It might snow

On Christmas Eve our neighbour said he thought it might snow . It was late. We had all been visiting neighbourhood friends.  A teetotaler, he was giving us a lift home. The kids were drowsy in the back seats of his car, their excitement sated by good food and the effort of good behaviour. He said, “I think it will snow.” in his soft, roundy, cheery voice. “Really?” I said brightly.

Later I realised he had said it for their benefit, to squeeze another smidge of excitement out of the day. But it was I who believed him, eyes wide, mind tingling with thoughts of a world writ new and fresh and crystal clear with his idea of snow.

Synecdochal snow.

Tuesday Tune: I can’t get the S.O.B. out of my head

This tune has totally earwigged me and so I’m going to give in and post this live version as my Tuesday Tune this week! It features a trumpet player and here on The Park we are always looking for trumpet inspiration for Nipper 1.0. Actually I have another for next week all ready to go.

I love this track, S.O.B., from Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats and this live version from Later with Jools last week is kicking. Having heard that name I have decided that Abigail is really going to have to come up with a name for her band 🙂

A menu that should have been on holidays :(

Camping was fun.

I haven’t written up a weekly menu in ages. I got bored doing it and wondered if you all got bored reading them? (Comments below!) However I also started using a new app to write my weekly menus which made it difficult to copy and paste as I previously did. I am totally in love with this app, AnyList, and it has saved time and trouble a-plenty in our gaff. I have tried numerous grocery/ meal planning apps and this is the only one that has worked well for this household. The app is called AnyList and I’m sorry to report Androids that it is only available for iOS.

These are the reasons I love it:

  1. Both of the adults in our household can see shared lists, add to them and striking things off. Fingers crossed they will bring out an Android app soon so we can include younger family members in the listmaking fun.
  2. Also works beautifully on the iPad. And importantly for my battered old iPad, works really well without Wifi.
  3. In a recent-ish update the ability to import or add recipes and organise them into a weekly calendar was added. This has made this app indispensable to me.
  4. You can then scroll through the ingredients, marking which ones you want to add to your grocery list.
  5. It then goes out and does the shopping for you.

Guess which of those reasons is total wishful thinking? Sigh.

Camping was fun.

So just over a week ago I posted my recipe for Campfire Cones. They didn’t get much of a look in on our holiday which we should still be enjoying. Thanks to the torrential rain in the North West of Ireland, we gave up and came home last Friday. We have one nice day on Keem Beach in Achill which is truly one of the most lovely beaches in Ireland. There are many lovely beaches in Ireland; it’s only a pity there aren’t as many lovely days…

So we are home and trying to maintain the holiday vibe. We’ve had family staying with us for the last couple of days which helped keep up the pretence and the fun factor. A trip to the market in Bushy Park on a fine sunny afternoon helped a lot. I would recommend a wander up there some Saturday: I had a most excellent coffee from the Saltpeter Coffee Truck, I shared a pizza with Nipper 2.0 and 3.0 and Nipper 1.0 and cousins had delicious burgers. There was also a Twink sighting but we were all too shy to talk to her. My sister in law also bought some Brie from the Little Milk Company which I am looking forward to trying out.

One meal taken care of, then I shopped for the following with the much appreciated help of my sister in law – I wish I could have a sister in law along to relieve the boredom of every shop.

I suppose one advantage to being at home is that we could go all out on recipes for holidays, no more one-pot wonders on the Trangia! However we knew we were going to get out and about so we needed some dishes that would be easy to put together. The only new one on the menu is the Chipotle Bean Chilli and it went down a treat with all.

  • Baked Sausages in a Spicy Tomato Sauce from Nessa’s Family Kitchen by Nessa Robbins. This is a great recipe when having a family  with small kids to visit: there is something for everyone in it. Keep your eyes peeled for Nessa’s book – it’s a good family all rounder with some added home nurse tips.
  • Chicken Tikka from, spices by Green Saffron (highly recommended). Chicken curry when our French family are visiting has become a bit of a running joke. We accidentally served it to them two visits in a row, only realising when we got a strong sense of deja vu when someone objected to a particular aspect of the meal. As we had them for two meals this time we served this up for old time’s sake.
  • Chipotle Bean Chilli with Baked Eggs. This was added to the menu so I could have a go of my new chipotle paste which I picked up from Picado Mexican on South Richmond St. here in Dublin. I’ve been eyeing this shop up for some time, but always from the bus or car so I snatched a moment to pop in (when I was buying Tilda Basmati rice in bulk in a nearby Asian market!) I have since been adding the paste to lots of different sauces – it is delicious. I also picked up a pack of these corn tortillas which had a great flavour and the novelty of their smallness was appreciated by the kids.
  • 25 Minute Cod with Lentils This looks a little disconcerting but tastes AMAZING because, well, bacon.
  • Spaghetti Bolognese by Rachel Allen. I have started making this half and half beef and pork mince as per an option in her recipe. Not only is it more cost effective it adds an extra dimension to the flavour.
  • Pizza Friday!

Run, Rosie, Run!

This is what me + 5 miles looks like.

I’m running in the Dublin Mini Marathon on Monday 1st June. It’s a 10 kilometre race. I hope you will be able to sponsor me and support Arc Cancer Support Services.

I wouldn’t quite say I’ve got the running bug. Unlike a friend of mine I don’t look forward to my run every (second) day. I’m always glad when I’ve done it and building up to 10 kilometres (again!) over the last three months have given me a real sense of achievement. And a waist!

When I started running again (about a week before a significant birthday – analyse that!) I decided I was aiming for the mini-marathon. It’s finally nearly here and it will actually be my second race! To get in the mood (!) I took part in the Terenure 5 Mile. I would highly recommend this race to anyone starting or improving. It’s a nice flat race with a dedicated lane. There were very few walkers who were instructed to walk on the pavement as the runners passed them by. It kicked off at 11am, far enough from breakfast but not after lunch (hello Mini-marathon organisers: 2pm?)

This is what me + 5 miles looks like.
This is what me + 5 miles looks like.

Doing this race gave me a real sense of achievement and a strong idea of how I might hope to do over 10km. It was my first time running with other people and also with an audience. I didn’t really notice much except for a few incidences. There was a couple of folk rooting for us at the top of the (very slight) hill and they really spurred me on. I overheard a pedestrian saying to her companion, “God it’d really make you want to head to the pub for a pint.” Then a young kid near the end, standing outside his house, shouting, “I’ve got a Wispa for you!” cracked me up.

The only slight disappointment was that I wasn’t able to use my time (ahem 47min39sec) for the mini-marathon because it was 3 days after their closing date for qualifying times. I wonder will I manage it in under 75 minutes and make the fast joggers category…?

It’s amazing the hooks that keep you going when you are pushing yourself like this. I’m running the mini-marathon in aid of Arc Cancer Support Centre. You can sponsor me via I know that thinking about all those donations and the work that Arc do is going to give me a massive push on the day. Thinking about the people it will benefit, two friends in particular, will keep my feet flying. Thinking about their positivity in the face of uncertainty will get me over that finish line.

I used the Run10k App to get me this far and highly recommend if you are starting from scratch.

Next plan is to start going to the Tymon Park Run and improving my speed. I will use a training programme from RunKeeper to help me do this. Nipper 1.0 says he is going to start training with me over the summer. This would be great!