The menu: Friday Night Lights

Almost a year has passed since Douglas Farmer’s Market made the inspired move to the concourse outside Douglas Shopping Centre in the heart of Douglas Village, bringing luscious foodstuffs to the local citizenry who have embraced the new location wholeheartedly, commerce and community in perfect harmony.

The market is opening on one additional day of the week, Friday, from 12pm to 7pm, in the run-up to Christmas up to December 23. Dubbed ‘Friday Night Lights’, it will feature many of the usual favourite food stalls along with additional craft stalls and a range of fun family-friendly Christmas activities and festive tunes and carols.

www.douglasfarmersmarket.com

FRESH START

The Start-Up Stall, a new initiative in Cork’s English Market, offers a commercial retail space for a short spell allowing young, innovative food businesses an opportunity to road-test their wares and gain valuable experience and feedback in addition to regularly reinvigorating the iconic old market.

The Menu is delighted to report the latest occupant leading up to Christmas will be vegan and fermentation gurus, Virginia and Donal O’Gara, of My Goodness. Regulars at farmers markets around the city.

The My Goodness team manage what so many purveyors of raw, vegan, gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free food fail to do—making food that actually tastes very good indeed.

They carry a wide range of delicious fermented drinks that The Menu swears by, fine savoury offerings and a splendid range of sweetmeats and confections that seem nigh impossible to produce on such a restricted list of ingredients so any citizen seeking to satisfy a vegan relative this Christmas or simply in the market for tasty food that’s easy on the body, would do well to pop along and say hello.

www.mygoodnessfood.com

SPIRIT OF DUBLIN

Teeling’s Whiskey return once again with their Spirit of Dublin Christmas Craft Fair (Dec 3) offering some fine feeding opportunities, many of them featuring Teeling’s own golden nectar along with a whole range of crafts and gifts for the Christmas stocking.

Also available will be plenty of festive Teeling’s Whiskey cocktails to warm the cockles of any and all hearts.

www.teelingdistillery.com

Teelings are just one of several independent new Irish distillers shaking up the local market not to mention the waves of wonderful craft brewers but if you fancy getting into the industry, IT Carlow’s offer of Ireland’s first BSc. (Hons) in Brewing and Distilling is well worth investigating (email: alma.feeley@itcarlow.ie).

One of The Menu’s favourite independent food and beverage emporiums, O’Driscoll’s, in Ballinlough, once again reprise their Taste of Christmas market, this time featuring fine French wines, local producers and many of their own in-house specialities as well as spiced beef, free range turkeys, home smoked hams and more.

www.jjodriscoll.ie

TODAY’S SPECIAL

The Menu is greatly swaddled at present for winter has well and truly arrived but betimes swaddling alone will not suffice in the face of such spiteful wind and plummeting temperatures so The Menu has to take other measures, specifically, a measure or two of Blackwater Gin’s new limited edition range of their Wild Irish Hedgerow Gin.

Now, The Menu is inordinately fond of gin, particularly the Blackwater range, but having furnished samples to a variety of non-gin drinkers he can report this latest concoction transcends usual preferences and is a smash hit with one and all, hardly surprising, as this infusion of sloes, damsons, crab apples and blackberries added to a truly splendid gin yields a sublimely balanced, sweet medicine for all that ails, a symphony of wild fruit on the palate with a subsequent coda, a glorious warming glow emanating from deep within, a fruity furnace in a bottle.

www.blackwaterdistillery.ie


Lifestyle

Liz O’Brien talks to Niall Breslin about his admiration for frontline staff, bereavement in lockdown, his new podcast, and why it's so important for us all just to slow down.Niall Breslin talks about losing his uncle to coronavirus

Podcasts are often seen as a male domain — see the joke, 'What do you call two white men talking? A podcast'.Podcast corner: Three new podcasts from Irish women that you should listen to

Esther McCarthy previews some of the Fleadh’s Irish and international offerings.How to attend the Galway Film Fleadh from the comfort of your own couch

Whether you’re on staycation or risking a trip away, Marjorie Brennan offers suggestions on novels for a wide variety of tastesThe best fiction books for the beach and beyond this summer

More From The Irish Examiner