The 9th chapter

The 9th Chapter of 12.

Does it feel like the 9th Chapter??

I think this year went more like, Chapter 1, Chapter 2 then Chapters 3 - 8 (March - August) aghhhhhhh and now at Chapter 9, some sort of normality. A lot has happened, while nothing has happened. It's been horrendous for some and we've all learned to adapt and change. The shop has adapted and changed. Our customers are adapting and changing. This brought about various changes to our opening and closing time as mentioned yesterday and are below.

On Sundays from 10am to 2pm the wall fridge wil be open with all your usual favourites but also a selection of roasts, prepared in a recyclable roasting tray for your convenience and steak, chops etc on our compostable trays, all in our wall cabinet. The counter cabinet will not be open on Sundays.

One thing that came back into our house during lockdown was the return of the traditional Sunday Roast and much to the kids delighted a Sunday dessert. Sundays had been filled with matches and getting organised for work that we lost the Sunday Roast. Last Sunday I did a lovely Roast beef but I had loads left over. My lads love beef but won't really eat it in a sandwich so I made this recipe below while I was cooking the roast and allowed it to cool just to be reheated the next day with the meat added in. It was a real winner and handy to have organised as things start to get busy again. I seriously encourage you to give it a try. Without adding the meat it would feed any vegetarian in your house too.

Moroccan-style stew for roasted meat

Serves 8

Ingredients:
olive oil
15g butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tin of chickpeas (400g), drained and rinsed
1 tin of tomatoes (400g), chopped
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
450ml vegetable or chicken stock (plus more if needed)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 tsp paprika
¼-½ tsp cayenne pepper
leftover roast lamb (or chicken or beef)

I had none of these below and just left them out - still yum!!
(1 large bunch of fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped (or a mixture of both - reserve some for serving)
2 tsp mint, dried or a couple of sprigs of fresh mint)

Heat the butter and oil mixture in a large saucepan. Add the onion and gently fry for at least 10 minutes until beginning to soften and take on some colour. Add the garlic and give it a good stir.

Add the drained chickpeas and chopped tomatoes. Stir.

Add the pepper, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and the lemon juice (but not the salt).

Add the stock and a ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced but not dried out completely. Top up with more liquid if necessary.

Add the paprika and cayenne now.

At this point I turned off the hob and let it cool. Just for convenience, add the diced cold meat (lamb, beef or chicken).

The next evening, take your dish out of the fridge and let it heat slowly. Boil your rice while you're doing this.

(If you are using these add the chopped coriander and parsley, 1 teaspoon of dried mint)

Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.

Sprinkle over with chopped herbs.

Tip: Add additional vegetables such as red peppers or cooked potatoes or even some of the left over veg from your Sunday Roast dinner. Just the last few minutes before the end so they don't go to mush.

 

I hope you get to try this it was delicious. So change can bring challenges but also opportunity. I have always been change adverse. I think this time has help build some resilience in me, in my children and all around us. Love this Socrates quote - "The secret of Change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but building on the new." I like this and I keep reminding myself of it when I'm frustrated about something I can no longer do they way I used to. I was, like most anxious about the going back to school. Teachers are professionals who focus on the child so their wellbeing was never in question.  I spoke to the kids a little bit but not too much before they went back, keeping it positive and trying to encourage that not all change is bad. I'll leave ye with the words that my second youngest said when I collected him from school day one.  " Mam, it's a bit different but it's even better".

Enjoy,

The Butchers' Wife.

New Times Below.

Days Opening and closing time
Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

8 am – 7pm
Saturdays 8am – 6pm
Sundays 10am – 2pm

And here we are....

I haven't 'blogged' in an age but I went back to work outside of the business and home and there just never seemed to be time. It wasn't time I suppose. It was more head space. But not sure if head space is something I have lots of now - anxiety has gone through the roof and I don't know about you but I swing from profound gratitude to falling into the dark hole. But here we are....

So you may have noticed the family deal - 5 dinners deal - for €30

  • 1lb of round steak mince
  • 1 large chicken
  • 1 packet of sausages, 300g pack of rashers and 1 packet of pudding
  • 1 kg of back bacon joint
  • 4 large chicken fillets

Phone in your order and they lads will pop it into your car or deliver it to your home. I decided to try out some new recipes - this is a quick and easy one using the chicken fillets from this deal. I've included my substituted ingredients because I just didn't have it all at hand.

