2018 – A Year in Pictures
A year can be difficult to sum up. It is a vast amount of time to look back on and invariably, certain things will stand out in your memory. Here’s how it went for me:
Bringing in the New Year
With a lovely Saint-Émilion and…..
a Rosata di Mandorle.
A Trip to Rainy Athlone
A delightful dinner at The Fatted Calf.
Spring 2018 was the first time I started to take fermentation seriously. I had dabbled in the past but decided it was time to up my efforts. Sauerkraut, Fermented Cauliflower, Pears and Chillies all followed with a big jug of Kombucha on the go for the summer too.
Tapas and Small Plates
2018 was also the year that I fully embraced small plates – eating lots of little bits rather than one big dish. We ate lots of tapas style meals, especially over the Summer and I found it a great way to use up leftovers and little bits of things in the fridge.
The Enthusiastic Vegetable Gardner
I may be enthusiastic but that doesn’t always translate to success. This year was a little different though with a good supply of herbs, broccoli, turnip and potatoes all making their way to the plate.
In March we were hit with a mountain of snow. With work cancelled, we had a lovely week of building snowmen, snowball fights and baking bread, as there was none to be found anywhere!
2018 will probably be remembered most in our house for the arrival of Gerry. I brought Penny for a walk in the woods two weeks after the snow and this gentleman strolled up. A Coillte worker told me he’d been there for weeks, somehow surviving the week of snow. I invited him to jump into the car and he didn’t need to be asked twice. He now spends his days panned out on the couch, barking at the air and rolling around the grass, no matter how mucky it is.
In April I joined my parents and brother for a few days away in Tenerife. It was lovely to get away and enjoy some good weather after the snow just a couple of weeks before. We ate and drank like kings and queens.
I turned 30 in May, the less said about that the better! I put together a nice spread for it though….
Turnips were the first out of the ground in the Summer. I’m not terribly keen on the roots so I gifted them to my parents and put the tops to good use….
….with butterbeans and a little dill.
Pop-Up at Firmount House
On August 11th, I held the first Kinneagh Kitchen Pop-Up Restaurant in two years. Firmount House provided the most wonderful setting for a three course meal using the very best of local ingredients, including Firmount’s own free-range pork.
I developed a new hobby coming towards the end of Summer. My interest in researching my family tree was piqued and I dove in, managing to trace both mine and Ali’s families back to the late 1700’s. My work on this continues with new discoveries all of the time.
A Change of Direction
Although not able to partake in the Cottage Market in July, I did manage to get down for a walk around. It struck me that there was nobody selling ready to eat savoury food. I decided to change my stall from bread to salads, keeping a bit of focaccia and sourdough on the side. It has been a great success and allows me to experiment with ingredients and flavour combinations. Get your salad box at the next market on Saturday 2nd of February.
Pop-Up at Ubh
On 23rd of October I held my second Pop-Up Restaurant of the year, at Ubh in Newbridge. This one was an Italian night with a mixed antipasto platter to start, a Sicilian inspired chicken agrodolce following and a Tuscan grandmother’s tart to finish. The wine was provided by The Wine Buff in Newbridge with four magnificent Italian’s to choose from.
Pop-Up at Johnson’s
They’re coming thick and fast now! My third and final Pop-Up Restaurant of the year was held in Johnson’s Bar in Newbridge. A much bigger affair, we served three courses to 50 people on Wednesday 14th of November. More obvious Italian dishes were chosen for this one but the same emphasis on produce applied with the best of Irish produce on show.
Best of Beef
In December, I was delighted to be contacted by Irish Hereford Prime to see if I would be interested in developing some recipes for their website. I turned down a few collaborations in 2018 – some just weren’t the right fit and others were for produce I wouldn’t use and so couldn’t possibly stand over. This on the other hand, ticked all of the boxes for me and I completed three recipes in the final month of the year. All of the recipes are available on the Best of Beef website here.
We had a lovely Christmas after a busy December. We took our annual trip to Cork to see Aoife before settling into hibernation mode, only venturing out for my Dad’s birthday on the 27th. I love Christmas time and am sad to see it over but I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead and to married life!
I’ll be at The Cottage Market in Newbridge Town Hall on the 2nd of February. The next Pop-Up Restaurant will be announced in the coming week.