Should I just start with the meals.....?
Breakfast came in the shape of a bowl of Yoghurt and some stewed rhubarb. I used honey and orchard syrup instead of sugar in the rhubarb. I had planned this. Did up the rhubarb yesterday evening and have enough left for another breakfast, a snack or a crumble or something during the week.
Lunch I didn't planned. Thank god I was working from home though when I realised it was quarter to two and hadn't eaten yet. Had a slight moment of panic that was quickly quashed after opening the fridge and seeing some left over spud from last night and a bag of greens that I had bought from Deirdre and Norman in the Co-op on Saturday (lovely organic mixed leaves). A quick hop down to the butcher for a pork chop and that was that. When I asked the butcher if the pork was Irish his eyes widened and he kind of laughed when he said 'Of course!'
Dressing for the salad: Apple balsamic vinegar, rapeseed oil, sea salt and kelp
Checked in with the flatmate for a roast chicken dinner and she was up for it. Dunnes was offering me five different types of chicken, all of them supposedly Irish ranging from €3 to €6, I went with the free range from Castlemahon for €5.59 and sincerely doubted that the '2 for €6 chickens' were actually Irish. The 'friend' came over again and so did another friend. The former was delighted to eat the flowers from the chives for the first time and so was put in charge of 'chive-flower-sprinkling on mash'. Roasted parsnips on the side. yum
The rest of the day was spent trying to track down a 100% Irish Flour (in between real work of course). I knew already that the big guns like Odlums were importing part of their wheat so I made a couple of calls to the smaller guys and ended up on the blower to Donal Creedon from Macroom Oat Mills, the only FULLY Irish Mill, as far as I could find.
'How long have you been at it?'
'Sure my mother's mother and her mother were at it since the 1830s,' says he. With the West Cork brogue.
'And you're 100% Irish?'
'We're 100% Irish. But sure when the harvest is bad you have to import. Two years ago was a very bad year so we had to buy in. But this year we're fully Irish.'
I thought back to that pissy summer when it infamously rained for 60 days straight. The unfortunate reality for wheat in Ireland. Speaking to Joseph from Ballybrado, they've tried for years to grow organic Irish wheat but you just cant get a high enough protein content to mill a good flour, because we don't get enough sunshine. Their oats are 100% Irish though.
I managed to find the Macroom Oatmeal in the Hopstack in Rathmines but no flour. My thoughts of a ham sandwich at some stage during the week were drifting away. What I did come across on my trip to Rathmines though was hunger, followed by my second panic attack of the day. Shit. What do I do now? It was ok at home earlier with the safety of my clever planning Irish food bounty to fall back on. I had my first realisation of how utterly impossible this would be on a national scale on a day to day basis. However, Fallon & Byrne tied me over with an apple until I got home. Stocked up on some Atlantic Sea Salt while I was there, some apple juice and the parsnips for dinner.
Gonna have to make some flapjacks tomorrow in case of a repeat emergency.