Try it - a big hit here!

Quick Chicken Basil and Coconut Curry

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 3 leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional if cooking for kids)
  • 4 skinless chicken breast fillets, cubed
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce/naam pla or substitute with a shake of salt if no fish sauce at home
  • 1 tsp agave syrup/honey
  • a handful of basil leaves, torn (a teasp of dried)
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • brown or basmati rice, to serve

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, leeks and chilli and cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. If the pan gets too dry, add a dash of water.
  4. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Add the fish sauce, honey, basil and coconut milk to the chicken in the
    pan. Stir well and cook for 2–3 minutes.
  6. Serve piping hot in warmed serving bowls along with some brown or basmati rice.

I hope you get to try this - I attached a picture of the baby and the dogs on the Back strand at sunrise before lock down! We(not the teenagers obv's) got up with himself every morning and tried to get to the back strand before anyone else. It was amazing - nourishment for the soul. I miss it but it will still be there when we have done as we're asked and stayed at home. I have beautiful country walks around me so I'm lucky.  I hope you can get out and move.

We've only one chance to get this right!

Stay safe and thank you for your continued custom. xx

 

 


Happy New Year

So Christmas has come and gone, and it's the start of a brand new year. Usually, the new year brings lots of talk of a "New You", “January detox”, “New Year Cleanse” and all of that waffle! When you understand the inner workings of the human body, you quickly realise that there really is no such thing as “cleansing foods", which magically make your liver and kidneys work at full throttle to undo all of the overindulgences of Christmas. Detoxification is a process that is happening on a continual basis, and not just during a “quick-fix” 3-day juice fast. There are, however, some foods which support specific pathways that your body uses to rid itself of the by-products of alcohol, for example. So do your body a favour this January, up your intake of plant fibre, antioxidant-rich spices and coloured veggies every day. 30 minutes of walking and 1-2 litres of filtered water also help to get the pathways of elimination working well. Therefore, you will be encouraging good detoxification 365 days of the year not just after Christmas. So pop this nourishing casserole on your new meal plan for January. No starvation and no juicer required! Only whole, real food.

Chicken casserole with a twist – Serves 4
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika will work too)
1 onion, sliced
100gms dried apricots, roughly chopped
40gms red split lentils rinsed well in a sieve
400gm tin of chopped tomatoes
300mls chicken stock
4 pieces of chicken – you can use breast if you wish, my preference is thighs or leg.
Freshly chopped coriander to serve

Coat the chicken in the garlic, coriander and paprika. If time permits, cover the spiced chicken pieces and pop them in the fridge to marinate for between 1-3 hours. If not, you can cook them straight away, and it will still taste amazing. In a large casserole dish, sweat down the onion for approx. 8-10 minutes until soft. Then, add in the apricots, lentils, the tin of tomatoes, stock and chicken. Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Serve with some stir-fried or steamed green veggies and a sprinkle of coriander. This tastes even nicer the next day so double to quantity and make a big batch to pop some portions in the freezer.

Tip from the butcher’s wife...
I’m with you all the way on that one Jemma. No self-flagellation here. The thing that Jemma has told me and has made the biggest impact on how I eat is forget the guilt. If you are not eating well, you know you don’t feel well etc. but we all have to eat the cake, eat the chocolate and drink the gin. Life is so short. So if you’ve enjoyed your food at Christmas, make sure to continue to enjoy it but perhaps more of the energy boosting and cleansing type. This looks delicious and I think I’m going to fling it into the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. I’ll let you know how I get on. Onwards and upwards to you all for 2019. My resolution is to be healthy and happy as I can be but there’s still some Christmas cake here and you couldn’t throw it out!!
The butchers’ wife XX

Happy New Year to all of our loyal customers. Wishing you all the very best of health and happiness for 2019!
All at Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen


Chicken noodle soup

Perfect for our cold weather and light on the tummy too.

Something warm and comforting reading when you come in from the day!!

