The joys of a wet Sunday..

Every parent will know the feeling of dismay when faced with that scary combination –  a band of youngsters and a wet Sunday. I think it was a particular dread of parents in the era before 24 hour TV, but honestly it’s probably no easier these days either.

Rebecca Mitchell. Ormeau Park

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If it’s any help, my coping mechanism was to state clearly and loudly that we couldn’t possibly go out that day. Then we had a choice of activities – reading, painting (cover the kitchen table with something waterproof); sometimes followed by baking; then eating the products of that baking whilst watching an old favourite on TV in front of the fire. The trick was not to rush any of it. Turns out it was fairly easy to fill a day doing this sort of stuff..

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A wet Sunday is a different animal when you’ve only got grown-ups to deal with. Don’t get me wrong, if I thought for a minute that all I was ever going to get was wet Sundays, I’d lose the plot, but now I look on them as an opportunity to do things that I might not have the time or inclination to do otherwise.


Stirring.. very restful..

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You only need to use a little bit of your brain to scrub fruit – you can let the rest of it run free..









Yesterday was my first foray into the world of Marmalade making. A reasonable success, I think; not too bad for a first attempt anyhow. However, the important thing was that I really enjoyed it. As I sat, radio on in the background, calmly cutting up orange rind as thinly as I could, I had time to think. It occurred to me that we don’t get a huge amount of time these days to sit and think. We’re always encouraged to be doing something, which is ironic, when you think about it. We have all these labour-saving devices which take everyday chores away from us (I’ve got the washing machine and the dishwasher on as I write) but what do we do with the time saved?

‘Putting the washing on’ was a two-hour chore for my Mother – pulling the old twin-tub into the middle of the kitchen floor, laboriously filling the machine via the hot-water tap, etc. However, it had perhaps become an automatic activity that gave her time to ponder. In other words, she was doing something that was giving her time to think.

It dawned on me  recently that perhaps this is why I enjoy cooking; a lot of cooking and baking consists of fairly repetitive activities – slicing onions, sifting flour, folding in, stirring – you can pay attention with one part of your brain and think about other things with the rest of it. Of course on the other hand, this may be exactly why my Marmalade turned out delicious, but rather runny..

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Either way, I think it’s a good thing to give ourselves a little time to do very little; to give our brains a chance to make sense of all the information that pours at us from every direction (and I’m including blogs here too!)

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Certainly I feel the benefit of taking time on a wet Sunday to take time off from frenetic activity, to listen properly to a piece of music, to allow that cat to take a snooze on your lap, or to sit in front of the fire with that book that you’ve been trying to finish.. I give you my full permission to do any or all of the above!


You can never read Persuasion too many times !

Happy Wet Sunday! :)




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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