Tuesday, August 21, 2012

National Potato Day

Keogh's farm are gaining a lot of interest in the media, with numerous write ups in the papers, as well as television and radio interviews. If it's true that consumers buy products because of the people behind them then this would certainly be the case for Keogh's, who each can sell the potato, and how they farm them, with lots of passion. It also helps that the products they produce are fantastic. They have excellent quality potatoes and in recent times they have been making the most perfectly seasoned, irresistible crisps. Traditionally potatoes were the choice for the Irish dinner table but in recent years pasta and rice have been taking their place. When choosing potatoes as part of our diet we are not only choosing a low fat, nutritional and economical food but quite importantly we are supporting local Irish producers. Keogh's are now on a mission to crown the potato the National Vegetable of Ireland and would like to encourage everyone to sign their potato petition. http://www.keoghs.ie/potatopetition.html


If you would like to celebrate all things spud, the second National Potato Day occurs next Saturday. The Tall Ships Festival is happening in Dublin this week and the guys at Keogh's have decided to set up a pop up farm in the city centre. They will be bringing crates, hay, tractors, and naturally lots of potatoes to the farm stall on the North Quays. They will also have spud games and lots of fun activities, all focusing on tastings and nutritional info about potatoes. To add to this there will be lots of goodies given away. The farm will be there from Thursday until Saturday but National Potato Day is on the Saturday, Aug 25. To celebrate National Potato Day the lovely people at Keogh's will be giving me a jam packed hamper, which I will have a competition for here on the blog, sometime next week. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tantrums & Lavender


The boys and Millie love to be outside mucking about, cycling their bikes and planing adventures,which normally involves some of the back-garden animals. Once outside there is rarely a row, as their agenda is always well packed and each of them have a place in these ever important games. What doesn't suit them is prolonged amounts of times indoors, with only each other to annoy. Unfortunately our miserable summer weather has seen many an afternoon spent indoors, which makes the boys quite prone to bickering, but to my surprise my little 'sweetheart' Millie has started to add her own piece to the bickering parade, with occasional little temper tantrums. Normally it is just the two of us, each morning, we're always busy and I find she is a great little companion to have about, but since the boys are out of school she must feel the need to demand my attention. Without any warning and for no apparent reason she will drop to the ground and scream, a lot. I think in some ways she is testing the water as most of her screaming is incoherent but she will often scream out 'lolly' or 'treat'. In a bid not to give into the lolly ransom I normally try to distract her by other means, like heading to the garden or getting one of the boys to coax her into doing a jigsaw, but these don't always work

If you have young children, you may of noticed that if there is a small child misbehaving, especially having a good tantrum where the parent is rightly embarrassed, maybe at the supermarket or a park, children find this fascinating, well mine certainly love it. So one of the mornings, while Millie was just kicking off a right wobbler, Jack by chance flicked onto Supernanny. Some of these episodes show children in such an awful state, that I wouldn't even have the boys watching it, but in this particular episode the young man in trouble, happens to be almost three and in fairness he wasn't terribly out of control, just very temper-mental. On watching a couple of minutes of this Millie completely calmed down, maybe because she identified or sympathised with this boy, but I'm not sure whether she ceased her tantrum as she realised she was just doing something similar or was she really taking a few mental notes for her own next outburst. For fear that it is the latter I don't think I will be using it as my regular tantrum-calming technique, but it did work very well that morning. I dread to see how upset she can make herself, when she is normally so happy-go-lucky. Millie is only two and a half so I had reassured myself that this phase will pass, after-all it did with the boys, and once this girl is out and about, and most importantly kept busy, our days are tantrum free. In the past few days the weather has been quite lovely, which has the children outdoors almost all day long and to my delight my happy little miss seems to be back to normal. At least I really hope she is!  



While I'm in the garden, I will always have a few willing helpers, digging weeds and watering plants. From an early age I let the children have their own area to plant with a few seeds and they are always proud-as-punch when something starts to sprout from the ground. We have lots of lovely lavender in the garden and I probably should of picked it a little earlier, as I read on Sally McKennas Blog - Kitchen Lifeskills, that it should be picked before the flowers begin to burst. It is such a beautiful herb and holds the most amazing scent. It is very easy to dry lavender, just hang a tied bunch, upside down, in a cool dark place. Each year I like to dry some lavender, to use throughout the year as a very pretty garnish for any sweet cake, but mostly I hang a few bunches in the wardrobe and also the kitchen, for that wonderful sense of calm that we sometimes need.
The garden is a very exciting place for children, especially when there are so many bees, busy at work, to watch and follow.

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