Posts Tagged ‘Greenside Up’


This is for the brave-hearted among you!!!!

I’ve put the finished product photograph first…. so be warned!  I had someone here for dinner the other night who wouldn’t eat prawns ‘cos they have eyes’!  Same person eats all other fish and meat – but I guess they mustn’t have eyes???

I am not particularly fond of brawn.  I have these memories of my parents making brawn when we were kids.  It did seem to take an age to make it, and the resultant texture, rather than taste, was not something I liked.

Alfie has made brawn here on occasion, and it has been quite nice.  However as I am not hugely fond of it, it seems a waste making it for just 2 of us.



Dee over at GreensideUp has kindly passed on her friend, Elaine’s recipe for me to share with you.

Firstly make your brine:

  •  1 x pigs head
  • 12 litres water
  • 3 kg salt
  • Bay leaves, coriander seeds, allspice, peppercorns etc
  • 1 cup sugar

Cut off ears, shave bristle.  Place into the prepared brine for 24 hours.


Next day : rinse, wash and scrub.

See he was a happy choppy

See he was a happy choppy

Place in a large pot with 3 leeks, 2 carrots, 3 celery, 2 onions and a bulb of garlic, bunch thyme, parsley, zest 2 lemons, 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar, black pepper and a bouquet garni made up with 2 tsp coriander  seeds, 2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp allspice whole, 1 tsp cloves whole, 3 blades mace.

Cook for 4-5 hours at simmer.

Pick meat from bones, strain stick, place meat in loaf tin, add stock to cover (Elaine added a sheet of gelatine just in case). Weight it down (baked bean tins will do nicely).


Refrigerate for 12 hours, slice and serve.

Keeps for 2 weeks in fridge.

I reckon if someone just told me it was a pork terrine I’d be much more amenable to it.

Have you tried it?

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This recipe is such a part of our ‘regulars’ here in Redwood, that I never even considered sharing it with you!  That is until Dee from Greenside Up was over and we served this salad with pulled pork.  Dee loved it and asked if it was up on the blog…. and I realised it wasn’t.

And then when Mona and Ron from WiseWords were here…. they said the same…. share!

Talk about what’s right under your nose!  We would probably have this salad once or twice a month.  And I never thought of sharing.  Woops.  🙂

Rice Salad

It is perfect with so many things…. barbecued chicken, pork, ribs, duck…. anything at all.

It has been adapted from a very old series of cookery magazines I used to buy.


  • 2 oranges.
  • Vegetable stock – amount will be explained in a moment!
  • 8 oz basmati rice
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • 50 g/2 oz dried apricots
  • 50 g/2 oz toasted nuts – whatever your preference is.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • Parlsey.


Peel one of the oranges and cut the strips into very fine shreds.  Squeeze the juice from both oranges and top up with vegetable stock to bring it to 500 ml/17 fl oz.

Put the rice, orange juice mixture and cinnamon stick into saucepan.  Bring to the boil.  Stir.  Then cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and leave to stand for about 10 minutes to absorb last of the liquid.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and keep warm.

Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and fry off the cumin seeds, stirring frequently.  Add the orange shreds, carrots, pepper, apricots, nuts and salt/pepper.  Fry for 5 minutes.

Mix the rice and vegetables together and stir in the wine vinegar.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.



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A post earlier in the week by Clare over at An American in Ireland set me thinking.  Clare was commenting on how the food blogging community in Ireland has blossomed over the past 3 years.  There have been so so many achievements by so many.  And how true that is.  However, it also struck me how bad we, Irish, are at praising each other.

We need to learn from our American cousins!

So here is my tribute to the Irish blogging scene.

As I wrote recently this blog was three years old on 14th October and we had a very happy birthday present indeed, nothing could beat winning the Best Lifestyle Blog Award!   Over the last three years I’ve met some lovely people via the blog, twitter and facebook…. some of whom have become what I reckon will be lifelong friends.  There really are some great people involved in the Irish blogging scene.

I volunteered to help collate the nominations in the recent Blog Awards Ireland.  Not too tasking a job really, just putting nominations into a spreadsheet…. but….. when you’re over a third of the way through and something happens to the memory stick and you loose everything you’ve entered!  Well there were rude words and lots of frustrated curses at the computer.   So it was back to the start!

