31 Jan

What To Do With A Crate of Bananas

Did I ever tell you the story of the crate of bananas? Well actually it was two crates of bananas, but what’s a couple of hundred ripe bananas between friends, eh?

Trips to the slaughterhouse happen twice a year, and they are normally 3 days apart. In Ireland the slaughterhouse can have a food market to one side where some meat and other produce is sold on the premises. It’s often sold at wholesale prices. This is where we get our beef in bulk; it’s all in large cuts. I break the large cuts of beef down and fill the freezer. We rarely buy minced beef anymore, I simply take a piece out of the freezer and chop it on demand.

Anyway, on this particular day my husband spotted a crate of bananas. They were practically all black. Read More

21 Jan

Just One Seed

We walked to the allotment with heavy feet this week. It was neglected because we had neglected it. Life got in the way, which is ironic really considering how much life is entwined within the plot. Our lives, our material stuff, we allowed them to get in the way. Read More

05 Jan

What Happens From Here?

I’m starting 2017 in a state of flux because so much is up in the air. What happens from here? How will we manage our mortgage/bills and what are my plans for the future?

It’s a question I’ve been asked quite a bit over the past few weeks or so, since we finally got our letter and confirmation from Ulster Bank that we were indeed on the wrong interest rate for about the last 6+ years. We have been wrongly charged, we know that we ended up in arrears, needlessly for a substantial part of them. Read More

22 Dec

The Solstice Brought Hope

Wednesday morning, long, LONG, before the dawn, I tweeted a message about the days getting longer and that the Solstice brought hope. I’ve not been sleeping very well, the stress of everything has been taking its toll. Later on that day as I waited for the letterbox to click, just as I have done everyday since the CEO of Ulster Bank made that promise at the Oireachtas Finance Committee, I felt that hope wane.

The letterbox didn’t click at the usual time and the day got longer. Still no sign of the postman. I sent out a message to the neighbours asking had the postman been yet. Yes, he had, but with nothing for me. Read More

12 Dec

A Sort Of Minimal Christmas

Just to warn you this isn’t a big pontificating blog about how you shouldn’t buy stuff for Christmas for your kids, or how my family is better than yours. Of course I’m going to think my family is awesomely flawed (like every other family) but I’m biased. 😉

I am one of the biggest Christmas nuts there are out there. I plan for the next Christmas from St Stephen’s Day, I start saving from 1st January; basically I blooming love Christmas. I love the lights, the family time, the music, the telly, the children’s awe and wonder. It’s blinking brilliant (not just the lights).

There are a few things that we do over the month of November/December though to make for minimal Christmas stress, in particular for the kids, but it’s a side benefit that the parents do well out of it too. Read More

05 Dec

Banking On Christmas Stress

It’s not the lack of money for groceries that gets me in the end because I don’t notice the difference. It’s the stress; the feeling of tightness in my chest when I think about the bills, the weird anxiety when I consider getting the car past the NCT, and the massive gulp when we pay the mortgage every month. Then absolute screaming frustration when another niggly thing crops up that we have to pay for, that I have to fit into the budget. Somedays I feel like I’m wandering around in an empty house, in an empty town, in an empty country, with nobody to talk to about how it feels to be constantly worried about money. Read More

24 Nov

Homemade Takeaway

The trick to making your chicken dippers taste like dynamite is to use a very small amount of salt and pepper at each stage of the process. Once you master the breadcrumbs there’s very little else to do and serving up this homemade takeaway is a doddle. Read More

20 Nov

Slow Blogging Changed My Life And My Top Tips

It seems so throwaway to say ‘Slow Blogging Changed My Life’ but actually it’s the truth (more on that later). Here are my top tips to becoming a slow blogger, although I’d hazard a guess that many bloggers already do this without actually realising it. Read More

14 Nov

Slow Cooker Beef Curry Recipe

I flipping love my slow cooker, and this beef curry recipe is the kind of thing that reminds me how easy it is to cook plenty of different meals for the family each week!

The last thing I want to do is to spend a busy day slaving in the kitchen to cook up something healthy and tasty for the kids. That’s why I make the most of my slow cooker at least twice a week. A slow cooker is such a handy gadget to have in your kitchen, and they use up the same energy as a light bulb. It’s the ultimate money-saving, time-saving way to make a dinner that the whole family will love. If you’re worried about leaving the slow cooker on when you leave the house, invest in a timer plug attachment. Read More

10 Nov

Opinion: Unconscious Bias in Irish Food

Everybody has to eat. Breaking bread together, sitting down to eat at a table, it is where I believe community begins. It’s a fundamental part of what makes us human.

As I grow food, prepare meals, and eat them with my family, I’m reminded that this is a process that has been going on for millenia. Growing, preparing, cooking, and eating.

In our society, as in most societies, 71% of families report that the task of meal preparation is carried out by women in Ireland.* In fact in the majority, women make grocery decisions, prepare the food, then serve it up to the family for everyone to enjoy. I’m not saying that this is the way it should be, but it is how it is. Yes, my husband is more than capable of doing all these things, but no, he doesn’t down to the division of labour within our family. He goes out of the home to work, I work from home, and so this cycle of being a homemaker (and work at home mother) continues with us both being willing partners. Read More

07 Nov

One Pan No Bake Granola With Manuka Honey #Ad

As you might know, we keep bees and harvest our own raw honey. Rowse Honey recently contacted me to see would I like to try out their range of Manuka Honeys and come up with a breakfast recipe for them.

When we’ve used up our own raw honey though (yes it happens *cry*) getting our hands on a stash of other local raw honey can be difficult. Raw honey is great for your health and immune system, and the added peripheral benefit that the bees are wonderful pollinators for our homegrown fruits and vegetables.  Read More

28 Oct

Dehydrator 101

This is not a recipe, because frankly dehydrating fruit doesn’t really require recipe instructions. Instead I thought I’d give you an idea of what it’s like to have a dehydrator in the house along with a little bit of information that you might want to consider before buying one. Read More

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