Friday, December 30, 2005

Christmas at the P

We cooked for twenty four hours and it was gone in twenty four minutes! Christmas 2005 was had and enjoyed by all at 18 Pyrland Road, watched over by the birthday boy himself, Purple Jesus Christ.

More than 20 sat round the festive table. Expert direction and stove slaving by Katie, with remarkable assistance (and superb gravy) by Jared, Kiwi extroardinaire. Ivan dropped in from New South Wales, something about not being able to drink real ale in forty degree heat. Anyhow, grand times and early mornings were had. There's some photos from my camera here, Simon has posted a gallery on his site here, and Ben & Karen have posted some here @ Teamaskins.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Once was Leatherwood

Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey is the only food product I have seen on Supermarket shelves in the UK that uses an Australian state's name as a sales tool. Go to Sainsbury's supermarket site (the Woolworth's of the UK) and type TASMANIAN into the search bar. Try that with any other state. Closest is one bottle of South Australian red wine (yes, you can buy booze at the supermarket over here, and, since last week, the pubs don't shut at eleven anymore!) Further evidence of the strength of the Tasmania brand as an accepted byword for clean, pristine, unadulterated, etc.

What a shame the Tasmanian Government and their woodchipping cronies are doing all in their power to taint, sully and otherwise invalidate that priceless reputation.

Read how the industry is being decimated on the Tasmanian Times website.

Also, there's some coverage on the ABC site.

Ray Direen, a former Leatherwood beekeeper, at the Bennett Road coupe.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A trip to Eire, in particular Kerry & Clare

Katie and I just got back from five days and 500 miles tripping around Counties Kerry and Clare in Ireland. As expected, beautiful country, friendly people, top pubs and extremely variable weather. We stayed in bed and breakfasts, which were all quite OK. Seems there is a bit of a pricing cartel going on, with every place charging €35 a head, no exceptions. Breakfasts were of a reasonably decent standard apart from plastic sausages and NO BLACK PUDDING (which reminds me, I might have some for dinner).

Highlights included the Gap of Dunloe, on the edge of Killarney National Park, Denis the Dingle Cabbie's tour of Slea Head and Tom Frawley's pub in Lahnich. He reckoned he was 88, and had been serving behind the same bar since he started helping his mum in 1922 or so!

Food highlights:
  • Great steak in Killarney at d'Esse (owned by the local butcher)
  • Best seafood chowder was at John Benny Moriarty in Dingle
Anyhow, Ireland's great. Go there. Look at our pictures first though!