Friday, June 21, 2013

Aioli Egg Salad

luckily working in a bakery I get bread on tap, as well as having chickens in the garden I always have eggs on hand. with that, a bit of oil and a minute or two of wisking I have aioli( too. (or homemade mayo). egg salad or 'egg mayonaise' is one of my comfort foods, especially when served in a toasted croissant.

I've been relying on it for sustenance after getting home from work. something crunchy and warm (toast) and something cold and creamy (egg salad), no complaints here! I've had a glut of eggs lately which is good because the garden has yet to reach that glut stage.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cucumber Gin Gimlet

what's better than a day in the garden? a drink afterwards! especially on a misty day like today. (its the first rain in weeks!) this cocktail is the perfect summer time refreshment and if you are growing your own cucumbers you shouldn't have to wait much longer to harvest your own 'cucs' and try out this handy cucumber gin infusion recipe. then you can sit back and admire your garden and your fancy cocktail skills.
a gimlet is a classic cocktail traditionally made with Rose's Lime Juice (a sweetened lime juice) and gin or vodka. Rose's proves hard to find in this part of the world so a simple syrup and fresh lime juice combo makes a good stand in. the gimlet has many variations, a cocktail tip: if you substitute the gin/vodka for rum you'd be making a daiquiri!
I had my first gimlet last year in a cool cocktail bar in Barcelona, with no menu.  the gimlets were served with a retro green maraschino cherry as a garnish. im not sure if it was the day-glo green cherries or the heat (or maybe just the gin), but I've been thinking about my own version ever since. a cucumber gin and lime pairing seemed like a good idea. after the first test run I was a bit surprised that I didn't have to tweak the ratio at all. the cucumber flavour makes a great background for the zingy lime juice and herbal gin spices. a word of warning - just follow this golden rule: no more than two!
I ended up using a store bought cucumber for this recipe, I just couldn't wait for the in season ones! be sure to use the entire thing for packing loads of cucumber flavour in your gin, I recommend Gordon's gin for this recipe it's my favourite at the moment. De-lish!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Polytunnel Build

about a month ago I set up shop to build a small polytunnel, to cover the new 'herb only' addition to  the veg patch. I took the idea and design from my neighbour's who own Cambium Garden Centre. last year they grew the most amazing basil plants and lettuces, I was sold on the idea. everything seems to grow better under plastic in Ireland. that said we seem to be experiencing a drought! im afraid to mention it else I jinx the good fortune we've been having. at the moment watering the garden has become a novelty!
below are some images of the polytunnel build as it progressed over one week. it's a great design as it can be opened from both sides. with over 2 feet of standing room for plants you can grow just about anything, bar: sweet corn and tall tomatoes. this bed is being held as a herb bed for basil, parsley, sage, rosemary, mint, thyme, lemon thyme, coriander, fennel bulb and lemon balm. just about every herb you can dream of - which should make for some interesting pesto recipes!  the dimensions are 3'x 14' so, 42 square feet.
empty bed constructed of pallet wood

6' lengths of 1'' piping doubled up at four points, 2'' would be ideal

2"x1" brace under piping and ends covered in polytunnel plastic, stapled at bottom