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients
4-5 chicken breasts
200gms or 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1.5 litres chicken stock (use my easy homemade stock, also made in the slow cooker*)
1 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
300gms uncooked wide egg noodles/rice noodles
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions
1. Place whole chicken breasts on the bottom and top with carrots, onion, celery, garlic, olive oil, thyme and bay leaf.
2. Next add in chicken broth, water, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low heat 6 – 7 hours.
3. Remove cooked chicken breasts and cut into bite sized pieces. Place chicken back in to the slow cooker.
4. Cook your noodles separately according to the instructions on the pack and add to slow cooker along with the parsley and stir. Serve and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth*
Ingredients:
* 1-2 chicken carcasses (from free-range birds)
* 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
* 2 large carrots, scrubbed clean and chopped
* 2 stalks celery with leafy tops, chopped
* 4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
* 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
* Water to cover (about 15-20 cups)
* 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar (helps to draw the minerals out of the bones and into the stock)
* sea salt to taste
Directions:
1. Put all your ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on high for at least 12 but preferably 24 hours. The longer you simmer it, the more flavour some it will be, but keep in mind that it will reduce and you will end up with less.
When it has finished cooking, allow to cool a little and then sample your broth. Add sea salt to taste. Strain the broth, push some of the veggies through the sieve.
Your stock is now ready for use or you can package it up or use it to make your slow cooker chicken soup as above.

Let’s Nutrify – Jemma Tip
This divinely easy slow cooker chicken soup is such a nutritious boost for the immune system. If you choose to make it with the homemade broth, you’ll be getting a wonderful mineral and gelatin rich broth that is not only a useful cold fighter, but also supports good digestive health. I often add in some greens like a good handful of cabbage, spinach or kale approx. 10 minutes from the end of cooking time to increase the vitamin and fibre content of the soup. Enjoy!

Tips from the butchers’ wife.
Delighted that a soup was included in our slow cooker special. At the weekend I often cook up a batch of vegetable soup so we’ve something hot when we come in from activities. Without the added protein vegetable soup just wouldn’t sustain and keep you satisfied for long. This one, with the added addition of chicken, is a meal in itself and will be a great addition to our lunch boxes. I bought really handy food flasks in home store and more and we all use them for work and school. Remember the ratio of dried herbs to fresh. 1:3. Dried herbs are more intense than fresh so less of the dried!! Batch cook and use for a couple of days too!!

Yum... The butchers wife x


Lamb and Prune Tagine

 

No messing around this week listening to me withering on.... try this...

Lamb and Prune Tagine

INGREDIENTS
• 1 TBSP OLIVE OIL (13G)
• 1KG DICED LAMB
• SALT & PEPPER (3G)
• 2 ONIONS CHOPPED (300G)
• 4 GARLIC CLOVES (12G)
• 5CM KNOB OF GINGER, PEELED AND CHOPPED (20G)
• 1 TBSP HARISSA (18G)
• 2 TSP GROUND CUMMIN (GG)
• 1 TSP GROUND CINNAMON (2G)
• 1 TSP FENNEL SEEDS (2G)
• 1 LITRE CHICKEN STOCK
• 4-6 LARGE RIPE TOMATOES, ROUGHLY CHOPPED
• 200G PRUNES
• 100G GREEN OLIVES, STONED
• 100G SHELLED PISTACHIOS
• 20G CORIANDER CHOPPED

PREPARATION
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan and brown the lamb well on all sides. Season generously. When you’ve got a good colour on the meat, after about 5 minutes of stirring and browning on a relative high heat, add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook out for another 2 minutes, until the onions start to soften and carmelise. Add the harissa and spices and mix really well. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes so that the spices and harissa coat the meat.
Add the stock, cover with lid, turn down the heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is burning at the bottom of the pan. At this stage you can let cool and leave in the fridge overnight and cook the following day, which allows the flavours to develop further but you can continue in one go. Add the tomatoes, prunes, olives and pistachios and cook, uncovered for another hour. At this stage it should have reduced to a nice consistency and the flavours should be really good. The bottom line is that the lamb need to cook for 2 hours in total which can be done in one go or split over 2 days. Garnish with the coriander and serve with rice. Yum !

