I learned recently that there are now some 300,000,000 pictures of food on Instagram. Posting pictures of your dinner is now a ‘Millennial ritual’ and I have to say it bores me rigid. However, I have a confession to make. I photograph the meals that I review, purely as an aide memoire. My worry is that other diners will think that I’m posting the pictures on Instagram, despite being far too old to be a ‘Millennial’.
This week I’ll be eating… cucumbers from the polytunnel. We wait expectantly for the first one and then there’s a deluge, but they are so fresh and delicious, especially in warm weather. I like them cut into discs and topped with crab or tuna mayonnaise, or sliced in ribbons and quick-pickled with white wine vinegar, water and salt. My next cucumber project will be a chilled soup. Researching the best recipe will take some time but I think the late great Constance Spry might be a good place to start.
The Legal Eagle in Dublin has not only won best gastropub in the Restaurants Association of Ireland Awards but has crowned that achievement with a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for their outstanding selection, curated by Seán Gargano, one of our top sommeliers. The same award, incidentally, went to Whelehans Wines at The Silver Tassie. Ashford Castle has been recognised by the same US magazine as an outstanding wine destination.
The National Dairy Council has announced a competition for home cooks to produce something lovely, sweet or savoury but containing dairy, with the finalists joining a cook-off at the National Ploughing Championships in September. Mary Berry will chair the judging panel and present the prizes which include a €300 voucher for the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Always practical, Mary advises to ‘practise the recipe’. And don’t dare to use margarine or ‘spreads’. Butter is what you need! Send the complete recipe, with picture and your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.