HomeArticles Posted by Conor Bofin (Page 36)

Author: Conor Bofin

We were sitting looking at the view of Scotsman’s Bay in Dun Laoghaire. “Provenance old man.” said L as we enjoyed one of those barely warm, sunny spring mornings.  “Take those apple and sage sausages you enjoy so much. What’s their provenance? You haven’t got a clue, have you?” I had to admit that I had no idea who, how or where they were made. I have faith in my butcher. L is less trusting than I and he chastised me for my naivety. I don’t like having my shortcomings, real or imaginary, exposed. So I resolved to redress the situation by preparing my own range of sausages from scratch. 

Yes, I do have a son. This my come as a surprise to some of you. It would be a surprise for the Wife if I had not come clean on the matter with her. Before I get into that, I’ll bet you know the parable of the prodigal son. I’ll also bet you that you have never referred to somebody as being “prodigal”. You have never rolled down the car window and shouted; “Ohi, You. You Prodigal. Move that heap.” Or perhaps, you ladies, behind a gloved hand, over a double frappachino laté, whispered to a friend; “She is sooooo prodigal. I don’t know how her parents put up with her.” Admit it to yourself. You probably don’t even know the exact meaning of the word.

Am I losing my touch? It was Friday. I had planned the ‘Family Dinner’ that we have pretty well every Sunday. I let the diners know that we would be having Roast Leg of Wicklow Lamb Studded With Garlic and Rosemary, served with a Wine Gravy, Parsnips, Carrots and Potatoes. This is a crowd pleaser. However, things were not to go according to plan. First to drop out was my mother. In fairness, a viral infection having led to a week in bed qualified as a half reasonable excuse. Eldest daughter and boyfriend did a double diss, preferring dinner at his over the magnificence on offer in these parts. The most crushing blow was delivered by youngest daughter, favoring some late teenage party with friends over my culinary exploits. Only the Wife remained loyal, saving me from my feelings of total rejection.

Free Range Eggs smallBack when Adam was a boy (the early 1950s) the British were encouraged to ‘Go to work on an egg’. This was a great advertising campaign built around a fantastic piece of copywriting. Having Tony Hancock in front of the camera helped a bit too.

In my business life, I have had the dubious pleasure of writing copy for various Easter advertisements featuring ‘Eggstravaganza’ in the headline. This usually followed up with ‘eggciting offers’ ‘cracking deals’ and other eggscrutiating word plays. 

Not many people know me well. I’m a pretty private kind of guy with a narrow focus of interests. Those who do know me, know that I am not big on self promotion. I rarely coddle myself with dramatic expressions of ego centric boastfulness or vulgar displays of self-congratulatory indulgence.

By writing this blog, I have allowed a certain number of you to lift a small corner of the dark shroud that envelops my being. That comfort blanket that has protected me from slights and emotional injury has been raised ever so slightly. I have been nervous about it being lifted. I have viewed each comment on my various posts with foreboding, nervous that more of my inner self will be exposed. All that was until late last week……

Rib of BeefI’m an Irishman and proud of it. I am married to an English lady. These are both good things on a number of levels: She has put up with me for over 20 years. We have two mostly wonderful daughters. Because of her origins, I can get away with stuff others can not. I can talk in slightly derogatory and jocular tones about ‘The Brits’ and excuse myself by admitting to being happily married to one.

My eldest is very competitive. Some say, too competitive. When she started her travel blog, Shallow Pockets Travel, I helped her out where I could. I learned a lot by the process. In fact, that is what prompted me to start this blog. My experience previously was restricted to our company blog.

For a time, all went along well. Eldest daughter (ED) enthused about her latest post and numbers of hits and so forth. I offered fatherly encouragement to her endeavor. Meanwhile, I quietly worked away cooking, photographing, writing and posting in my free time. All was well in our little blogosphere and in our home. Or was it?

Squid & Prawn Risotto2I had a post written and ready to go. Ready to go that is except that I needed a top quality rib joint to prepare, roast, photograph and serve to my review group (mother, wife, eldest & youngest daughters). Then all I had to do was add in the recipe bit and the photos to the meat of my writing, as it were. They were looking forward to something special. They are a loving bunch but to my personal chagrin they have got used to getting their own way on the food front…

I want you to imagine my youngest daughter. She is an innocent thing who likes small animals and fluffy things. She loves Disney cartoons. One of her favourites is Bambi. She finds the various scenes of innocence touching. When she watches it, she will be heard to say things like “Ahhh, so pretty.” and “Ohhhh, aren’t the chipmunks so cute.”

I am telling you all this because I recently suggested that I cook a rabbit stew for the family. This led to the following unfortunate conversation:

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