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Cooking At Bruniquel
June 19, 2017
01:36 PM

Cooking At Bruniquel

Piano Range (500x375).jpg

Cobwebs (375x500).jpg

On a recent visit to the Chateaux de Bruniquel ( there are two) I saw these ranges in the kitchens. The bigger obviously good for large parties the other festooned with marvellous cobwebs.

Changing Jars
June 12, 2017
12:30 PM

Changing Jars

Jam (375x500).jpg

It all started with us deciding to defrost the freezer, this of course entails a complete emptying of the same and, as usual, we manage to find a few treasures in the nether regions.

This time it was a bag of sloes, brought I am sure by some kind Irish friend. Now it just so happens that I have a batch of sloe gin on the go started just a few days ago. The sloes for this had been gathered for me by my friend Clive about 18 months ago, six months before he died.
His wife Sue had found them in her freezer and presented them to us in Ireland in April when we were there. They had popped straight back into my freezer here in Thezan until last week when I started macerating them in gin.

Trouble was I now needed a larger preserving jar to contain the extra sloes. No trouble I thought.

The top row of my "Jam Shelves" has several pots with extremely dubious concoctions. I was sure at least one of them would be ready to discard in the bin.
Up the ladder I went and down they came for tasting and discarding, Síle and I got out our spoons.
First under the hammer was an Eau de Vie de Quetsh (a Quetch is a bitter plum) these I had found a man selling by the side of the road in 2012 and bought the lot. It was sure to be awful.

It wasn't.

It was totally delicious.

Back it went on the shelf.

Next to be tasted was a batch of black olives which were the gleanings from a machine picked tree, which we had cured in oil in 2011. I was getting the bin ready while Síle tasted these.

They are really good she said.

My heart sank.

They were saved too.

Last up was a bottle of Eau de Vie de Prune from 2010.

You have of course guessed it. The plums were delightful, the liqueur potent and delectable.
Back it went.
In the end I had to discard a large jar of duck fat from the fridge- it was fine but can be replaced easily.

That's it on the shelf, fourth from the right, now full of sloes and alcohol.

I mean fat is fattening isn't it ? And good digestion is important for health.

Postponing the review.
June 10, 2017
12:39 PM

Postponing the review.

When we moved out here first we decided that, being mature adults we should give the place a chance and review the situation in five years.

Síle reminded me of this a few days ago.

The five year review came and passed unremarked six years ago.

We decided that we will postpone the review until another ten (or maybe twenty) years time.

Aroo Fram Cark
12:25 PM

Aroo Fram Cark

French visitors are completely amazed and horrified with even a trace of skin left adhering to a potato, so I have learned to be meticulous, even with new ones.

My friend Trevor Stafford, by alluding to me making the vin de noix with walnuts with their skins on, has reminded me of a rhyme we used to say as kids in Cork.
I'll give it out as we used to say it first then I will give a necessary translation.

"Aroo fram Cark ?
Iam aroo !
D'je ate shpudz ?
Ido joo !
Howjaateem ?
Shkin and aaa. !
Do dey choku ?
Narataa !

Translation for my non-Cork friends

Are You from Cork ?
I am are you.
Do you eat potatoes ?
I do. Do you ?
How do you eat them ?
Skins and all.
Do they choke you ?
Not at all.

On the Terrace
June 05, 2017
06:24 PM

On the Terrace

Host (375x500).jpg

Petra took this picture of me on the terrace with the lights on behind, as usual I look like I am enjoying myself.

  Martin Dwyer
Consultant Chef