Thursday, August 25, 2011

Majella Cullinane 'Guarding the Flame'.

Last weekend I took a little trip to Galway to celebrate the launch of my friend Majella's fantastic first poetry collection 'Guarding the Flame'. It was launched at the popular Charlie Byrne's bookshop. Myself and Majella were both neighbours and class mates during our Masters in Creative Writing at St. Andrews. We supported each other with copious amounts of tea and shortbread biscuits (not to mention whiskey and fish and chips!). At the launch I bumped into fellow scribe Damian Cunniffe who found himself on the longlist for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year.
Majella's books is available to buy direct from Salmon
publishers. So get buying and support great Irish writing!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Italy visits the Irish Writers' Centre

I am honoured to be a part of the Italian Writers at the Irish Writers' Centre event as hosted by Catherine Dunne , on the 3rd of September. The event itself will showcase the work of both Irish and Italian writers. Here is the exciting roll call on the Irish end :

Catherine Dunne, Célia de Fréine, Lia Mills, June Considine, John Lynch, Evelyn Conlon, Maggie O’Dwyer, Kevin Power, Jack Harte, Nuala Ni Conchuir, Anthony Glavin, Conor Kostick, Alan Jude Moore, Leo Cullen, John Mac Kenna, Gerry Smyth, Nessa O’Mahony, Monica Strina, Mark Kilroy, Niamh MacAlister, Orla Fay.

Check out this blog for all the info.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pasta Day

So it took me a while but I eventually persuaded my Mam to show me how to make pasta from scratch. Given that I grew up in the eightes its not surprising that nearly everything was made at home but I have particular memories of pasta being dried out on tea towels, pillow slips and hanging over the back of every available chair and press door. Pasta was almost always made for the parentals 'dinner of eight', which was eight friends having dinner every few weeks at 8pm. The dinner of eight pasta nearly always went into a lasagne and there was never any left-overs.
I've always found the idea of making pasta a bit daunting. While it is time consuming its not diffucult and the results are definetly worth the effort! We made Raviolli, which incidentially, Mam had never made either. The pasta was made with 1/2 pound of plain flour, 2 eggs and some water to get the right consistancy. It made enough pasta for 4 people (but consumed by 3).

There was a lot of rolling and checking and rerolling ...

Taking a break with a glass of Greco.

We filled it with spinach (1 bag: wilted & squeezed) and ricotto (1/2 tub) with a pinch of nutmeg.

Leaving it to dry for a while ... (note the extremely uneven and ungeometric nature of my effort-nothing at all to do with the decreasing volume in my wine glass!)

Enjoying it all with homemade pesto, roast pepper salad and fennel. Washed down with a glass of Barbera D'Asti. (We got the wines from Wines Direct in Mullingar.)
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