Posts Tagged ‘economy’

December at Prospect Cottage.

In Cooking, Ireland on December 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm


Yesterday we awoke to see the mountain tops covered in snow. Not enough to cause the disruption of last Winter when we had temperatures of -17 at this time…very unusual for Ireland. Although the mild Spring like conditions of November have gone the days are still pleasant enough. Walking or working outside in the cold and then retreating to the cosy warmth of the house gives one an appreciation for the comfort within. Seems more right somehow to have snow and cold at this time of year. I like the seasonal differences in the weather.


The Sedum looks very Christmassy with it’s dusting of snow. Speaking of Christmas it seems to have taken a back seat this year…so many people are worried about the economy and the possibility of the Euro being abandoned. The recent Budget once again hit the poorest in our society…unemployed, people on community employment schemes and single parents…and all the while the rich fat cats pay very little. Alas…it seems to be the same story the world over…no coincidence methinks. There seems to be a global conspiracy to make the rich richer and keep the poor impoverished and downtrodden. We are lucky as we own our own house and property…mortgage free. By the way, do you know the meaning of mortgage? It comes from 2 French words: mort meaning death and gage meaning grip. So many people in Ireland are now held in this death grip with properties often only worth one third of what people have signed up to pay for them.

Meanwhile here in Arigna I have been working for the last few days making items for the Winter Fair in Carrick-on-Shannon. The Fair runs over 2 days…Saturday and Sunday. Andy is manning the stall today and I will do tomorrow. The one in Manorhamilton last Sunday was excellent. About 40 stalls and a great crowd turned out.

Pictured above are Melting Moments…one of my best sellers. They look very pretty when finished with a dusting of icng sugar. They melt in the mouth and are lovely with tea or coffee.

To make them you need: 150g butter, diced. 75g icing sugar, sifted. 25g cornflour, sifted. 150g self-raising flour, sifted. Raspberry jam. Icing sugar for dusting.

Heat the oven to Gas 4 or 190 celsius. Cream the butter and icing sugar together. Then add the flour and cornflour. You will have a soft squidgy dough. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place in baking cases placed in fairy cake tins. using a teaspoon dipped in hot water make a small indentation in the top of each one. Bake for 15-17 minutes. While still hot drop a little jam into the centre of each cake filling the hole. When cool dust with icing sugar. These keep well in a tin for several days.


I also made Millionaire’s Shortbread…a delicious if calorie laden treat of shortbread covered with a layer of fudge and finally a topping of good quality chocolate.


For the more health conscious there is the option of  Cranberry and Walnut Muffins! I wonder which will sell out first?

Sanity in the Garden, Madness in the Universe!

In Gardening, sustainable living on April 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

Is the world gone mad? Irish government is putting aother 25BILLION into saving Irish banks. Madness! Keep the rich people rich. What is rich? For people with a brain cell left it’s not about property portfolios and huge amounts of useless paper printed by Mickey Mouse governments. Of course I know we need some money but if it’s the be all and end all of your life, I consider that a sad and wasted life. For us richness is living in the country, looking after the little bit of the Planet in our care, growing our produce, caring for our animals, respecting other people and their views. Simple living, high thinking.

An insight into the current global thought process was given recently by Larry Kudlow, host of a nightly financial programme on American tv channel CNBC. Speaking about the horrific earthquake in Japan he said, “the human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that.”  That leaves me speechless, and that does’nt happen often. To save my sanity I will return to garden topics!

Lettuce seedlings.

Growth has really taken off now, lots of planting and pricking out to be done. The Lettuces pictured above are in serious need of moving on, a job for today I think. I got the seeds in Bulgaria last year, it is one of the varieties everyone there seems to grow. I don’t know the name but it is a really crisp lettuce with a good flavour, like Little Gem but much bigger.

Hellebore seedlings.

The Hellebore seedlings were planted last Autumn, I had almost given up on them when they emerged. They have put on good growth and I will pot them individually in the coming days. They should be ready for planting out in the Autumn. Hellebores are useful plants, apart from their beauty, they do well in shade and provide early Spring flowers.