Item Number 1- Dried Rose Buds;
I had never seen these before in my life -they are very cute (says my inner little girl) and they were also really cheap! About 3 euro for the container, now I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with them yet -cake decoration is an obvious choice and I do have a lovely Nigel Slater (...sigh!) recipe for a Lemon Pistachio Cake with rose water, almonds and lemon syrup icing and they would sit atop that very nicely indeed. It's from one of my favourite dip into books, The Kitchen Diaries. Thank you universe -I have been looking for a good reason to bake that cake again....watch this space! What else could I do?....I was watching The Hairy Bikers Bakation recently and somewhere in France they had gotten pink praline.....peut-etre, peut-etre.....! When I opened the jar there was a lovely smell of roses, but I'm not sure how much flavour they would impart...I ate one for a dare...it was ...well....Well, lets just say you wouldn't be snacking on them! F.Y.I. they were purchased in the Asian Supermarket on Drury St, Dublin 2, if you've never been you must go -it's an experience to say the least!
Item Number 2- Preserved Lemons;
Both myself and my mother are lemon fanatics and I can't believe I haven't tasted these before now! I bought them last week in the lovely Listons food shop on Camden St. Dublin, cost was a fairly reasonable E4.35. The smell is kinda strange, sort of like a cleaning product that has a lemon scent. But don't let that put you off, please, the taste is like a tangy, sweet ball of sunshine, with a mellow, almost limey undertone. So, obviously I haven't made a tagine otherwise I would have used these before now. Anyway, yesterday because the weather was so cold, so windy and so very Wintry, I wanted comfort food, so I decided that the fire would be lit and a chicken would go into the oven. I picked some thyme from le jardin to go with the butter beneath the breast skin and then as I chopped a fresh lemon for the cavity, the jar of preserved lemons flashed into my mind ....so I cut up a few pieces to accompany the butter and thyme....The result was really rather delicious! I also had some today with item number three....
Item number 3- Toons Bridge Irish Buffalo Mozzarella;
I heard about this a few months back on a News Talk radio feature. They've started stocking this in Listons where I found it today, price wise decent value at E3.35. I've eaten plenty of Buffalo Mozzarella in my time but never anything with as small a carbon footprint as this one! It's produced at Toons Bridge, West Cork, by farmer Johnny Lynch in conjunction with Toby Simmons of The Real Olive Company Taste wise? -delicious, it has the sweet tang that you associate with buffalo milk. Texture wise -this was a little bit tighter and drier than other varieties I've had. I ate it with a simple salad and a little bit of preserved lemon on the side -nom nom. I would definitely recommend it, who would have ever thought that shopping 'local' would include Buffalo Mozzarella!!! Molto buono!
I think we should leap more often when we see something different on the shelf, maybe all of you are already leaping....well I'm joining in the fun now too. And on the link below you can see News Talk presenter Henry McKean leaping onto a buffalo at Toons Bridge...
Let me know if you've any good recipes or ideas for any of the above :-)