THE theme of this year’s MAD Symposium, held in a red circus tent in Copenhagen, was guts — this was interpreted in a variety of ways from intestines to raw courage by the speakers.
The symposium was launched on a stage that represented a Danish forest woodland scene — trees and logs and a carpet of grass and wild plants. A whole carcass of a Gloucester Old Spot pig, dangled by the back legs from a chain in the centre of the stage, gave us a hint that this year’s symposium was going to be a visceral two days of raw emotions and painful honesty. I was almost the only white-haired woman there, that is apart from Diana Kennedy, the feisty 90-year-old, cookbook author and noted environmentalist who gave a spirited talk about her life collecting and documenting recipes around remote villages in Mexico for 60 years.Virtually everyone else were young, brilliantly crazy people, chefs, farmers, journalists, politicians, scientists, food writers, some of the brightest minds all united by a love and passion for food. David Chang from Momofuko in New York who co-curated the event with René Redzepi and his team, launched the event by telling us about his gutsy decision to open Momofuko in 2004. He introduced Dario Cecchini, the legendary Tuscan butcher famous for being able to recite Dante spontaneously as he butchers his carcass like poetry.
And there was so much more…Noreen Conroy’s Homemade Sausages
Makes about 32 sausagesNoreen Conroy is a local pig farmer who, along with her husband, Martin, rears rare-breed pigs. They grow their own grain, turnips and kale to feed the pigs, and the meat is wonderful. Noreen and Martin came to the Cookery School to demonstrate how to make sausages. 2kg (4lb 8oz) freshly minced organic pork from the belly and shoulder
100g (3½oz) dry breadcrumbs
4 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
Good pinch of cayenne
Oil, for frying
200g (7oz) natural sheep casings
Makes 2 Kilner jars
5-6 basil leaves
3-4 tbsp (4-5 American tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of Maldon sea salt
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 x 2 pint sterilised Kilner glass jars with lids.Cut the big tomatoes — leave small ones whole. Stuff them in the Kilner jars and press tight. Add the extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon herb or Maldon sea salt, cloves of garlic and a sprig of basil.
200g red currant juice
180g grapeseed oil
70g dill oil
40g white bread
Butter for frying
1 small bunch dill
3 big handfuls fresh lemon verbena, leaves stripped off the stalks
1 inch knob of ginger chopped
2 tbsp lemon thyme
2-3 Kaffir lime leaves if available
1 fistful of lemon basil
250-450g (9oz) sugarPut the leaves into the food processor; add ginger and lemon thyme leaves plus a couple of kaffir lime leaves if you have them. Add 110g (4oz) of sugar, whizz until blended, add rest of sugar and whizz another second, one can add less or more sugar. Spread out on a tray or platter. Leave to dry for 5-6 days even a week or use immediately. For a hot drink: Pour boiling water over about a tablespoon of the Verbena Sugar in a glass, add lemon juice to taste. For a cold drink: Add flat or sparkling water and lemon juice, add some rum if you fancy. Hot tips
Slow Food Apple and Craft Cider Festival 2013, Friday Sept 20 to Sunday Sept 22. This year there will be 12 Irish producers making more than 20 craft ciders.Apple-pressing and cider-making demonstrations, juice bar and family barbecues, spit-roasts and tapíní (that’s tapas Irish style!)… Children can catch The Orchard Special a train around the aarm at the Apple Farm, Moorstown, Cahir, Co Tipperary; email@example.com
Catch the last two days of the Waterford Harvest Festival today and tomorrow. The local slow food movement will operate an indoor producers market at 44 Merchants Quay with lots of interesting exhibits eg, milking goats, traditional cream separator, farmhouse butter churn.Visitors can look forward to great bargains, wonderful tastes and interesting demonstrations like soap making or how to make your own chocolate truffles. Each day there are slow food guided tours to local artisan food producers where you can learn their story and the provenance of these very special foods. Seats are limited. www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie The 2013 GIY Gathering takes place during the Waterford Harvest Festival today at 10am to 5pm and tomorrow from 10.30am to 3.30pm at the Tower Hotel in Waterford and brings together some of the world’s leading food growing advocates, experts and writers for two days of inspiring and practical debate, discussion, talks and workshops. Speakers include Foodopoly author Wenonah Hauter, ‘no-dig’ guru Charles Dowding, River Cottagers Mark Diacono and Steve Lamb, BBC presenter Alys Fowler, Guardian food writer Tom Maggoch, author Joy Larkcom, Darina Allen, RTE TV growing gurus Ella McSweeney, Fiann O’Nuallain and Kitty Scully, and John and Sally McKenna. The theme of this year’s GIY Gathering is “Food Empathy”, that is, the deeper understanding of food, where it comes from, how it is produced, and the time and effort required, that arises when people grow some of their own food.
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