And this is where those lovely blogging people came to my aid!  Thank you to Wendy over at My Chef At Home who had finished her entries so she came to my assistance, and between Wendy and help from my neighbour I got the list finished in time for the deadline.

However, I have to tell you one of the biggest distractions when collating all those blogs was having to have the discipline not to go and have a sneak look see.

Gosh, there are some brilliant blogs!  I want to share with you some great blogs I’ve come across.  Some are new to me and some I’ve been following for a while.  Some bloggers I’ve met, others I am looking forward to meeting someday.

We are a land of dreamers, writers and beautiful imagery…. most definitely a nation of Saints & Scholars!

The view from Cork Screw Hill

The view from Cork Screw Hill

For photography that will make you so hungry just looking at the images, it is no wonder they are regularly featured on the big food photography site Foodgawker.  Check out these three ladies… how they produce such amazing photos, considering that they lead busy lives with small children about!

Well done ladies…. I envy your patience to style the photographs so beautifully!

This next blog, is just truly stunning photographs of nature.  I am so envious of the photographs.  What beautiful imagery of this lovely country of ours.

For adventures in gardening and a great sharing of knowledge.  I am enjoying the fun, the recipes, and the learning with all these gardeners – some of whom I have never met.

I have been known to have the occasional rant here on this blog, so it is good to know there are others out there who like to rant too!  So here I’ll share with you a lady and gentleman who like to tell it like it is!

  • Maggie at Food Born & Bred writes so well about the way our food has, and is, evolving.
  • The curmudgeon over at Head Rambles…. who does his best to hide his soft side 🙂

So saving the best til last well done to all these ladies who have achieved so much.  You should all be so proud!

  • Colette at Cakes, Bakes and Other Bits… who got not 1 but 2 recipes printed in A Modern Irish Cookbook by Goodalls
  • Lily at A Mexican Cook in Ireland who this year has taken a stall at the Honest2Goodness market and is selling Mexican
    food on line! No excuses!
  • Lisa over at Nenagh Gal, who has just launched the most amazing on-line Isle Magazine
  • Lorna, Irish Farmerette, who despite being one of the busiest people I know, joined forces with two other great ladies and organised the Irish Blog Awards this year!
  • Mona (and Ron, aka The Chef) of WiseWords what with running a busy household, study, work and this year launched their book ‘The Chef & I’
  • Sharon of FoodFancies who despite all the talk of doom and gloom and recession – has gone for her dream and opened her own cafe

This is just a little snippet of the Irish blog scene.

I could keep going on here forever.  If I’ve missed you out, please don’t be insulted.

However, if you’d like to spread some lurve … why not tell us all about your favourite Irish blogs?

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Like almost everyone we seem to be having a major glut of courgettes (zucchini) this year.  Trying to find inventive ways to use them can become a seasonal nightmare!

I love watching what other people are doing with courgettes.  I must try this cake from Dee over at Greenside Up

I’ve made bread, soup,  and chutney for later in the year.  I’ve made salads and cooked them as accompianements for now…. but they’re not too popular that way with the other half!

So last week I tried the muffin option.  They went down a treat with visitors, especially the American ones…. but himself is still not convinced!

The cornbread idea was inspired by my old reliable book Soups by Tania George which has some lovely bread and scone recipes at the back.  I’d not tried baking using cornmeal before…. it used to be so difficult to source but now I can get it whenever I want from our friend Lily over at My Mexican Shop

Cornbread Muffin


  •  2 medium courgettes
  • 125 g cornmeal
  • 200 g spelt flour
  • 50 g Mossfield Organic cheese
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 75 g melted butter
  • 300 ml buttermilk
  • about 6 tablespoons regular milk


Mix all dry ingredients together.

Grate the courgettes and cheese into dry mixture.

Mix the melted butter, buttermilk and egg together and add to dry mixture.  Add the regular milk a tablespoon at a time until you have right consistency.  (Consistency should be almost like porridge but not quite!)  Don’t over beat, just mix gently.

Dollop into muffin tray – this amount made 18 muffins.

Bake at 180 deg. C for 30 minutes until golden.

Let me know your verdict!


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