Déanta ag Rosie: Taking pride in making

Elliblanky

A bilingual blog post so skim on through if you have no Irish as there is more for the Anglophile below. There will be a touch more Irish on this site in future as my gig with Beo.ie has fallen by the wayside due to the loss of their funding. I need somewhere to keep it going! In this post I muse on the burgeoning pride in making and on how the Internet allows us to take pride and share the creative process.

Bhí mé ag súil nach mbeadh anseo ach blagmhír scioptha faoi rudaí a chríochnaigh mé le déanaí. Ach tá mé díreach tagtha ar ais ó pháirt a ghlacadh ar an gclár cainte Róisín ar TG4 agus cuir an ábhar cainte ag smaoineamh mé. Ní bhíonn am a dhóthain ar teilifís nó ar raidió ceisteanna móra an lae a phlé in iomlán. Nílim ag cur an milleán ar an dteilifís ach sin mar atá an foirmeád. Is iomaí uair a shéan mé ábhar dom’ phíosa ar Splanc Newstalk toisc go raibh sé ró-chasta nó fealsúnach in ionad ceann le níos mó siamsaíocht ag baint leis.

Mar sin is ar éigean go raibh an triúir againn ar an gclár abalta leath den mhéad a bhí againn le rá a chlúdach ar an gcéad clár den tsraith úr. I ndáiríre is dócha go raibh an triúir againn ar an leathanach céanna faoi síneadh scileanna tís ó ghlúin go glúin. Tá ghá leis agus gheobhaidh roinnt páistí na scileanna sa bhaile, roinnt ar scoil agus roinnt ó leabhair agus ar ndóigh ón Idirlíon mar a dúirt mé ar an gclár. I ndáiríre is meascán de na foinsí a mbeidh i gceist: d’fhoghlaim mise conas crochet ó leabhar agus ansin thug aintín liom nodanna breise dom. D’fhoghlaim mé conas fúáil ó mo mháthair agus anois faighim nodanna breise ó leabhair nó blaganna pearsanta.

“A woman’s work is never done.

Maybe that’s why they are paid less.”

– Seán Lock, comedian.

I laughed when I heard Lock throwing out this one-liner in a repeat of an ancient Live at the Apollo that he was hosting. Yes, I know some might take offence at this but I see it more along the lines of so-funny-because-it’s-true. I got to thinking about finding worth in the unpaid work of making a home, be it for yourself, your and a partner or for a family whatever shape that might take. If this work is unpaid how else can it be given value? Kudos, appreciation, applause, feedback can go a long way to making a person feel like they have acheived something. This doesn’t even have to come from outside: I’ve noticed online a few folk talking about journals where they plan what they hope to achieve each week, month, year and then review accordingly. Patting yourself on the back isn’t only physically difficult, yoga babes excepted.

Ach an rud a rith liom is mé ag teacht abhaile ná gur tháinig meath ar luach na scileanna seo mar ní raibh aon stádas ag baint leo i sochaí caiptlíoch. Ní raibh aon brabus i mbacáil cáca nó dearnáil poll i ngeansaí. Fiú ba chur amú ama a leithéid nuair a bhítear inann cáca i measc na ceadta a cheannach sa siopa nó nuair a bhí sé níos saoire geansaí nua a cheannach.

Ach píosa ar píosa, le leathnú an Idirlíne, tá athrú ag tarlúint. Dar liom is athrú tábhachtach é i sochaí. Tá borradh mór tagtha ar an mbród a léiríonn déantóirí as an obair atá á dhéanamh acu. Don chuid is mó is obair gan phá atá i gceist: caitheamh aimsire nó obair tí. Tugann lucht na fógraíochta “mummy bloggers” ar roinnt dóibh, i mbealach dímheasúil, “makers” ar chuid eile dóibh. Aithnítear, i réimse na fógraíochta, go bhfuil cumhacht ar leith ag baint leis na mummy bloggers: nuair a mholann na blagadóirí is ráthúla ina measc tairge ar leith, bíonn tóir air. Ach rud a rith liom ná go bhfuil níos mó i gceist anseo ná mioneolas don earnáil fógraíochta. Tá neart de na blagadóirí seo atá ag séanadh fógraíocht nó formhuiniú tairge. Cinnte, b’fhéidir go bhfuil siad ag iarraidh a dtairgí féin a chur chun cinn ach táthar ann nach bhfuil “agenda” ar bith acu seachas eolas a roinnt.

