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Bia Sasta

Autumn’s bounty continues still

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018 4:17pm

The crisp air (on Monday morning) invites me out in the garden to see if there are still some apples or pears on the trees but only bare branches are greeting me. The glut of fruit has been transformed into delicious chutneys and relishes over the last few weeks.

Gardening buddies are flogging off their glut and I was lucky enough to get some pickling cucumbers, courgettes and beetroot from the lovely Pat.

Planning is already ahead for next year as I am cutting the mini pumpkins I bought last weekend from Caroline’s stall at the Coal Quay Market (every Saturday) and drying out the seeds (the pumpkins will be used in today’s lunch – the flesh will be mixed into a risotto, spooned back into the pumpkin, sprinkled with parmesan and baked again).

We still have tomatoes in the greenhouse and I am happy to think of what late autumn and early winter will bring us for the dinner table.

 

Now in season are cabbages, kale, beetroot, leeks, cauliflower, celeriac and of course Brussels sprouts (still not my favourite vegetable).

I never understood how people could think of the late season as boring – there is still so much to harvest.

Have a look at the farmer’s markets around the country – you will see the abundance still available.

Caroline’s stall at the Coal Quay Market is proof how much nature still gives us – who needs strawberries in winter?

And right in time for the changing season, the Metropole Hotel in McCurtain Street has changed their menu to celebrate not only the wonderful autumn but also the refurbishment of The Met bar and dining room.

With the rich history of the hotel, the designers have stepped back in time with an old world charm yet informal atmosphere that invites you to sit and relax and forget the busy life outside. This is a place to while away a few hours with excellent service and a menu created by the kitchen team that celebrates informal but delicious eating.

My pan-fried hake with crispy kale and black pudding grits was just a smile on a plate. The fish was perfectly cooked and fell apart with translucent white flakes while the black pudding grits had a crispy crust and soft centre.

Although not a dessert person, I utterly loved the pecan pie – the best I had I might add. It is based on headchef Stuart’s mum recipe and it shows a good talent in the kitchen. I enjoyed my evening in The Met and will be back soon – maybe for a jazzy brunch on a Sunday?

And I am delighted to say that I will be giving a few cookery classes in November in The Wooden Spoons Cookery School near Blarney.

Their Christmas schedule is coming out in the next few days, so keep an eye out- my classes will be Christmas Tapas and Edible Gifts (the best kind, don’t you think?). Check out their Halloween Cookery Camp on their Facebook page.

 

Upcoming food events:

20 October Cork Food Harvest Festival

28 October Dinner at Deasy’s for West Cork Underwater Search & Rescue

3 November Cork and Kerry Food Forum

9 November Cork Wine and Craft Beer Fair

12 November Community Food Initiative Showcase Kilfinane

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