I have been quiet here for exactly a week.
I am not sure what the problem is, or if there is a problem, I just feel somehow uninspired in the kitchen. Its not that I have not been cooking, I made delicious pizza with the boys mid-week, with leftovers for the hungry architects, but somehow something feels awry. Perhaps its the weather, it is tedious, full of howling, frightening, dangerous wind and warm heavy rain. I go for a run across the beach and the wind is so strong in one direction that I can barely take an intake of breath without it being torn from me. I am stubborn and must get to the end, knowing that the payback is that I will be pushed gently all the way home.
Although the kitchen to me is the most warm and welcoming place where I am most comfortable, it seems a little alien at the minute.
Tonight was really no different except that I said to hell with the run and the rain and we went to our local pub, The Oarsman, with the boys for a pint after work.
I always feel a little awkward taking them into the pub near our inner city home. They are children and pubs are the curse to many a household here. But we had a surprisingly adult chat about school and friends with our four year old and it was all very mature. Time goes past so quickly that we miss these little moments. The pizza we made this week was the second pizza he had eaten in his life. I distinctly remember when he was a baby just wishing that we could all go out to eat and enjoy a meal together without there being puree or chips present, not that pizza is any better, but I love the act of sharing food.
Last Sunday we went to Da Vincenzo on the easterly outskirts of Ranelagh village. It brought a tear to my eye as it was the little restaurant that M and I ate in after long Sunday walks in Wicklow, pre-babies and pre-marriage. We have not been back since we moved into our house in 2002, nearly nine years ago. Da Vincenzo remains the same, not one thing has changed. It seems impervious to the economic climate, food trends and all things fashionable. I love it for this. The pizza is really good, the best I have tasted in Dublin to date and it was the first time J, aged four and a half ate a whole pizza. It is now my current favourite restaurant, and interestingly run by a well educated Egyptian who feels passionately about the many injustices suffered in his country to date.
On a totally different train of thought, today's dinner was inspired as a revolt against the grey weather and the sad election posters.
It did involve Pheasant, but this is by no means the main ingredient - it tasted great but could easily be left out or substituted with leftover duck or chicken.
Now I must initially state that I did not cook this but it is pure Glenariff pheasant caught in season by Jamie Haughey on the brays overlooking the Bay and it tasted great. Apparently Eddie brought home so much pheasant that he was subsequently banned (sensibly so) from bringing home any more as these birds need hanging, plucking, cleaning and cooking. A lot of work, so my mother took over the task. She, with (a lot of) help from my dad (I have to mention my dad who almost started his own blog on how to pluck and clean a pheasant) plucked, cleaned and roasted these birds in the oven and I got three little parcels of pheasant leg and breast meat, with juices to die for, delivered to my door in Dublin on Friday. What a treat. So here I will only suggest to you what to do with cooked pheasant meat, but you will have to ask my dad how to get there!
8 stoneless kalamata olives
2 garlic cloves