The Circle of Life (Weekly menu)

A rather grand title for a weekly menu blog post but I think anyone who knows me will agree that this week we certainly saw the full cycle of life. As the menu below covers we went to a christening on Saturday afternoon. The first rite of passage for our newest grandniece. No I’m not that old: Himself is the very youngest of seven. We had a delightful time, meeting all the niece’s in-laws and Nipper 3.0 made friends with EVERYONE! We sang, we ate (by jeebus did we eat!), we chatted and we went home happy.
We felt happy that we had represented Himself’s family well. Unfortunately, it was difficult for the others to make the journey and this is a family who’ll party at the drop of a hat. Himself’s mother, who has been unwell for some time, had become gradually worse over the previous few weeks . Bad news arrived in the small hours of the morning and the worst news was shared by one of  his sisters just after 7am. So forgive me if this menu has holes or is less detailed than others.
So farewell Úna Meyler: you will be missed. You have left a wonderful legacy of music, laughter and good financial sense. What more could a woman ask for?
Carrot and thyme and star anise soup – I heard a snippet of an interview on the radio where this recipe was mentioned so I had to try my own version. Glorious.
I also baked these choc chip “cupcakes” but I adapted the recipe to Irish measurements and tastes and will post again. I baked ham and cheese muffins for lunchboxes as well. Boy was I glad I did.
Nipper 1.0’s tortilla feast – I can’t remember what we actually had…
Roast – what’s good value? Or maybe steak? – these were my instructions for the shopping. I bought a cut of pork (I can’t remember which) that I roasted most perfectly. So perfectly I nearly cried that Himself wasn’t there to join us. I was feeling pretty teary to be fair. Oh the crackling was devilish good.
I grabbed a beef stew, bolognese sauce, pear and ginger compote and crumble topping from the freezer before we headed “down Home” as Himself would say. There was, of course, stacks of beautiful food from neighbours and family in the house but it was only later when we landed at Himself’s brother’s place for the night that we felt like eating. This was delicious mixed with slow cooked rice and my sister in law’s signature garlic potatoes. I threw the compote and crumble in a pie dish and left it for dessert the following evening as we were all too whacked for anything else.
A sad day gladdened by one of Úna’s favourite things: warm sunshine. I know we ate when we got back to Dublin but I have no idea what we had.
Delicious sweet and sour pork from our Edmond’s cookery book, a present from a Kiwi friend that is another go-to basic recipe book.
Ham and cheese muffins in the car en route to classes.
Stew – well the stew had gone south so I made mash which I used to top shepherd’s pie filling taken from the freezer the night before which we shared with my Dad who really had eaten already. Who can resist Shepherd’s pie? Big learning for me since school began again is that Thursday’s are freezer day as afterschool classes don’t finish til 5 so it can be 5.30 before we all get home, exhausted, to homework.
To bake:
Ham & cheese muffins
Oaty cookies – these are a revelation which I will share with you shortly when I have converted the recipe to metric. I am now making at least one huge batch a week.

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