January 28, 2011

The L&F Aftermath: alot of Rambling & Recipes!

I have brilliant excuses for being so late in posting recipes from this months Loaves&Fishes Supper! They really are great. After 'the big clean up' on Sunday morning we made a massive brunch. Ate loads and then packed up all of our worldly goods (saucepans, favourite knives, 1 chi-russell, 1 jack russell and laptop).All set for the drive home. But when we drove through the 1st toll bridge at Portlaoise smoke started billowing from the engine and a loud knocking came from the glove compartment. That's what happens when your engine overheats apparently. So I had to pull over, call the AA who insisted on calling me MRS Higgins and hope for the best.

My sister Rosie was with me too and her two dogs were, in fairness, so good! They did go ballistic when the AA man did eventually show up and they were in 'miniature dog protective mode'. So we all piled into Michaels van with the lights flashing and the car on the back of the thing.We chatted about yorkshire puddings, Brian Cowen, tourism in Portlaoise and the downturn in the construction industry. We were beeped at going through two different roundabouts as Michael was taking his time. No-one rushing this guy. We were towed to Portlaoise train station where the ticket man charged me €88 euro and told me to get on the train that pulled up at platform 2, which we did. Only to find ourselves in Limerick an hour later. Some other poor boy (James) also was told the train was headed to Cork. I kicked up a fuss.The train men said there had to have been announcements because the train is a machine?!

Anyway we ended up all 3 of us and the 2 pups getting into the train mans car. He then reversed smack bang into another car. Luckily the people we reversed into had no tax etc. and just wanted to leg it anyway. Then we all drove to Limerick Junction. The train guy revealed he was infact a SIGNAL man. And could not actually drive the train. He had to do a 3 month course in Dublin and stay in a hotel for ages to be able to signal trains(!). We talked about the pressures of being a signal man, how Dublin is different to Cork, how the fog was blinding, how sausage rolls were the best hangover cure and his dog. The dog drives him mad but he loves him really when he looks in his eyes. Then we got to an eerily quiet Limerick Junction, waited for an hour for the train and then arrived in Cork at 11.50. Not bad considering we left Dublin at 3. So anyway to cut a long story short my laptop was in my car in Portlaoise. I should have just said that at the start!

Anyway! The weekend went really well and we met some brilliant people. Here are some recipes from it :
The Root Mash served with the Maincourse is from Ottolenghi. A gorgeous recipe that I definitely will be making again. The original recipe involves amazing wine-braised shallots, yum! Great as a vegetarian maincourse or to serve with lamb chops etc.
The Beef & Chorizo Stew I found on Kristin's blog Dinnerdujour.It's a Jay Rayner recipe and I added tinned tomatoes to it and used red wine instead of ale.Gorgeous!
The Sticky Toffee Pudding is my own recipe and works out absolutely gorgeous every time:

Sticky Toffee Fruit Cakes
120g chopped,pitted dates
150g sultanas
250ml water
1 tsp. bread soda
60g butter
185g Self Raising Flour
125g demerera sugar
2 eggs

-Grease 12 muffin tins.Preheat oven to 180 C.
-Put dates, sultanas & water into a pan. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat and stir in the bread soda. It bubbles!
-Add the butter and stir until melted.
- Sift flour into a bowl, stir in sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and date mixture.
- Stir well to combine.
-Spoon into the muffin tins, fill to the top and bake for 20 mins until a skewer comes out clean.

Toffee Sauce
140g demerera sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
90g butter
185ml cream

-Put everything into a saucepan and stir over a low heat for 5 mins till sugar dissolves.
-Bring to the boil & simmer for 2 mins until reduced slightly.
To serve just pierce the warm cakes with a skewer and cover in toffee sauce, serve with lots of cold whipped cream. Beautiful!

Clare over at anamericaninireland.com did a lovely post about her night at Loaves&Fishes and she took more photos than I did (thanks Clare!). I was afraid I'd get toffee sauce on the camera!
Lilly x


  1. Wow - sorry to hear about the nightmare return journey, that was a long one! Thanks again for a lovely night - so glad you've shared the recipe for the pudds they were amazing!! The root mash was out of this world too

  2. "The dog drives him mad but he loves him really when he looks in his eyes." That's the most poignant line I ever read in a food blog. Thanks for the recipes. L x

  3. I recognise TWO of the same plates as I have on that stack. Makes me feel almost as though I'd been there. No, that's only wishful thinking (about being there, not the plates). I read Clare's account and am sad to have missed the plates and sisters.

  4. Mise! You'll have to come to one! We'll tour west to you!x
    Lisa, I know, finally some recipes!
    Thanks Lucy!

  5. Sticky toffee pudding cakes sound divine. Definitely trying that one soon! Transport/computer nightmare though! Bad job. x

  6. What a mad adventure you had!! At least you had the doggies and your sis with you, I know how eerie Limerick Junction can feel. 'The pressures of being a signal man...' LOL. I guess it's pressure for single AND signal men out there!

    Thanks again for a lovely evening, we had a blast!

  7. Oh No! Sorry to hear you had such a complicated journey home. How unfair. Surely you deserved some good karma after filling all our bellies with such yummy food :)

  8. thank you for the recipes, will be trying them all (especially the mash!!)

  9. Ha! Mad, Limerick Junction is always really eerily quite, weird! AND I didn't know you could bring dogs on trains?! This is massive news!


Let me know what you think!x