Ach sé mo thuairim féin ná go bhfuil snáithe amháin fite fuaite tríd na suíomhanna seo ar fad. Is é sin an bród. Nílim ag caint ar mórtas ná ar mórchúiseacht ach an píosín beag bród a bhraitheann tú ionat féin nuair atá rud curtha i gcrích agat agus jab maith déanta agat. Bhraithim sin óna blagadóirí seo mar tá siad sásta, don chuid is mó, a sprioc, a gníomh agus an toradh a roinnt linn. Muna roinneoidh ach an toradh ní bheadh deas againne, na léitheoirí, an saibhreas céanna a chur lenár saol féin.

Lena chois sin seo cúpla rud a chur mé féin i gcrích thar an tsamhraidh. Gheobhaidh sibh naisc chuig na hoideas is na patrún fite tríd, ó blagadóirí is gnólachtaí beaga a bhí bródúil as a gcuid oibre agus sásta ligint dúinn ar fad cuid den bród céanna a bhraith.


 

Nuair a bhí mé níos óige ba mhinic a rinne mé éadaí dom féin, go háirithe fá choinne ócáidí speisialta. Táim beag agus cé go glacaim leis le gnáth éadaí laethúla b’fhearr i bhfad liom go luífeadh gúna liom d’ocáid speisialta. Mar sin rinne mé (le cabhair agus treoir mo mháthair foighdeach) mo ghúna féin do mo “Debs”, don Trinity Ball ach faraor ní raibh an muinín agam mo ghúna bainise féin a dhéanamh. Is dócha go ndéarfadh mo mháthair go dtagann ciall le haois! An uair dheireanach a rinne mé iarracht gúna a dhéanamh fá choinne ócáid speisialta rinne mé praiseach iomlán de (agus b’éigean dom mo ghúna bainise a chaitheamh ina áit – an-aisteach ar fad). Ó shin i leith ba bheag ní a fúáil mé.

But after lining a few crochet bags and purses earlier this year and rustling up a few small things on the machine my confidence began to return and I decided to make Nipper 3.0 a dress. That was in July. I finished it early September. I used the Sally Dress Pattern from VeryShannon.com, a cute Russian Doll Cotton Print by Rose & Hubble that I picked up in Murphy Sheehy in town one day.

I can’t begin to describe the little sparkles of joy I get in seeing Nipper 3.0 wearing the finished dress. There were 2 false starts, mainly down to Americans’ ridiculous use of non-standard paper sizes (shakes fist) but I have requested some Letter sized paper to be brought home from Yankland to avoid this problem in future.

I finished this little blanket below for my latest grandniece. If I have rabbited on before that I am great aunt to five, forgive me. But also believe me: it deserves this level of rabbiting on as it is a perennial shock to me.

This is my own pattern and I hope to post it soon. I can’t say that it was quick to hook but it required that extra time to ensure it was safe for a baby. It is soft and light but tight enough to avoid entangling tiny baby fingers.

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Tomato Salsa from Smitten Kitchen

As to food we have tried some new and interesting things. I love this tomato salsa recipe from Smitten Kitchen and I far prefer her photos. I’m going for the photo-realism look here. A great recipe to use up your glut of tomatoes and I would definitely recommend adding the lime juice that she wavers on in her blog post. Fingers crossed next year I will be using my own tomatoes in this recipe!

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Campfire Cones. mmmmmmm

Another big hit at home and at a few other family events this summer were campfire cones. Here you can see Himself looking very summery, enjoying one hot off the barbeque at home. As I synthesised a few recipes to make the most of Irish ingredients I will shortly post this recipe here so keep your eyes peeled. I can’t believe it’s still warm enough on the eve of October to think that some of you might be able to try these still! Otherwise file (Pin it!) for next summer.

