October full of Ups and Downs and Beef Bourgnignon


Octobers Ups and Downs

Boy was October full of ups and downs, for us anyway.
The butcher and I had planned a three night getaway, without the little people, mid October. My sister and mother were moving in for the weekend, taking it in shifts to look after our crew. When we were offered three nights of babysitting I decided we were getting on a plane.
Now it's not like I love flying but in all our years of being parents, we hadn't been away, alone, for three nights in a row, ever. I'd never been to Edinburgh and it was a city that intrigued me. It's full of history while also cosmopolitan. Shops and walks all in the one place. Perfect.
I reserved a lovely city center hotel and booked the flights. All we'd to do was pack, and make sure the kids were organised for the weekend and away we go. Yipeeeeee...
It was great - in plenty of time for the flight and seamlessly got to the hotel. The hotel was fabulous and had an amazing view of the castle. We walked up to Arthur's Seat, ate in some lovely cafes and restaurants and I developed an unhealthy relationship with Edinburgh Gin!!


Anyway, all the while rumours were circulating about the potential of a hurricane or an ex hurricane. For the most part I didn't take this too seriously as I do think these things are blown out of proportion some of the time. Until Sunday morning! I was relaxing in bed, nosing through social media and reading all those articles I'd saved for myself to read. Farmers offspring have an inbuilt alarm that wakes them early in the morning regardless of how long they've slept!!! The butcher was gently snoring beside me. So awake and bored, I was reading away and noticed that this whole hurricane thing was really gaining traction. Feeling slightly panicked I rang my sister and my friend, both assuring us it'll be grand, sure you'll be grand. I wanted someone to either tell me to come home immediately or stay put that it's a thing of nothing. After deliberation we decided to carry on with the weekend and not worry. So we went for a late breakfast and himself went to watch the match while I went shopping. Then the notification came that all Waterford schools were closing. I rang my mother, who was now on duty with our children and she claimed all was under control. My mother is on her 70's and very capable. So didn't completely panic yet.

Canceled Flight 

I went to meet himself then. News then arrived that our flight, which was due to leave Monday afternoon, was canceled. Panic doesn't begin to describe it. We got in touch with Aerlingus and they told us to get to the airport asap. We ran back to hotel, flung everything into our bags and jumped into a taxi for the airport. We weren't allowed board the flight that was there because we had just missed check in. Stress!! The next available flight from Edinburgh was Tuesday, at the earliest. I nearly cried. I frantically explained to the lovely lady I was talking to, that my elderly mother was in charge of our four children. She said she couldn't do anything. When I explained again that my elderly mother was looking after our four children, two dogs, eleven hens, seven fish, a hamster and two stick insects she took some notice. Think it was the stick insects that got it over the line. I was prepared to cry, to demonstrate my panic. Anyone who knows me, knows I can do that at the drop of a hat, but thankfully this occasion didn't require such dramatic measures.

The only other flight home was from Newcastle and check in was closing in two and a half hours. My next question was how long does it take to get to Newcastle? Two to two and a half hours. Aghhhh.... panic... You are seeing the theme develop here. So we asked a taxi guy could he get us there and he said he'd try his best. It was the most stressful car journey I think I ever traveled. We got to Newcastle in two hours and twenty five minutes. I kissed the taxi driver and we ran with all our belongings to check in. Phew..

Now I could continue here and tell you all how I then lost my boarding pass, had to redo security, rechecked in, flight delayed for an hour and a half due to NAVIGATIONAL SYSTEM PROBLEMS, in a fog, with a hurricane on the way, but you probably wouldn't believe me. OMG was all I can say. When I eventually got out of the car at home, and after checking everyone was safe and sound in bed then the tears came. The relief to be home.

It's all very funny now and with the three tragedies the next day it puts everything into perspective. Think I'll stay in Tramore if we ever go away again!!!

Now as I said ups and downs,

Top ten Butcher Shop.

So the big big up was the ACBI Craft Butchers Awards in none other than the K Club. Beautiful hotel. Wow, so another evening away without the children. Lovely. Thanks Mary, the much older sister again. Anyway, I wasn't organised for this. We had our come dine with me at my sisters the night before and I'd over indulged in both delicious food and Glendalough Gin this time. Sure it would be rude not to. Anyway, threw a frock into the bag and away I went. Himself was showcasing all day so I just arrived up for the evening. So off we headed to the function room after a few little drinks in the bar. Well as you may or may not have heard, although it's all over Facebook, WE WON!! Top ten butcher shop in the country. We we had a great night on the strength of it. The minister for State Andrew Boyle, presented the prize. He discussed the quality of the products the craft butchers offer due to the quality of our meat producers in this country. A farmer himself he mention the age old argument between the farmer and the butcher. One was robbing the other. I thought of my Dad then and smiled at an image of him 'discussing' this with the butcher! And on the story goes, as they say. A great weekend was had in the shop, this weekend, with Hazel doing tasting to celebrate.  So I suppose all's well that ends well. We are all safe and sound with a trophy on our cabinet. So as the new catch phrase in our house goes, how bad ya'd be!!


The Butchers Wife,


PS I better mention that Diced Beef is on special this week, and I've attached a Beef Bourguignon Recipe, It's got a kg of diced beef in it so this would feed 6 adults or perhaps a family of 4 twice, one for dinner and one for the freezer. It's also perfect for the slow cooker.

Beef Bourguignon

  • 1kg diced beef
  • 2 tbsp. plain flour
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 150g smoked bacon lardons/smoked streaky bacon chopped
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 75ml brandy (optional)
  • 500ml Burgundy red wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 1 bouquet garni – 2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs flat leaf parsley – tie together a combination of these
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 110g/4oz small baby onions/shallots
  • 110g of button mushrooms
  • 25g butter
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Toss the beef with the flour, salt and black pepper. Heat a large sauté pan until hot, add half the olive oil and the bacon and fry for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Add the beef and fry until browned on each side. Do this in batches. Add the onions and garlic and fry until just softened. Add the brandy and flame to burn off the alcohol. Add the red wine and beef stock and bring to a simmer. Add the bouquet garni then cover and cook on a low heat for 2 hours until tender and just thickened. Or slow cooker on low for the day.
  3. Fry off the button mushrooms with the baby onions and add to the bourguignon.
  4. Check the seasoning before serving with mashed potatoes and maybe tender stem broccoli.
  5. Enjoy!!XX