Some of the growing from Bantry Market

Last year on the last Friday we were in Ahakista we went, as usual, to Bantry Market. There I bought some veg plants to plant in the garden. I bought them without much anticipation of success and they included a sole artichoke plant and some leek seedlings.

I was particularly pessimistic about the artichoke. I have tried to grow them before and they have always died within six months. This time I chose a different spot in the garden to plant it in with more sun and less surrounded by other plants. It has been a success and last night we ate the largest globe that has been sat proud at its top for the last few weeks.

It is fair to say there is not much to the heart of an artichoke. I had it with a few others (somewhat bigger) that I had picked from the grocers. The leaves came off easily once they had cooked in boiling water for twenty minutes. But having pulled all the leaves off there was only a small heart left to eat. No matter – it tasted of artichoke.

We had it with lamb kebabs that had been marinating in a good mixture of oil, vinegar and paprika and a bulgar wheat salad.

Earlier in the day I finished off the leeks. It transpires that if you leave a leek in the ground for too long it goes woody. Those I pulled from the ground were too hard for anything else but soup. So we had a leek and potato soup for lunch.

A sea trout

We have been feeding friends over the weekend and the there was a need for something dramatic. So when I saw a whole sea-trout on the slab at Wards it was difficult to resist.

We had it with potatoes with olive oil and three salads; a hot smoked vegetables salad, a fattoush and then a plate of salas from the garden with flowers.


Road testing some Ukrainian food

There has been an Ukrainian cookbook in the kitchen for the last couple of months. It has been much admired, particularly for the pictures of powerfully armed ladies kneading bread, but it has not had a workout yet.

That changed last night when I followed one of the recipes for a marinade for chicken on the BBQ.

The marinade was made by putting through a food processor 5 good tablespoons of yogurt, two tablespoons of clear honey, a handful each of parsley and coriander with plenty of salt and pepper and a dash of hot chilli sauce. The resulting bright green slush was spread over chicken and left for a few hours to stew.

The chicken then went on the hot BBQ whilst I cooked buttery, crunchy rice and picked salad from the garden.

We ate it listening to what can only be best described as Turkish taxi driver music and thinking about cottages for sale on The Sheep’s Head.


The sun made it out today and for a while there were red faces to be had in the garden.

Fortunately I had stated early with the chicken – covering it with a slurry of lemon, olive oil, garlic & herbs.

It is now early evening and the sun is still high but here whatever it has to give out is lost behind a mix of of high trees and houses.

There is talk of moving elsewhere. In a lot of ways I don’t care where I move so long as I can have the evening sun on my face.