I had laid my hands on a nice piece of smoked salmon. That is, I had fallen victim of subtle retailing tactics. I am a sucker when it comes to buying good food. “Something around one and a half kilos?” Lisa, she of George’s Fish Shop, had suggested to me. Not wanting to look mean or less than masculine, I of course, accented.
So went the cry from youngest daughter as I carved the cod’s roe. Opinions are divided. Lisa in George’s Fish Shop had encouraged me to buy and try. The gentleman beside me suggested (in a deep Dublin accent) “Boil it with a splash of vinegar. Have it with a mug of tea. Gorgeous.” Graham, Lisa’s brother and a more refined individual suggested “Boil it with lemon juice.” Both daughters were with me and refused to allow me buy the cod’s roe.
It’s early, very early on an ice-cold morning. Temperatures are just above freezing. My legs are aching, my throat is rasping and my lungs are burning from the effort as I grind out another few meters. I stand out of the saddle. Press left, press right. The wind cuts across the road and freezes my hands to the bars.
The annual mortification of us Irish takes place on 17th March, St. Patrick’s Day. As a nation, the embarrassment is largely self-inflicted. A number of other nations humour us by shining a green light on their best known landmarks thus promoting both the quaint Irish and their own tourism economy at the same time.
The better part of the ingredients. A good bag-full of fresh Dublin Bay Prawns
It seems like every day somebody asks me “How do you make prawn stock, Conor?” or “I was thinking of making some prawn stock, how would you do it?” Given that I am a pretty average type of guy, I know that you too must be harassed on a regular basis with prawn stock conundrums. So I am going to tell you how to do it.
“God, Conor you’re very funny. I was reading that post you did about, what was it? last night. How do you come up with your ideas for the blog. It’s about food isn’t it? That one last week, what was it? God, it was so funny. How do you think of the things you say, like, eh, eh, eh. What was it about again? You know the one you did. It was so funny… God, yeah, etc. etc. etc ad nauseam.”
As you look forward into another new year full of promise, you want your life to be simpler, less pressured and healthier. You are thinking about joining (or rejoining) the gym. You have resolved to eat healthier, to exercise more and to get up earlier in the day. It’s time you looked at your alcohol consumption too. Not that it is too high. It’s just average amongst the people (drunks) you know. If you are a smoker, you are going to give up the evil weed as soon as you go to bed in the early hours of January 1st. You know you are going to do all these things because it’s a new year approaching and a time for renewal. A time for hope. A time to make a list of promises to yourself…
When I brought up the serious topic of ploughed potato fields versus potato mountains on Shepherds Pie, I thought I had put all the arguments to bed. There were some feeble-minded individuals who suggested that I might have been wrong about the ploughed fields. I will deal with them another time. Flori over at Flori Cooks had the effrontery to suggest that the mountains on a Fish Pie should be replaced with waves. “WAVES?” I thought. Where does she get off telling me how to do my fish pie?
I dedicate this post to innovation. Our advertising business is now a broad communications company because we have been innovating like mad over the last few years. If we hadn’t, it would have gone the way of hot metal (I am long enough at it to remember the compositors in the Irish Times, Irish Press and Irish Independent newspapers outputting the lines of type from molten lead on huge noisy typewriter like machines.). Those skilled craftsmen are now a part of publishing folklore as will be the UX Specialists of today (User Experience to ye outside the know). It’s all about change management and innovation. This is an excellent thing because it keeps us mentally agile, interested and hopefully, interesting.