Let's Nutrify! - Jemma's tips

Lamb is such a favourite of mine, both because of the delicious sweet taste but also because I know how nourishing it is. Rich in easy to digest iron, b vitamins and zinc, lamb makes the perfect winter boost if the energy levels are flagging. Lamb is also a relatively wild meat, outdoor reared and feeding naturally year round on the grasses and plants that they've always eaten. Owing to this, lamb is rich in omega 3's and also in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has been linked with lower body mass and seems to help with weight management. The ginger, fennel seeds, and prunes contained in this recipe make it rich in antioxidants, easy to digest and a wonderful source of soluble fibre. So if you would traditionally have found that red meat slows down your digestion, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this dish! This dish freezes really well so be sure to make plenty and store some for those cold, dark nights! Serve it with some roasted root veggies or roasted cauliflower."

Shane Dineen Fitness
Super fuel recipe with fantastic flavour, well worth the effort, see nutri info below:
Per portion:
Carbs : 26g
Protein : 56.6g
Fat : 33.4g
Fibre : 10.5g
Calories : 625

Butchers wife tip.
This tagine is ideal for a large group, this recipe serves 6 people, and is great with some rice and roasted veggies. The harissa gives it heat with body rather than outright fire, but feel free to add more if you like it. Seems alot of effort but if you use the frozen pre chopped ginger and just chuck in a tin of chopped tomatoes instead of chopping that cuts out chopping time.  If you don't have harrisa use some chilli flakes to add the heat... enjoy x


Spiced Lamb Pittas

Lads, all I can say is please try this recipe. It is easy peasy and soooo delicious. As you know I use my guinea pigs AKA the children at home to trial all recipes. I listen to all criticisms and do what I like anyway. ?Seriously I adjust as I feel appropriate. This recipe needs no tweaking. It is a big hit and I love it because its easy and a fun kind of dinner. Read on for Jemma Kehoe Nutritionists Slant on the health benefits and Shane Dineen Fitness expert gives us insight into how this suits his and his clients needs as a fitness trainer. Enjoy X

Spiced Lamb Pittas

#Tip from Jemma – Let’s Nutrify!

Lamb is one of my absolute favourite meats. I adore the taste and the fact that it's a relatively wild meat, but I also love it because of its’ nutrient profile.  The iron and zinc content of lamb is excellent, meaning it's a super meat to build the blood and increase energy levels.

Which has more omega 3’s – 100gms of cod or 100gms of lamb? You might be surprised to learn that the answer is lamb! You can get almost 300mgs of wonderful omega 3 fatty acids from just 100gms of lamb meat which is a comparable amount to that contained in 1 premium brand fish oil capsule! So if you’re not a fish lover but want to ensure that you get nice amounts of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, enjoy lamb once-twice weekly.

 

Shane Dineen Fitness Coach

“This meal is a perfect quick and easy post workout meal/dinner, containing high percentage of Protein from the meat for recovery, muscle growth and repair.

Along with Carbs coming from the Pitta to refuel and top up your Glycogen stores to be able to perform at your best for your next session.

Not to mention the health benefits from the Veg + Spices too keep everything on the inside fit and healthy”

 

Quick and Easy

Spiced lamb pittas

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 large clove of garlic crushed

Salt and black pepper

1 tsp. of turmeric

1 tsp. of ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

450g lamb mince

50mls of water

225g potatoes diced

75g frozen peas

Method

Add the spices and mince and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mince loses its raw colour. Tip in the potatoes and 50ml water and cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add the peas and cook, uncovered for a further 2 minutes.

Toast your pittas as usual and get your Greek yoghurt ready (optional extra is to add some diced cucumber or mint)

#Tips from the butcher's wife

Make these healthier, use whole-wheat pittas. Add a side salad of fresh green leaves. Yum!!

XX


Back to school

Back to school.
Rose of Tralee
Is there anything like the Rose of Tralee on the box, to say back to school? I always had a love/ hate relationship with the Rose of Tralee festival. On one side, I was allowed stay up late and look at all the lovely dresses but on the other, the anxiety about school would be mounting and a sense of imminent doom. This year we have a Waterford Rose winner which is great. Congratulations to Kirsten Mate Maher and I hope she has a great year.

What time is it?
Alas, back to school. I hate talking about it, I hate thinking about it, and I hate actually doing something about it. Organising back to school. Hate Hate Hate. It screams of homework, rushing dinner, rushing to activities, it screams of rushing, just rushing. It also highlights my bad, bad timekeeping. I am not a good time keeper. I try to keep good time but I always fall short about five minutes. Which, I have learned from my friend who is always on time, is actually ten minutes, because you should be five minutes early. But I always think I could just get another little thing done, a counter cleared off, a wash on, veg chopped for later or just make a latte to go even though I’ve been swigging from one since I got up. And then I’ll usually end up driving stressed, guilty and saying very mean things to myself in the head. This year I will be better….

