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Sally's blog

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Portia Preston: Howard St, Belfast

Portia Preston finally gets a table at Belfast's hottest hot spot, Howard Street. It was worth the wait.

Here's the thing about Howard St: you can hardly get a table in this restaurant. When we finally did manage to get a reservation for four people, after weeks of trying, for 5pm on a freezing January Friday, the restaurant is already buzzing with cool people looking forward to great food.

How I Do It: David Hurley's Marmalade

For our marmalade here in Gregans we-
- use navel oranges instead of the traditional seville, they give a less bitter flavour
- wash the oranges very well if not using organic
- finely grate the zest of the oranges with a microplane and boil it 3 times in water
- for every 10 oranges being used, peel 9, thinly slice all and remove pips
- add same weight in jam sugar and a muslin spicebag with crushed cardamom, cinnamon, clove & used vanilla pod
- cook on low heat stirring until sugar is fully dissolved, then medium heat until ready

Real Bread Ireland

Mark the date in your diary, food lovers: on January 24, Real Bread Ireland, a new network of artisan bakers will come together with aim of helping consumers "to identify real bread, to educate, inform and promote real bread and encourage more people to get back into baking."
The bakers behind the initiative are nothing less than Ireland's baking aristocracy – Patrick Ryan from Firehouse Bakery; Joe Fitzmaurice from Riot Rye; Declan Ryan from Arbutus Bakery; Josephine Plettenburg from Spelt Bakers; Kemal Scarpello from Slow Food Co; and Thibault Peigne from Tartine Bakery.

Defining Real Bread

The writer Bethany Econopouly hit the loaf on the head when she wrote recently that, “It's time we seriously reconsider bread and what we allow to be called by that name.”
Go girl! So, what is bread, real bread?
It is flour, water, yeast, salt, and time. Five ingredients, and the fifth is as important as the first four.

The Sourdough Starter Allowance

Every keen baker knows that looking after a sourdough starter is more complicated, more time-consuming and more frustrating than looking after a child.
Sourdough starters are unpredictable, capricious, disappointing and – occasionally – utterly inspiring. They dominate your thoughts, your waking hours, and your concentration.
In this way, they perfectly resemble the act of rearing children.


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