 

Grilled Salmon Skewers
Grilled Salmon Skewers

A new BBQ favourite that I have made successfully under the grill are these delicious salmon skewers which I found on Epicurious.com. In this pic they are on our barbeque with just the marinade and thinly slice lemon wedges. However the second time I made them I added courgette and red pepper and mixed these three ingredients in the marinade, rather then trying to coat skewers once, eh, skewered. Consider adding chunks of feta because Feta and Salmon are just fabulous together.

I’ve also designed a new pair of crochet baby booties after much trial and error. I think they are a really cute and unique present to give on the arrival of a newborn but I was not happy with all of any of the patterns that I tried so I decided to design my own. I will post this pattern soon. It will get cold soon and you will be glad of it! I am also working on a pair of fingerless mittens which I hope to share soon too, once I’ve gotten over my bootie obsession.

Lastly I finally made myself a crochet jumper that actually fits. I have yet to collect photographic evidence. This is a lovely pattern, easy and quick to hook up.

I also gussied up MacdaraSmith.com, RosemaryMacCabe.com and this site of course. The latter is the latest to go live: I’m not 100% happy with some aspects of it but would love your feedback on it too.

Review: Charolais, when a cow brought a tear to my eye

Charolais Photo by Sally Anne Kelly

I’m making a concrete effort this year to get to more shows in The Dublin Fringe Festival. Maybe I’m trying to make good on last year’s (yes 2013’s) resolution to see more theatre. I am the cultural bulimic that I may or may not have spoken about during my undergrad viva voce.

Wow, that sentence is full of hot air.

That sentence couldn’t be less like the lunchtime play I attended in Bewley’s last Sunday. Charolais is full of shit. And muck. And blood. Cows. Jeeps. Kitchen tables. In other words, very down to earth, realistic. It’s a one woman show about a love triangle between a woman, her man and his cow with a little bit of his mother thrown in for good measure. Hilarious (guffawing out loud hilarious) and moving, this Show in a Bag is technically excellent as well: minimal set and lighting are augmented by extremely clever but simple costume and hair changes. Written and performed by Noni Stapleton and directed by Bairbre Uí Chaoimh the site for this drama is very much Stapleton’s body, rather than any particular stage, which she uses to great effect. This in itself is a metaphor for the action of the play which is occurring in the bodies of the main character, Siobhán, and her farmer lad’s Charolais, who are both living that which is many females’ most physically dramatic experience: pregnancy.

Charolais Photo by Sally Anne Kelly
Charolais Photo by Sally Anne Kelly

It doesn’t escape my attention that the last play I reviewed was also situated in the drama of the female body and while Charolais is no less dramatic than Between Water and Trees, it is likely a far more accessible production. Interesting though that two productions that I have attended almost by accident have focused on this topic.

If you fancy a lunch time or tea time pick me up this week (check Fringe site for times) get yourself along to this most excellent and original production.

Buíochas le mo chomrádaí ollscoile a roghnaigh an dráma íontach seo dúinn. Go raibh maith agat agus ná ligimid chomh fada arís é!

Ironically this awaited me on my return home:

Roast beef
Roast beef

Next up I hope to see Eating Seals and Seagulls’ Eggs which I understand examines, amongst other things, our relationship with the most hated woman in Irish History: Peig Sayers.

Photo credit: Sally Anne Kelly

Quick review: Between Trees and Water, Dublin Fringe Festival

Between Trees and Water. Photo credit John Allen

I’m sorry I don’t have enough time to do “Between Trees and Water” the justice it deserves but I’m also conscious that time is of the essence if you are to make it to see this compelling production by Painted Bird Productions as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival. It runs here in Dublin until Sunday with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm in South Studios on New Row South.