Organisation Skills
I normally organise for the following year before they finish school in June – get the uniforms sorted, pay the book rental scheme, cleanout schoolbags and put away etc. Please do not think that I am in any way organised. I AM NOT. AT ALL. But I think I might have alluded to the fact that I hate thinking about back to school. Therefore, in order to allow me to just get up on the morning of back to school and without thinking about it prior to this, the above is what I normally do. Not this year though, because the weather was so amazing prior to the school holidays that we went from school to swim most days. I even thought about taking the children out of school (Shhh….don’t tell my school attendance officer brother).

Angry
So this year I found myself in a queue for the secondary school books during the summer. By the time I got to the counter I was in fowl form. The poor student, working for the summer, trying to earn a few quid for college or pints or both, was being very patient with me. I eventually had to explain to him that I’m normally quite a pleasant person but I find spending lots of money and I mean lots (more of that later) on something that the person receiving them isn’t best pleased about receiving, is just a tad frustrating. Well, you see where I’m going.

Voluntary contributions
What is the story with the cost of school books? Our eldest started secondary school last year with books alone costing nearly €500, not to mention uniform, administration costs, art and the ‘voluntary contribution’. I actually thought naively that that was that for three years. But no. The Irish League of Credit Unions say the average spend per year on a primary school child is €999 and a secondary school child is €1379. OMG! In our primary school, I pay, before summer starts, a fee per child for book rental and supplies. I do not buy books. This covers it all. It’s really good compared to others schools that you have to buy books and pay for all the rest. But with secondary school it’s absolutely madness. I can’t help but wonder, is someone ensuring that big school publishers thrive. Does history change? Geography? Maths? Why not do the book rental scheme in all schools??? Surely, better than filling the world with first editions, second, third editions that books are reused or perhaps the use of iPad – although how would you know your darling teenager is not snap chatting instead of studying? That point needs more thought. With the school book business being upwards of €55 million, the government supplement the cost of books in DEIS schools but parents are mostly picking up the bill. This is, 25 years after a report into the cost of schools books was carried out and school rental scheme was the main recommendation. Besides that, someday a school or the department of education will be sued over damaged backs of teenagers carrying enormous books. Oh Lord, why am I even giving out? If nothing has been done after 25 years and as we’re apparently now out of recession (really?) the appetite for change will not be as ferocious.

Anyway – enough of that, you’ve heard it all before. So here’s some advice from the butchers wife on how to beat those back to school pitfalls.

1. Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier. This will work, possibly, day one or could back fire and you think you’ve all the time in the world that you loll around checking emails, what’s app and Facebook and you actually tear in the school gate even later than last year and still have to put up your daughters hair so she might not get the dreaded head lice. So you stand outside the car, while the priomhóide is giving assembly in the chlós, pulling the head off your daughter, with tears rolling down her face, but technically she is present for assembly so yay, win.
2. Prep school lunches the night before so you can ensure your darlings will have a healthy nutritious lunch every day.
What actually happens? Monday Tuesday and maybe even Wednesday the lunch boxes contain all if not most of the food groups – protein, dairy, fruit, vegetables and carbs. Thursday’s lunch includes cheese strings, three biscuits and a jam sandwich and Friday’s lunch box is a petrol station breakfast roll and a fruit winder (its fruit isn’t it??).
3. Label everything. This actually does help in locating the third school jumper that has been lost and it’s not even Halloween. You dread asking the teacher if they’ve come across said jumper, in fear they send you to the lost and found box in the store room that smells of, what I can only be described as, old gym gear at best or, at worst, something Gordon Ramsey finds in a fridge of a closing down road side restaurant in Iowa.
4. Lay out clothes the night before therefore saves time in the morning. Again possibly on a Sunday Monday and Tuesday evening I might remember to do this but by Thursday and Friday morning the children head off to school looking like something out of a Charles Dickens novel.
5. Prepare healthy mid-week dinners in advance. Involve the children in this task so they are more invested in their food.
Reality of this is, you were too unorganised to do this at the weekend and therefore you start from scratch and if you attempt to involve the children, the kitchen ends up like a scene from a war movie (more than when you started). The dog won’t even look at the dinner never mind attempting to eat it and you end up cooking pasta.
6. Ensure the children have a consistent bedtime routine. Yay, I do manage consistency here. I consistently ask the children to step away from the TV, then I consistently ask them to wash their face, hands and teeth. They might do one of these and then I consistently ask them to get into bed. I consistently try and read them a relaxing bedtime story without the consistent argument who gets to lie beside me and I consistently end up giving up and closing the book and vowing that tomorrow night will be better.

