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

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Classic French cinema at chez mememe2U this evening.
With dozens of Gitanes smoked hungrily, the sound of a Citroen DS’s tyres grinding to a halt on a gravel drive, sultry looks, soup slurped noisily, Claude Pieplu’s inimitable voice, adultery, polo neck jumpers, a provincial town where the petit commerce hasn’t been annihilated by supermarkets, comical kissing scenes (concerto for strings of saliva), more Gitanes, more noisy eating, religious imagery, a glimpse of a boob, tedious in-car shots, old telephones, letters written – stamped – posted – and read, and burned in a crystal ashtray, a mayoral sticker on a windscreen, a legion d’honneur on the lapel of a suit, Stephane Audran’s passionate “je t’aime”, torn pieces of bread dumped in the soup, and a half ballon de rouge, and slurped noisily.
And kids forced to wear very itchy tergal wool blend trousers.
Oh no, that wasn’t in the film.
That was my youth.
But the film brought it all back to me.

Especially the slurps.



It’s old.
But it never ages.
It’s beautiful.
But it has a leaky roof.

Who gives a shit, it never rains in Ireland.

It’s a classic beauty.

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Classic beauty



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Pinot Noir – douleurs et fièvre


When the parabuprospirine cocktail of chemical shite failed to dent the pain in my banjaxed knee (you can’t dent a dent), I had to resort to an old remedy passed on to my great grandfather by a homeopath from Burgundy.

It worked. Especially the Californian analgesic. Wow, the De Loach Extra Strength. Can’t think of many pains that can resist that one.

The cat-sitting for Pinot Noir arrangement has worked wonderfully well.
The cat was fed, watered, entertained, let out in the morning and retrieved in the evening.
The Pinot Noir was sniffed, twirled in the glass, examined, sipped, gargled, swallowed, and satisfied clicks of the tongue were produced.

Barter is smarter!

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The Claw


Very few people are defined by their hands as much as Alain.
To me, the Claw crushing the Gauloise is the essence of him.

This hand (and its twin sister – out of shot) hasn’t wasted too much time on the CTRL+C CTRL+V keys.
It has produced real, tangible, measurable work.
It has had a few unfortunate encounters with steel-cutting heavy machinery.

It is the home of the world famous petit doigt gratteur (part power tool, part precision tool, 100% beauty of nature)

Its owner is now enjoying a well deserved retirement.

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Cul de sac


This morning I willingly drove down a cul de sac.
Knowing full well that I would have to backtrack.

Don’t get me wrong. I am usually all in favour of the straight line being the quickest way between two points.

But my five year old would beg to differ.

Whenever we drive back home after dropping Mrs mememe2U, Luca and Mimi at the Dart station, he asks me to take the short cut back home.
And he always points to the same dead-end street.
And I always tell him that it is not a short cut, that it is a dead-end street (I never say Cul de Sac, no way am I going to use a term named after an arse).

Today, I just drove down the dead-end street.
Sometimes, telling a kid that a cul de sac is cul de sac is not enough. They have to see it for themselves.

I too was sort of curious to find out what was at the arse end of the cul de sac.

Now I know: a rotting Audi S8. And a woman who becomes very suspecting when strangers-with-no-business-here come to the end of the dead-end street to make a 3 point turn (I am quite sure that she took down my reg).

Finnzy-Bob was delighted.

I’ve got a feeling that somehow next Tuesday I will feel a tinge of disappointment when he does not ask me to take the short cut.

But then again, nothing tells me that he won’t.

I am not sure if the demonstration was convincing enough…