Sunday, June 26, 2011

One week to go!

A week left of my self-inflicted food restrictions. Its gone pretty well, overall. I had decided at the start of the month that i would be strict about about it. In that, not only would I not buy food wrapped/served in plastic or from other countries, but I wouldn't accept the cooking of others, gifts or leftovers that didn't fall under the rules. There were a few occasions where I've strayed. At a family gathering I had some apple tart and a bottle of Sam Adams, I got a Guinness at a gig which was served in a plastic cup (plus, apparently it's not entirely suitable for vegetarians, as its treated with fining from fish bladders), and I think there was another occassion of someone giving me food, but i can't remember. But yes, I think that's been the most annoying thing. It is a little ridiculous and potentially wasteful when there's food being offered or even cooked and asking "was it in a plastic bag"? But I wanted to make the rule as otherwise I'd be making all kinds of excuses and avoiding any sort of challenge. Not that its been about a "challenge". I've never been one for that kind of thing. But more a case of trying to force myself into situations where I have to learn something, to alter some aspect of my behaviour.

The gig mentioned was Laura Marling in Vicar St. I've seen her live several times and she's always completely captivating. Very minimal performance, and songs that lie heavily in traditional styles but I personally find her one of the most gifted and earnest singers around at the minute. As fond as I am of the more experimental/alternative end of the music spectrum, give me a good strong singer and i'm sold.

Monaghan is host to the International Blacksmith Festival this weekend. Three canopied areas with master blacksmiths from around the world, demonstrating, teaching and lecturing on the trade. I had a wander round yesterday, quite envious at the idea of being a master at such a disciplined traditional craft, one of those arts that belongs to another time. It was lovely to walk around with this ringing and clanging sounding off around the town. The market was one as well, so picked up some local veg too.

I made a tasty cauliflower and potato bake, topped with sheeps cheese. Its been serving me as dinner the past few days.

I've also advanced from lazy apple crumbles to full on apple and red berry pies and tarts. I now know how to make pastry. Not that much difference from how you make dough. Oh yes, and I made my own coffee out of roasted ground dandelion roots. It took me 6 hours of digging, scrubbing, chopping, grinding, roasting, but was worth it. Tastes pretty good, differs little from regular coffee, not as bitter or strong a taste. I only had a handful of roots (about a tenth of what your supposed to use) but it still made enough (with rationing) to do me over a week. Next time I'll make more and take photos and go through the process.

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