Seed savers in jeopardy

It is with great distress The Menu learns of the difficulties facing the magnificent Co Clare-based Irish Seed Savers, in very real danger of perishing due to severe Dept of Agriculture funding cuts.

Seed savers in jeopardy

ISS maintain a seed bank of more than 600 rare and endangered varieties of fruit and vegetable, including native Irish apples, potatoes and grains and it would be an utter tragedy were this to disappear. With an ongoing global rush by the agri-biz giants to gain total control of seed stock, it is essential we maintain some measure of national independence and autonomy. To contribute, see www.irishseedsavers.ie.

Mid-term fun in Grenagh

With one of his multiple progeny believing Halloween to be Christmas and birthday combined, there is every chance The Menu shall be tramping en famille around The Farm, Grenagh, Co Cork, for Pumpkin Patch and Potato Picking Halloween Fun during mid-term (Oct 29-Nov 1) carving jack-o-lanterns, picking prataí and so forth (visitthefarm.ie). Knockranny House Hotel, in lovely Westport, Co Mayo, reprises its splendid annual wine tasting with dinner (Oct

27) to celebrate recent Food & Wine Magazine awards (chef Seamus Commons, Best in Connacht; sommelier Nicolas Faujours, Best in Ireland), overnight packages available. (www.knockrannyhousehotel.ie) and finally, those with an aversion to chewing the crust off a cucumber sangidge might avail of a superior class of weekday afternoon tea at Bijou Bistro under new executive chef Ian Usher overseeing the production of all manner of baked comestibles and loose leaf tea (www.BijouRathgar.ie).

Filling up at the jazz festival

It’s that time of year when The Menu pauses between forkfuls to give his chin a rare old stroking at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival but betwixt the diminished ninths and the augmented sevenths, the belly still requires stoking so he advises checking out a combination of choons and chewing at the festival food market on Emmet Place (Oct 26 & 27) or, better still, Jacques Restaurant (Oct 27), where DJs Greg Dowling and Colm Motherway spin jazz classics with tapas and full dinner on offer (www.jacquesrestaurant.ie).

Today’s special

Though many believe it may be possible to brew a rather splendid cup of coffee from The Menu’s ashes when his time is eventually up, he has also been known to drink hot beverages of a non-caffeinated type. Of late, he rises to an exceedingly refreshing cup of Peppermint Farm & Garden’s Organic Winter Morning Tea, a soothingly-spiced concoction of peppermint, black tea, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, more of a softly whispered awakening than his usual caffeinated clarion call (which, admittedly, still arrives later). www.peppermintfarm.com

Contact Joe McNamee at themenu@examiner.ie

BEER OF THE WEEK

Trouble Brewing Distinctive Golden Ale,

4.3% ABV, 500ml — €2.95-3.49

Stockists: Bradleys, Ardkeen Stores, McHughs, Redmonds, Desmonds Next Door, Superquinn Trouble Brewing was founded in 2009 and is based in Kill, Co Kildare. Currently they produce an India pale ale, a porter and this golden ale.

Deception is made with Maris Otter malted barley and a blend of American and traditional English hops. Fruity malt aromas with a spicy background and a crisp mildly hopped flavour. Smooth and refreshing with a pleasing clean bite. — Leslie Williams

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