Excited!!!

30 07 2012

In case you didn’t guess from the title of this post I am excited.

Not only have we finally decided on the date for the “Big Day” next year but we have also settled on a venue.

This would be exciting in and of itself but the venue we have decided upon has an added nerd factor which has just tipped me over the edge.

Not for us some faceless registry office or lack-lustre hotel function room, nope we are getting married at a mother fricking observatory!!!

Yeah you heard it an observatory, say something.

Now before you think I have just steamrollered C into this I will point out that this particular observatory happens to be built into a beautiful 16th century castle so there is still something for the ladies;)

 

The facility in question is the Blackrock Castle Observatory here in Cork and will manage to offer a quaint fairytale element to the wedding whilst still letting me drool over that 16″ Meade reflector

 

 

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Glandore at night

18 07 2012

Quick snap I took at Glandore last time I was driving back from the pub. Sober I might add, I was playing taxi. 😉





Hiding

17 07 2012

This little chap was hiding in the bushes at Future Forest in Keakil, County Cork





Clonakilty floods – update

28 06 2012

Just popped down into Clonakilty town to check on the house now that the water has finally subsided.

Well it is officially a mess. Seems that the flood water came  about 1.25 metres up the wall and went in the front door and out the back.

Early to try and work it all out but on the face of it we have lost a laptop, xbox 360 elite, LCD TV, DVD player,  2 x leather couches, 1 leather lazy boy, about 4 packing cases of boxes, a hoover(random I know) Fridge Freezer, tumble dryer,electic oven, dishwasher and washing machine from the house.

From the garage we have seen the last of two beds plus mattresses, another fridge freezer, some assorted soft furnishings and all our Christmas decorations.

Oh and as if that isn’t bad enough, Mum’s car is completely trashed. The water went all the way to the headrests s all of the interior is quite frankly fucked. There is thick, smelly silt everywhere, especially in the engine bay.
I popped the air intake open and the inlet manifold is just clogged with the stuff…good times.

Here is another piccy of the town this morning as taken from by the Texaco

 





Clonakilty Flooding 2012

28 06 2012

I woke up at 5 this morning to a text from my Mum, she was sat in her bedroom with our dog looking out the window and crying.

The reason for her early morning tears, our house had flooded.

View from our house this am

She woke up to the dog making an odd sound and found it swimming around in the hallway with dirty water halfway up the stairs, what a way to start a Thursday.

It isn’t just the house that is ruined, her car which was parked outside is also a write off.

Still at least she can take consolation in the fact that she isn’t alone. Over 70mm of rain fell on parts of Cork last night and there is no access in or out of Clonakilty or Douglas due to over 4ft of flooding. According to an ESB spokesman there are 13,000 homes without electricity at the moment.





The new house

9 05 2012

So in one of the crazier things  I have done recently I convinced herself to move house last week.

Now just to set the scene and lessen how weird I sound I should mention that moving had sort of been up for discussion for a while…..just not really in this fashion.

We had just been going through the motions really, you know how it is. A few minutes day dreaming on Daft.ie, a couple of visits to completely random houses. Nothing concrete.

Then boom! I saw my dream house.

I really, really didn’t think that C would be interested in it. Our tastes in property are normally wildly different, she likes trendy new houses and I like rambling country estates where you could set a remake of an Austin novel.

Still I decided to send her a link to it anyway just for a laugh. Next thing I know my mobile is ringing, “I’M IN LOVE! I have called the letting agents and we are going to look round it tonight at 5”

That was Tuesday 1st May…. somehow between then and Saturday we found ourselves handing over a stupidly large deposit and moving in, how is that for hasty!

So here in all it’s ridiculous Georgian glory is the house that has made two normally sane, rational adults go more than a little bit ga ga… Underhill House

Oh and yes, the nerd in me is stupidly pleased at the silly little reference to the Lord of the Rings in the house name 😀

 





Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

29 09 2010

 So this morning I had a little bit of surprise, I decided to go and visit my favourite little hole in the wall cafe; the food there has always been crap to sum it up politely but they serve tea that looks exactly like wood varnish and is exactly how I like it.

