Another lentil soup (see last month's blog about green lentil and lime soup) but this time it's red. Still in "What can I use up from my cupboard?" mode and entering a new and overlapping mode entitled "Yikes! How can I economise now my pay has been cut?", I came across one and a half packets of red lentils earlier in the week, thanks to the younger offspring's thorough tidying of the stores. I checked The Soup Book and came across the recipe containing red lentils, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and vegetable stock. At half past eight this morning I got up and started my preparations. The spouse had bought the required vegetable juice yesterday. The recipe options were tomato or vegetable juice and stirred by the autonomy of doing the weekly shopping unfettered by his helpmeet, he chose vegetable. What a man!
The stock is vegetable and I'm using a commercial bouillon mix for the first time. Curry powder is called for but my partly Anglo-Indian upbringing doesn't allow me to keep it in the house so I've used garam masala instead.
The soup is simmering away now as I type and I've been listening to Sunday Miscellany on RTE Radio 1. I enjoy this programme with its variety of music and themes and writers' interests. Most pieces are trivial, but I am always impressed by how the writer has taken a fleeting thought and developed it into something worth sharing.
The soup is ready now and tastes sweeter than I expected. We'll be having it for dinner tomorrow evening as we'll be out for lunch today.
Easter Monday (5th April) was a busy bee-related day for me! A few weeks ago a friend mentioned the Shanvaus Apiary in Co Leitrim to me so I looked it up. You can find it on the Bee Park Community website (www.beeparkcommunitycentre.com/manorhamilton-origin-farmers-market.html) or on its own link (www.irishbeekeeping4you.info).
I also looked up the Brynderi Honey Farm in Carmarthenshire, Wales, as there is a family connection. The link is www.brynderihoneyfarm.com.
On Monday afternoon I listened to a radio programme on RTE Radio 1 marking the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Gallery Press by Peter Fallon. I mention this just because of my blogs of 16th January and 2nd April. It's funny how things connect to each other.
Later that same day the BBC television programme QI (Quite Interesting) opened with a clip of the panel members discussing what to do with dying bees - www.youtube.com/watch?v=65S2Bs8M9-w (first shown November 2009). All true bee lovers be warned!
Here's another one about the death of indigenous British bees during World War I (shown in June 2008 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3BveeeFXPw).
The bee connection for this honey-dipped point might appear somewhat tenuous. At Your Service (a television on series on RTE 1) featured chef Aidan McGrath and his wife Kate Sweeney who took over a small hotel near Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare (www.rte.ie/player/#v=1070114). They have renamed the hotel Wild Honey Inn (www.wildhoneyinn.com).
Finally, this honey-dipped point is really stretching it. I brought the younger offspring to his first jazz concert at the National Concert Hall last Wednesday. How is it connected? It was entitled Boylan Plays Brubeck - there are two b's in the title! Groan.