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Presidential visit (contains saucisson)

He came, he saw, he speeched and he promptly flew off again.

But he remembered to leave the cheese and wine and saucisson and macarons behind him, so all in all, a terrific presidential visit!

It started with a rather long queue of patient endimanchés. It looks like there is more than a couple of expatriate charcuterie aficionados in Dublin. Little did they know how much their patience would be put to the test.


Security was extremely tight.

Both of them.


After a cursory glance at bags and umbrellas, the enjeudillés were finally let loose in Dublin Castle.





And the long wait began.

A long, hot, sweaty wait.

It was announced that the President would be delayed by 40 minutes. Yeah roight. He was in fact delayed by 90 minutes. It is rumoured that Michael D. Higgins insisted on having a game of Uno in Áras an Uterus. That went on and on. While the French charcuterie-loving population of Dublin was sweating away the long minutes.




And finally he arrived. And he did his speech. And not a bad one at that, with some actual content (I always thought that the resident speech writers took July and August off and that some young guy on a job experience scheme was used for the duration of the summer -well, he’s good). And everyone sang la Marseillaise. Well, some did. And the lyrics seemed even more inappropriate than usual. There is no impure blood soaking our fields.  But there is some innocent blood of unfortunate families drying on la Promenade des Anglais…

And finally, the moment we had all waited for: the crowd split in two.

Those who queued to have their photograph taken with Le President.

And those who raided the buffet.

The absence of a selfie from yours truly with a civil servant en bout de course shows unequivocally which side I chose.









It’s been an interesting experience.

Time to head back to work.



That’s the one item that we did not have during the Deluxe 5 Stars Supreme Mega Gastronomic weekend.

I decided to blank out Dr Ross’s annoying self-righteous little voice about fatty liver nonsense.

Fuck that. Life is short.

And given the weekend’s good-food-that’s-bad-for-you excesses, life may be even shorter. I am sorry? Not in the least.


Fillet steak. With… with… WTF?! Is that an oyster stuck in the middle of it?

It surely is… Strange as it may seem, it works! Two very strong tastes. That don’t destroy each other. Surf and turf in the one mouthful. Washed down with Pinot Noir.

Make that three strong tastes competing for the limelight then…


Wild oysters. Provenance? Uncertain. Not sure if it was the spot just at the bottom of Nana’s field, or the one that’s 500 yards to the right…

Faisant pâté. Ingredients: thanks Uncle Martin. Preparation: thanks Nana.

Rabbit pâté. Ingredients: thanks Uncle Martin. Preparation: thanks Nana.

Lobster salad. Ingredients: thanks to the fisherman from Blacksod. Preparation: thanks to Cuffe’s Centra for the Light Mayonnaise.

Refreshment: thanks to P. de Marcilly


Wild scallops. Ingredients: thanks to Nana and Martin (and thanks to the spring tide for uncovering that precious bit of extra ground) Preparation: thanks Nana (I always knew there would be a way to put the corals to good use: marinated in lime, blended into a fresh cream and tabasco sauce. Brilliant!)


Fried Chinese dumplings. Just because they are Luca’s ultimate favorite.


Home-smoked wild Atlantic salmon. Jayzus, the phone camera doesn’t do it justice. Amazing.

Ingredient: thanks Uncle Martin! Preparation: thanks Uncle Martin!

Soda bread: thanks O’Donoghues’ bakery


Homemade Couscous Royal Imperial 

Ingredients: thanks Nana and Uncle Martin. In fairness, the homemade merguez stole the show. With a real mutton taste, like they tasted 50 years ago. The addition of the pork belly means that they did not receive the approval of the Imam from Belmullet’s mosque. Still, what tasty mutton sausages!


And for dessert?

Trifle. A trifling presence in the weekend of foodie wonders as far as I am concerned but the kids, and Nana, beg to differ.

They enjoyed making it. They enjoyed demolishing it. Especially Mimi, the ultimate sugar fiend.

I now need to walk, run, swim and kayak the millions of extra calories away.

But it was worth it. Oh yes, it was worth it.



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Foie gras



For as long as he could remember, Johnny had been serving his signature dish of ham, sand worms and Brussels sprouts to his admittedly small gathering of family and friends on Christmas day.
Storm Eva or no storm Eva, he was fecked if this year was going to be any different!

May you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with laughter, roaring fire in the chimney, quietly excited children, mulled wine, Christmas carols, delicious food, rejoicing and fine Cognac. 

If not, you will hopefully pick out some palatable crumbs out of the Christmas that everybody has: rampant commercialism, mad rush when you are at your most tired, kids you’d be tempted to stick on eBay once and for all, family disputes, bloated stomachs, lingering man-flu, drunken arguments, dry turkey, shite predictable Christmas tv and dishwashers that decide to give up the ghost at 8 PM on 23 December.  

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Heart-worming tradition



Philippe (not his real name*) has taken to eating his dinner in the office.

The place is so effervescent at lunch time that he wants to recapture the buzz after a long day of hunting and crushing bugs.

This is his third day on the discounted fish fingers (40% off on Monday, Tesco Dun Laoghaire, unmissable).

His stock of chocolate Weetabix has sunk to a dangerously low level.
They were half price for a short while at the beginning of September. He bought 18 boxes.

We, the Gallic bargain hunters, are total suckers for a discount.

The day the local new age clinic does a 50% flash sale on the colonic irrigations, I’ll have to fight him out of the way to get to the counter first…

* Oops shite, it is his real name, too late to change that I guess.

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Social animal

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How do you like your frog legs, Micheál ?

Well done, medium or rare?

Micheál assumed that he was going to be subjected to some particularly vile French “ethnic” cuisine, but that would have been discounting the fact that my two grandmothers were born in Italy.

So today was about home made pizza, gnocchi and chicken. And too much wine.

And a feeding frenzy around the meringues and chocolate brownies (of the non-spiked variety).

I will not forget Diarmuid’s offer of a “sexy honeymoon sleepover”.













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