oystercollageAka: three of my guiltiest pleasures.

Three things that I think about more than a farm any girl should. Three things that must really be done all in one day to fully appreciate. Add champagne to any and all and you’ve upped the totty. The best.

I have a few bits of bacchanalia I wanted to share this week in between recipe posts. They involve oysters, cake, and cinema.

I am doing a cookery demonstration at The Galway International Oyster Festival this year. What will I be preparing? Something oysterlicious, of course.  And, 50’s style Americana. Using amazing local Irish artisan ingredients and a drop of smokey Connemara Whiskey. The festival takes place today, 26th September through the Sunday the 29th with a schedule filled with remarkable oyster and seafood events. I’ll be there on Saturday afternoon at 3pm, after Birgitta of Burren Smokehouse and before Michelin star chef, Kevin Thornton. (don’t ask me how that happened!). On Sunday, the fabulous Clodagh McKenna will be cooking for everyone. Do come along!

Galway Native Oysters back in season for the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, 26-29 Sept 2013 (Large)[1]

Our film, Small Green Fields, has been selected to screen at the Food Film Festival in Chicago in November! We are so thrilled to share the stories of incredible artisan Irish food and farming personalities with audiences across the pond. In the Windy city where so many people can say they are proud to be Irish, I’m hoping will be a big hit. Have a look at the other films screening, fun + impressive company.  Also, on October 17th, Small Green Fields will screen at the IndieCork Film Festival in Cork City. More details to come.

smallgreenfieldfinal

My friend and fellow Irish food blogger/author, Lilly Higgins along with Patrick Ryan of Firehouse Bread will be baking cakes for ACT for Meningitis at Bake Fest Galway this year.  The national festival takes place on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th of October. Organised by Goodness Cakes, in association with charity ACT for Meningitis, Bake Fest Galway will be Ireland’s biggest baking festival and competition for both novices and professionals.

BAKE

Back soon with a new farm adventure + recipe to share.

Slan Abhaile,

Imen

 

 

 

 

 

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Oysters & Guinness

24 Aug 2010

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter. “You’ve had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?” But answer came there none- And that was scarcely odd, because They’d eaten every one.’  –Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter.

The first time I had an oyster I wanted to try out the “aphrodisiac” quality. Not sure it worked on me, though I must say I did find the flavour and sense of gastronomic adventure very desirable. The native Irish oyster “Ostrea Edulis” can be found throughout the coastal regions of Ireland and would be considered traditional seafood fare dating back to the 13th Century. The best way to enjoy the full flavour of oysters is to eat them raw, served on the half shell to hold their succulent juices. Fresh lemon juice or a drop of Tabasco sauce are often used as condiments and a cold pint of Guinness served on the side makes for a wonderful Summer supper.

Oyster culture is probably one of the most environmentally friendly types of farming as it doesn’t require any entrants to be added from the exterior (neither feed nor medication). It has also an extremely low and often negative carbon footprint. Oysters feed themselves on elements which are naturally found in the seas where they grow. The oyster farmer’s task is to simply accompany the natural growth of oysters by managing stocking densities and thereby naturally influencing shell shape and growth rates.  Irish oysters are coveted and are exported to a huge demand in France as well as the UK, Belgium, Germany and more distant markets such as the Ukraine, China and Japan.

The Galway International Oyster Festival takes place each September and has evolved from very modest beginnings. In September 1954, 34 guests attended the very first “Oyster Festival Banquet”. Now, thousands of people from around the world gather together to eat oysters and drink Guinness each year. The festival takes place this year the 22-26th of September and promises to be filled with loads of fun and frolic.

Perhaps we shall see you there?

Slan Abhaile,

Imen

Photo by Imen McDonnell. Assisted by Master Geoffrey McDonnell.

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