing so readily when I approached her with one of my wine induced brain waves!

Jo and her husband, Ian, run Caragh Nurseries just outside Naas.  And my idea was simple really – they have the space, we have the pork, we have friends Caroline and Liam from A Room Outside who have the Big Green Eggs.  The three of us get together and ‘share the sizzle’!

Consultations started – we had to make sure not to clash with any rugby dates – and a date was set – 25th March “with a bit of luck the weather might have settled by then’.

Who would have believed how glorious a day it would be?

The sun beamed down on us!  The glasshouses were just too hot to be in!  I got sunburnt!

Getting the bbq's going.

Unpacking the cars, getting the Eggs set up and lit…. a bit of chaos before the calm.

Group chatting around Big Green Egg

Chatting and sharing the sizzle and fun of the Big Green Egg.

Dog with bone

Jo’s dog, Max, became our new best friend!  He waited patiently for that bone which he duly took away to hide somewhere!

sausage roll on bbq

A different take on a sausage roll!  Everyone loved the sausages tho!

Jo hiding behind counter

Jo – hiding behind the counter of their amazing ‘train carriage’ coffee shop!

The Coffee Shop

Crowds at other stalls

The people came and enjoyed the sunshine and the stalls.

Lots of plants

I admired the colour of Jo’s pots…. they are to match their logo!  Don’t you love the colours?

Pink watering can

I was completely jealous of Jo’s watering can…. I definitely need one of these!  My green ones are very very boring!

Dolphins on sticks

As the embers were dying down on the Big Green Egg – Liam was doing a roaring trade in toasting marshmallow dolphins! 🙂

Thanks again to Jo and Ian at Caragh Nurseries.  To Caroline and Liam from A Room Outside who travelled with their Big Green Eggs from Limerick.

Thank yous to all who came along.

And thank you to all the other lovely stall holders we met yesterday.

Together it all worked to make it a lovely day!

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