Hello everybody and welcome to my new website
This site is home to my beloved blog which I started back in 2006 and is still going strong.
As I write my first post in over one year, so much in the landscape of our lives has changed. We are in a global and personal lockdown and the future, though it has always been uncertain, is more unclear that ever and people are living in very challenging situations. In my own family life we went through enormous challenges in the past year where my son became so ill with Multiple Sclerosis that we decided to go to Russia so that he could have stem cell therapy with a view to stop his disease and maybe reverse some symptoms. With the help of the people of Limerick and the wider world we raised enough money for him to have this life saving treatment. I’m so happy to say that he is doing great and back on his feet, we are eternally grateful. Whatever the future looks like, for us it looks so much better than it did six months ago. We are using this time to rest and recover from a colossal and exhausting ordeal and are slowly getting back to a version of life we once knew.
Bizzarly the time we spent when my son was debilitated and almost bed bound has prepared us for this time in isolation. Caring for a grown son with a degenerative illness is beyond difficult and I hope none of you ever have to experience it. However it teaches you the stoicism that people talk about and you learn to see the good in every moment that you can, you have to, or you’d go mad. Isolation is very much a part of the life of someone who has a disability and the person who cares for them too. You can’t go where you want when you want and you are so conscious of hygiene and eating well. Your life becomes all about hospitals, doctors, alternative therapies and, as much as you can, just being and making the most of every moment. In Russia when he was in the hospital, we had to be dressed fully in disposable scrubs, hairnets, face-masks and shoe covers as well as disinfecting, every time we were through the doors.
As my son’s health began to improve, light appeared on my horizon and I could see that it was possible for me to return to the kind of work that I was doing and that I love.
When covid 19 hit I thought “How can I help?” I can’t volunteer as I have to extra careful around my son’s immune system, but I can do what I know and I know food.
The first simple video I uploaded on March 16th, in honour of a strange St.Patrick’s day was of me making soda bread in my pyjamas. It got over 2,300 views in a couple of days so I kept doing these simple videos of seed sowing, making food and posting them to social media. Two weeks ago I did my first ever live online fermenting class where a group of us made sauerkraut together in our virtual world and our actual kitchens. The next class was even better and we made kimchi and were even joined by an Icelandic woman who probably though we were mad as all we talked about was booze!
What this time is, is a time for slow. If we can’t go where we always go and do what we always do, it’s time to change gear. I planted many seeds a couple of weeks ago and am patiently waiting for them to grow as I can’t go out and buy fully grown plants, and it’s a good analogy of where we are. This is what we have, what can we do now?
It has been so interesting to see how people have taken to the kitchen to soothe ourselves in this time, and to return to our roots and our instincts. It is the best way for us to feel better, feed ourselves and our families with good, home-made food. We are all using our instincts to care for ourselves in the most basic way we know how, by cooking and caring about what we eat, taking joy in cooking once again. Never before has social media been so full of pictures of cakes and loaves of bread, sourdough has replaced Kim Kardashian’s ass as the kind of curves we want to be drooling over. Personally I think we need to walk before we can run and I am keen to share with you more back to basics methods of bread baking so bakers can get confident with baking before going for the big sourdough.
This site will be home to my classes, my social media and has links and info about my books and other projects. I will post information about courses that are in development from fermentation to bread and many things in between. Mostly it’s a place for you to drop me a question, request that I do a class or share some information in a link or video. Let’s join hands and join kitchens .
Please get in touch if you would like me to share information about a project or product you think might benefit by being featured here 🙂