So there you go, some back to school advice to get you through the first few weeks but one must at least try. For those of you with a little one just starting, be it your first, or your last, I have the ABBA song, ‘Slipping through my fingers’, in my head. The late great Gerry Ryan played this song on the first of September every year – school bag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning, waving goodbye with an absent minded smile……
Makes me cry every year.

PS here’s a recipe that was loved in our house using this weeks special offer so it might help with the back to school economies...
The Butchers Wife xx

Chicken and Chorizo
1 tbsp. olive oil
300g chorizo cut into cubes.
10 chicken pieces  

CHORIZO AND CHICKEN PIECES WITH RICE. YUM

salt and fresh grounded black pepper

2 small onions, chopped
8 cloves of garlic
300g basmati rice
200mls white wine

1 litre of chicken/vegetable stock
2 tbsp. of chopped flat leaf parsley.

Methods
Put olive oil into casserole dish on a medium heat. And add the chorizo. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until it releases the lovely tasty oils and remove the chorizo but leave the oil in the dish.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add to the casserole dish and cook for 6-8 minutes turning to make sure it’s browned all over.
Then stir in the onions and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and slightly browned.
Add the rice and pour in the wine, then bring to a simmer and cook for about 3-4 minutes reducing slightly.
Pour in the stock and bring to boil, and then reduce the heat, season with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the chorizo, parsley and serve.

 

The finished product X2

#Tips from the butchers wife.
This was a big big hit in my house!! Delicious – if you’ve drank all the wine replace it with extra stock instead. But don’t worry all the alcohol is cooked off anyway. Serve with a salad or some vegetables.

 


Summer Time! BBQ Time!

Well hello ladies.

Digging a hole

Isn't BBQ season just marvellous for us women?
Himself piped up the other day, "isn't it grand for you now that I'm doing all the cooking." I looked up expectantly. Where is he going with this one? "Well now that the good weather is here and the kids are on holidays, you don't have to do anything"? Again I gave him the eye. Say nothing and see how deep this hole he is digging will be. I don't even have to supply the shovel.

The Great Gender Divide and Primeval instinct
"Well sure we (I'm assuming he means men) do all the BBQing”. "Yes, you do BBQ." said I. "Well it makes things easier for you" said he. "That it does. All I have to do when you're BBQing is bring out the meat, the marinade, the thongs, the forks, the plate to put it all on, then make the salads and wash the spuds and then after I get to clean the grill racks." It was his turn to stay silent.
So why do men do the BBQ. It’s a 'primeval instinct’ for men to barbecue. They’re essentially hard-wired to work with meat and fire. It certainly would be weird to see himself make a salad while I BBQed and although I'm the primary caregiver and himself the main earner we live in a house that has good equality balance of roles.

Equality 
Equality, in the home, to me means that we share out what needs to be done. Division of labour. I struggled initially with being “a kept woman" as it is traditionally seen. I find it strange that the care of children and investing time and effort in home life is less valued than a job. True equality is about choice. I choose to be at home. I’m lucky enough to have that choice but I did feel a little “anti-feminist” in my choice. At times I felt judged, by women more than men. But I think i was judging myself more. Was I setting a good example for my daughters?  But as time went on and life threw curve balls and it was essential for someone to be at home I was grateful for the choice and was at peace in my role. I’m lucky.