Between Trees and Water. Photo credit John Allen
Between Trees and Water. Photo credit John Allen

Based on a collection of documents relating to an illegal abortion in Cork in 1939 the fabulous ensemble acting of the cast and subtle costume, set and lighting weave an evocative piece of theatre. They capture the dun, smoke-yellowed, enamel and brown bottle ordinariness of the lives shattered by this event. Their repeated use of certain words like “responsibility”, “girl” and “married man” remind you of the morals that brought these people into this parlous state. One sequence where the cast members regard the missing victim is particularly thought-provoking. I was not surprised to read in the programme that the director, Fiona McGeown, had studied at L’ecole de mime corporeal dramatique as the physical realisation of a story bound up with the very physical was enthralling. I could not pick one actor from the cast as I felt that the ensemble work was impressive. I could go on but I’ve run out of time.

Between Trees & Water – Painted Bird Productions from Julie Kelleher on Vimeo.

Go and see it before it’s gone. I’m off to Charolais on Sunday so another review to follow. Special thanks to my good pal Aoife for getting me out of the house and down to this show 🙂

Back to School Banana Porridge Bites

Bake at 180C/ GM4 until golden

Well how did you all cope? We’ve had tears and recriminations but this was from the child heading into Ranga 5. Nipper 3.0 sailed into Naíonán Bheaga gan stró ar bith uirthi. So that’s it all my children are now “in the system” Our job now is feeding and watering and damage limitation (especially as Nipper 2.0 is in communion year.)

I’ve really noticed in the last couple of years, where I have been with them in the afternoons, that the boys EAT ALL THE TIME. I thought this was some sort of gender stereotyping but so far, so true, the older boy in particular. We feed them porridge everyday. They have a full on lunch at school and then come home expecting a meal circa 3pm and then dinner around 7pm. It’s my imagination that is mostly sapped by this experience. How do I feed them, keeping it healthy AND varied. When I experiment one of them is bound to turn their nose up (“Rocket Pesto? I don’t care that you grew, picked and made it yourself, it’s yuck!”) and I tend to fall back on those childhood staples of fish fingers and waffles or baked beans or scrambled eggs on toast. Soup, if I’m careful about its ingredients and consistency can sometimes gain their royal highnesses’ approval. This tomato and courgette soup was a surprising hit. With tomatoes and courgettes in season around about now  I would recommend you give it a whirl.

Not only do my darling children demand lunch they usually expect a dessert with it. I blame the parents. Having a sweet tooth myself I understand the hankering so I was quite happy when I found this recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies on SkinnyTaste.com. This site is one of my favourite sites for family friendly, health conscious recipes although at times the recipes rely a little too much on products that can only be found in the US.Banana Oatmeal Bites with sultanas

These bites are great and never last jig time in our gaff. They are NOT flapjacks and are a squishy consistency but are a great energy booster on long days when the kids are rushing hither and yon to after school activities. I have substituted the chocolate chips for raisins and they are still delicious so experiment with dried cranberries, blueberries or chopped dried apricot. While I’m not a big fan of what chocolate they are gorgeous with White Chocolate Chips. Here’s the recipe, Europeanised 🙂

Banana Porridge Bites

Makes 12.(So consider making a double batch!)

  • 2 ripe bananas (I always keep a couple of bananas in the freezer for ripe banana recipes)
  • 80g oat flakes
  • 40g chocolate chips (dark, milk or white or a mixture)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/ GM4.
  2. Mash the ripe bananasLay a sheet of silicon or baking paper on your tray. These do NOT spread so don’t need a huge amount of space between the cookies. Note in the pics below my silicon paper is completely crumpled. This was an excellent tip I picked up from some TV show to stop your paper rolling up and off your baking tray. Works when lining tins too.
  3. Mash your banana and stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  4. Take bite size portions or tablespoons full, create small balls and flatten onto your prepared baking tray.
  5. Pop them in the over for 12 – 15 mins or until golden brown.Mix in the porridge oats and the chocolate chips or raisins
  6. Allow to cool on trays.
  7. Store in an airtight container. I have no idea how long they keep because the Nippers have them shnarfed in no time.

Bake at 180C/ GM4 until golden