Author Archives: dicurtin

HELLO EVERYBODY AND WELCOME TO SPRING!

It’s nearly Spring and most of the stallholders at Bandon have made a comeback, after the festivities of Christmas and the very wet and miserable January.  A few brave souls made it out and kept the market alive against all the odds in the worst weeks.  What was really encouraging was that shoppers came every week looking for the missing stalls and wondering when they were going to be back, which just goes to show that at last Bandon Farmer’s Market has become part of a  regular weekly shopping routine for many.

On Saturday February 24th, Bandon Farmer’s Market will be the venue for the launch of the Slow Food Road Show.  There will be literature handed out to explain the principles of the Slow Food movement, and also a chance to join for those who wish to do so.  Annual membership is 50 euros a year and for that you get 3 issues of Slow, the movement’s international magazine, (more like a book) and four quarterly Irish newsletters which have articles, recipes and news relating to Irish topics and what’s happening event wise up and down the country.  Slow Food events take place in every area, organised by the local Convivia (or groups).  The West Cork Convivia is very active and has lots planned for 2007.   Committee members are Giana Ferguson (Gubbeen)  Anthony Creswell (Ummera Smoked Products) Ruth Healy (URRU Culinary Store) and little old me – the Convivium Leader!

Our events this year will include this Roadshow, a membership drive that plans to visit all the West Cork markets throughout the Spring.  If you do come along to the launch in Bandon and want to join Slow Food as a member, you will be supporting the many food projects both here and internationally that the movement supports, as well as getting money off all the fab gourmet events that take place in the region throughout the year.  Just to give you at taste…

Ruth Healy will be organising four seasonal gourmet Slow Food evenings at her lovely Urru Culinary Store on McSwiney Quay,   The first one will be on Spring, on Thurs April 19th, 7.30pm for 8pm and will focus on seasonal produce, with a guest speaker and tastings. Summer, Autumn and Winter dates will follow  later

Also in April, a Slow Food for Kids event at Hosford’s garden centre on Sunday April 15th from 2.00 – 5.30pm will feature a farmer’s market on the terrace (hopefully with many of our faithful stallholders from Bandon in attendance!) and there will be special workshops for the kids on ‘How to grow your own veggies’ plus a fabulous puppet theatre with a foodie theme and lots of other bits and pieces.

Later in the year there will be an Open Day at Ummera Smoked Products, Timoleague, where you can meet Anthony and other Slow Food producers and have a taste of their lovely products, plus enjoy a glass of wine or two.

We’ve also got a picnic on Lough Hyne planned plus an Archaological Walk near Barley Cove, with a Hog Roast afterwards.  So you see, there will be  lots to enjoy!

But back to the market.  We hope to be bringing back a few old favourite stalls for Spring and Summer, plus inviting a few new stallholders to join the ranks.  Watch this space – and happy shopping!

CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

Well it’s only taken me two months to get to grips with this blogging thing but hopefully now I have broadband it will be a piece of very nice cake (preferably artisan made!) …

As Anthony Creswell of Ummera Smoked Proudcts says, we are having a big Christmas Farmer’s Market bash in Bandon on Saturday morning 16th December.  All stallholders have promised to wear silly hats and sparkly things so that will be worth seeing anyway!  On the food side, which is really what it’s all about, Susan Fehily will be doing tastings of her fantastic home made Christmas pudding, made to an old family recipe, as well as gorgeous quiches and tarts to buy or order for Christmas.  Ruth Healy of Urru will have lovely mulled apple juice, dried fruits and a superb selection of Christmas cheeses, Anthony will have his delicious organic smoked salmon, perfect for a Christmas first course or brekkie with champagne (in bed hopefully if someone can be bothered to get up a make it – hint hint!) and smoked bacon and chicken too.

Alan Hassett’s  fish counter will be gleaming with all sorts of fabulous specimens straight from local waters – and he’ll also have an oyster bar where you can buy half a dozen freshly opened Roaring Water Bay oysters served au naturel with Tabasco, chopped shallots and lemon juice in traditional style .  Great aphrodisiac for this time of year, when everyone gets to kiss under the misteltoe!  Aaron McDonnell of Finders Inn is making up Christmas hampers of his super salad dressings and dessert sauces, and he’ll also be making that gorgeous red cabbage thingy he does so well.  It goes  great with roast goose or turkey, and with the cold ham and stuff too.  The famous Cornish pastie lady, Ann Bradfield  is already thinking of seasonal fillings for her pasties and pies, which freeze well for those days over the holiday when you really have had enough of the stove.

Of course, the whole thing about having a farmer’s market is to be able get all your food  necessaries in one place  and this Christmas you can find everything for the feastin Bandon.   Beechwood Farm’s free range white or bronze feathered turkeys are already being snapped up fast, so come and place your order quickly .  Martin Carey will have his award winning spiced beef for sale on the  16th,  as well as fresh farmhouse duck from the Hickeys in Ballydehob.  He’ll also be sponsoring the fresh turkey for our free Christmas Raffle, where everyone who buys something gets a ticket, and will  be drawn on the day.

Traditional vegetables from the Higgins’ of Ballycotton this festive season include homegrown parsnips, swedes, carrots and Brussels Sprouts.  Exotic fruit can be found on the stall of J&D Organics, and Sarah Devoy’s chemical free veggies from Rosscarbery include unusual bits like squashes, kale and beetroots.  All those lovely treats that make Christmas so good are now avaialable from Heaven’s Cakes, Baking Emporium and of course, the skilled bakers that are the Ballinascarthy Ladies!  All stallholders are taking advance orders now – so don’t wait till the 16th to place yours.  But do come along on the day to grab a hot coffee or hot choccie from Cork Coffee Roasters, or a glass of mulled apple juice, and enjoy one of Lucy Noake’s delicious hot crepes while listening to our angelic carol singers from Lauragh National School,  Bandon. Then stick around for the visit from the Big Man in the Red Suit, who’ll be bringing Mrs. Claus along too, to help him hand out goodies for the kids.

Don’t miss it!

Dianne Curtin