Gin and Tonics with a delicious dinner with the Matriarch and the sister

Anyway back to how lucky I am to have little to do now that it’s BBQ season. The weather is just amazing. We’ve been BBQing at the beach and at home. I love the Cajun chicken kebabs. I usually add them to my salad of leaves with toasted walnuts, tomatoes and beetroot. Love love love !!!! The kids are loving the BBQ sausages and the lamb kebabs. They haven’t time to chew. The butcher enjoys the beef or lamb burgers. But at the weekend I said no more. I was being lazy about changing what I was eating. My Mam and my sister were staying over and I wanted to feed them well. So I tried the butterflied leg of lamb on the BBQ. I marinated it with lemon juice, crushed garlic and salt and pepper. Simple. It was nearly half eaten before I got it to the table. It really is delicious and quick. And a welcome change from the typical BBQ fare. I served the lamb with South East Produce New Potatoes and a simple salad of leaves with mint. So between the delicious lamb and new potatoes with melting butter, portion distortion was the order of the day. I’ve found a Jamie Oliver recipe that I’m going to try for the marinade and will share the results.
So the butcher got to try something new and I enjoyed the results immensely – He even washed the grill rack after.

True love.

Equality.

Happy wife, happy life.

The butchers’ wife xx

Contact orders@molloysbutchersardkeen.com for any special request regarding the lamb.

In other news we are still encouraging our customers to bring their clean reusable containers into us. Choose to Reuse. Plastic Free Waterford.

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Dear Santa, this Christmas, I only want a fat bank account and a skinny body and please don't mix them up this year, Love the butchers wife xx

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I LOVE CHRISTMAS

Is everyone up to ninety yet?? No?? Well why ever not?? If you are not a headless Turkey at this stage well you're just not in the Christmas Spirit. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! I always have and I can't see a time when I won't love it.

Christmas Eve

My mam and dad headed out every Christmas Eve evening for drinks with friends. My last Christmas at home with my parents, before I married the butcher, my long suffering mother attempted to put gifts under the tree on Christmas eve before I'd gone to bed. I was horrified. It wasn't Christmas morning. What was she thinking?? I was so appalled that Mam hid the presents again. Later that evening, I was in bed when they returned home. Then I heard Santa putting the presents under the tree. I waited a respectable length of time to be certain Santa had left before I crept down the stairs for a rummage at the gifts. Just your average 25 year old behaviour on Christmas Eve I think.

Christmas Eve

We still have young children so the magic really still exists in our house. Like everyone else, as the years go by and we get a little older, the losses that we have gathered along the way seem to scratch at the wound a little bit more especially at this time of year. It’s because of this we need to surround ourselves with the people we love all the more. And as you may have noticed the centre piece of all occasions/gathering is the grub - not least at Christmas!! So bring on the joy!

Christmas Traditions

I love the repetition of Christmas – the traditions – as a person adverse to change this is not surprising. The kids love it too though. They are already getting excited about the regular staples at Christmas dinner. It’s more the dessert than the Brussels sprouts it has to be said. The one thing they do love is Christmas Stuffing. Below is the one that has proven a hit year after year.

Traditional Pork Sage and Onion Stuffing

This recipe is for a lot of stuffing but I use it for a day or two after Christmas. I fry up the cold stuffing on St Stephens’ day for breakfast with a rasher and a poached egg. Yum!! Delicious after a bracing walk on the back strand or if you just roll out of bed with a sore head – works well on both occasions!! Use good quality sausage meat – it really makes all the difference. I do this on Christmas Eve and store it in a cold room but not the fridge or it’ll be too cold going into the Turkey. You can roll this in balls beside the turkey if you wish too – This is how we normally do it because we don’t cook a large bird. They take about 30-40 minutes like this depending on the size of the balls you make. I cannot recommend a thermometer enough for checking the cooking temperature of food especially if it’s something you don’t cook often (Turkey) I have the most basic one and I reckon it’s saved many a taster from severe poisoning.

2lb of good quality pork sausage meat (we have this in the shop).
4 heaped tablespoons of white breadcrumbs
1 large onion finely chopped
1 heaped tablespoon of dried sage
A little boiling water.
1 egg beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
You could just throw the stale bread into the blender to make breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and throw in the onion into the blender to finely chop and transfer to a bowl. Mix that together with herbs. Add a splash of boiling water and then mash in the sausage meat – with your hands. It’s the only way. Season with salt and pepper.
This is worth the try and I think perfect for our Irish palates.
Hope you enjoy,
XX
The butchers wife.

Remember for special orders email us at orders@molloysbutchersardkeen.com

Call the shop (051) 301843