May 2014

Smoked mackerel

Back when we were kids (there we six of us), we often holidayed in the village of Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. We all have happy memories of those summers, of playing on the deserted beach at Kiladoon, of visits to the metropolis of Westport (pop 5,500) and happy days spent spinning for mackerel from the pier at Lettereeragh, where the Bundoragha River enters the grandly named Killary Fjord. Our earliest trips to the pier bore no fruit (or mackerel for that matter). My father took heart from a local who told him “Hold your time. There are days when the water does be stiff with them. Sure, you could walk on their backs from here to Lenane.”, a distance of about 10 kilometres.

FlapjacksIn what can only be a vain effort to stave off the inevitable decrepitude that is staring me in my middle-aged face, I do my best to stay reasonably fit. I love to get out on my bike and lose the pounds, while searching for my long-lost youth, up in the wild Wicklow Mountains. One of my cycling partners is Rodrigo, a Portuguese photographer and videographer. We have kept at the cycling through the winter and are in reasonable shape for the various sportives over the summer cycling season.

My problem is that Rodrigo’s reasonable shape and mine are fifteen years apart. The other issue is one of size. I am a small fella akin to a leprechaun while he is a pretty powerful, big man. In cycling terms, this translates into my having the best of it when climbing the hills. He has the best of it on the flat or downhill. 

Chicken and pancetta pie (16 of 18) My blog has got incredibly popular of late. This is a good thing, right? Sadly, no. Very wrong. It’s not my regular visitors and friends at all points in the free and not so free world that have me exercised. It’s those hard-hearted, vexatious, spotty people who spend their time spamming my virtual home here on WordPress. I checked today and have 475 spam comments in the darned efficient spam catcher used by WP. That means that of the time I spend here on the Internet, more of it is spent clearing out the dross and less is spent on the stuff you are here to see.

Fruit Stuffed Pork Steak (19 of 20)

No, I have not become a vegetarian or a vegan or anything else beginning with ‘v’. No, my instincts about stuffed pork steak was honed and formed many years ago. Back in the day, pork steaks were stuffed with breadcrumbs, parsley and some scant seasoning. They would then be cremated “…to be sure the meat is cooked”. Dry pork steak stuffed with even dryer breadcrumbs makes me think of eating a piece of wet leather retrieved from a sawmill floor. Not that I have ever done such a thing. Though, I think you get my drift….

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