Despite everything, I’m doing a little forward planning this Autumn..

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October 10th 2018 (15) October 20th 2018 Rowallane (3)

And here we are again – the linen trousers stashed away in the hopes that I’ll fit in to them again next year – and my fingerless gloves on for the first time today.. Autumn is here, without a doubt.

I’ve got my Sloes relaxing in their annual Gin bath.

http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/sloesall-you-need-to-know/

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I’ve made my Christmas Mincemeat – yes, that’s early, even for me – hoping that it will be beautifully matured when I need it. Mr Saturday Night, ever the optimist, is hoping that I might make a ‘test’ batch of Mince Pies – for Quality Assurance purposes naturally! I probably will though, because my house smelled so divine yesterday..

http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/home-made-christmas-mincemeat/

Mince pies (6)

And today I’m making Marmalade. This has very little to do with Autumn, but more to do with the fact that I appear to have eaten/given away every last jar that I made earlier in the year.. I blame lockdown! As it’s way too early for Seville Oranges, I’m making a three-fruit marmalade – ordinary Orange, Pink Grapefruit and Lemon marmalade – which is fast becoming my favourite, and another possible reason for the fact that there is none of the last batch left!

http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/traditional-seville-orange-marmalade/

Marmalade 2018 (18)

The festive smell in my house reminds me that, unlike previous years, I haven’t actually started my Christmas shopping yet. I usually start around the end of August, picking up a few bits and pieces which – every single year – lulls me into a false feeling of satisfaction. In my head, I’ve got everything done. This is all well and good but come the second week in December when I decide to start wrapping presents for those living far away, and realise that I have in fact no Christmas shopping done at all.  This realisation rapidly leads to my annual ‘running around like a headless chicken’ phase. Am I ever going to learn? Probably not, at this stage..

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Any of you who know me well, or who have read any of my other blogs will know how strongly I feel about buying from local businesses. And if ever there was a year to buy local, then 2020 is definitely it. Small local businesses, services, artists, entertainers, crafters and producers have suffered huge losses due to lockdown, and if we want these small businesses to survive, then we must support them. There is so much talent out there and I really don’t want that to disappear.

I’ll be starting off in my local St George’s market, where there’s literally something there for everyone: Foodies, Antique or Vintage collectors, art lovers, and crafts fiends. Some of my favourite stallholders have taken their businesses online for the moment, so all of those can be ordered on line this year. Every single thing that you buy has an immediate effect on local suppliers – for some it will inspire them to keep going for another wee while, for others it may stop them throwing in the towel as a lost cause. Every purchase keeps people in jobs, feeding their families, paying their mortgage, and cautiously looking forward to the future.

Cottage Pie and roasted cauliflower (2)

Mm..Vegetable and Lentil soup!

Mm..Vegetable and Lentil soup!

Be sure to look out for local food and crafts markets near you – despite the cooling temperatures, they’ll be running outdoors as long as they can.

With the trees starting to turn, I’ve gone back to my comfort food recipes – warming, tasty dinners and cosy baking.

There are loads of family-friendly recipes on www.eatingforireland.com – why not check them out this weekend? Don’t forget to try to get out to enjoy our beautiful country as the leaves change colour – it’s one of the best times of the year!

Lough Neagh on a cold, sunny morning

Lough Neagh on a cold, sunny morning

October 20th 2018 Rowallane (1)

 

October 14th Mount Stewart (17)

About

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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