The problem is it’s gone, now where am I going to get tea that the spoon can stand up in?

The simple answer is I will just have to stop being lazy and bring a flask from home. The silver lining to the closing of this grease encrusted grot hole is that it has been replaced by what is to my knowledge the only BBQ joint in West Cork.

It has been opened up by a chap from Arizona by the name of Mike and his Irish wife, he has bought a smoker over from the states with him and is burning applewood that he is obtaining from a local orchard, so far so good.

The menu looks pretty appetizing featuring such BBQ staples as baby back ribs, brisket, home made beans, coleslaw and one of my personal favourites pulled pork.

I fancy myself as a bit of a BBQ aficionado and on seeing that Mike makes and sells his own sauces I got chatting to him, before long the topic turned to the pulled pork (which looked and smelt delicious )

Try as hard as I might I couldn’t get Mike to disclose any of his secrets to me, much like those pesky magicians in that sense, but I can vouch for the pulled pork being delicious, so much so that I bought a pound of it to take home and eat later.

The problem with 1lb of pulled pork is that there is only 1lb of it and try as I might to ration it out it just doesnt last.

The only logical option was to crack out MY recipe for homemade pulled pork and hit the kitchen.

As I don’t possess a smoker of my owner and the weather in Ireland isn’t often the best for having the BBQ out I have devised a different but equally tasty method for preparing my pulled pork.

Ingredients:

4 kg pork shoulder / collar
3 large red onions
3 cloves of garlic
2 red or yellow bell peppers
1 habanero chilli (you can substitute jalapenos or just use less/no chilli if you wish)
smokey paprika
coarse sea salt
black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 bottle of bbq sauce of your choosing

For this recipe I get roughly 4 kg of pork collar from my local butcher, I get the skin left on and the bone left in and trim everything up at home, if you don’t have the time and inclination ask the butcher to do this for you and just make sure that you remove any tendon/gristle that is left when you get home.

Mix the brown sugar together with enough sea salt, black pepper and paprika to give the meat a good rub, pop it in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least an hour ideally longer.

De-seed the bell peppers and cut into thin strips, you can use green bell peppers if that is all you have to hand but red or yellow work best and look better in the finished dish.

Peel the red onions and chop into quarters, if the onions are particularly large then you can chop them into eighths.

Crush the garlic cloves with the flat of a knife and combine with the chopped habanero and the lemon zest

Take your slow cooker and put roughly half of the chopped peppers and onions on the base of the pot, now place the pork on top and add the remaining peppers and onions around the sides. Add your garlic, chilli and lemon zest and try to make sure that it doesnt all end up in one clump.

Now pour over your bbq sauce; which bbq sauce you use really is down to you and your personal tastes. I normally use a mixture of half a bottle of Levi Roots Reggae Reggae sauce for its rich fruity flavour and warming scotch bonnet kick and half a bottle of something with a bit of a smokey taste to it.

Top the pot up with warm water until the pork is covered, pop on the lid and set the slow cooker onto it’s lowest setting. If you aren’t using a slow cooker then I would pop everything into a mid size casserole dish and set it in the oven at about 100c.

At this point you can just forget all about it for a good long while, I tend to leave mine in the slow cooker for about 12 / 13 hours if I can but you can get away with less time. I certainly wouldn’t leave it for anything less then 6/7 hours though as you want the meat to be really succulent and juicy.

When you are ready to eat take the pork out of the slow cooker and grab yourself a couple of forks, the meat should be so tender that it just shreds up without any effort whatsoever.

Pile the pulled pork onto a platter, add the onions and peppers from the pot and pour over a ladle full of the cooking liquid to help keep everything nice and moist.

Serve with nice fresh rolls or flatbreads, a nice crunchy coleslaw and bbq sauce of your choice to finish it all off nicely.








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