It’s really great to be alive at this time of technological breakthroughs, tremendous convenience, and working central heating! We have a lot to be thankful for and yet I see the stress on the faces all around me. For every smile there’s at least one frown. Some people truly delight in this time of year, they thrive on the planning and the busyness of the season. They appear to love the anticipation of friends and family during the festivities. For others it’s just a downright hassle. To the latter group I say “Let go and just make it easy on yourself this year. There are plenty of ways to do it”.
There will always be those prepared for Christmas in September and while we may admire their industriousness for most of us it just isn’t practical. So here we find ourselves in the first week of December, the public lights are up, the Christmas songs are playing in the shops and it’s time to get festive. It’s time to focus on what Christmas is all about – family, friends and, oh yes, food. Even if the gifts fall short, as long as the grub is great it all pales into insignificance.
Delicious dividends guaranteed with this novel investment idea.
We’re giving Irish investors an alternative to the financial markets by offering them the opportunity to put their money into Beef Bonds!
We launching this year’s crop of Beef Bonds which gives investors a return for their money and an investment in something they know and trust.
An egg is among the most nutritious foods that we have access to with many believing that the egg is ‘nature’s multivitamin.’ Eggs contain unique antioxidants and powerful brain nutrients that many people are deficient in. Eggs are loaded with vitamins, minerals, high quality proteins, good fats and various other lesser-known nutrients. An average large egg contains Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A, Vitamin B5 and Selenium along with small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body such as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E and many more. A large egg contains 77 calories, with 6 grams of quality protein, 5 grams of fat and trace amounts of carbohydrates. Almost all the nutrients are contained in the yolk, the white contains only protein. So what we really need to take away from the above is that for 77 calories you are getting an incredibly nutritious food; serious bang for your calorie intake buck!
I find that when you mention pork chops there isn’t the instant appeal that other meat often elicits. The problem is that the chop has generally been maligned for being too dry, dull and altogether boring. I can understand this because I too, as a child, witnessed the abuses visited on the chop. What started out as a relatively nice looking cut of raw meat ended up horribly pale and leathery and tasted the same. For years there was a fear of raw pork and so everything had to be cooked to a crisp. I feel very sorry for the pork chop because today it really has a lot of untapped potential. The chop makes a lovely alternative to the chicken fillet. It also has great autumnal value as it works well with the glut of apples and other fruits in season.
There’s a tremendous beauty in the English language. We, unlike some of our European neighbours, have been blessed with an abundant tongue based on rich, ancient foundations. We have an instrument of expression that when used correctly can work incredible magic. Words can make us fall in love, do things we don’t want to do, create mental pictures or even stir up emotions we didn’t even know existed. There is power in words and yet we are often lazy, assuming that some subjects don’t deserve a richer word currency. Sad to say, recent recruitment advertising that I have seen for butchers is a perfect example. It looks like there are openings for apprentice butchers in many parts of Ireland which is great news, including my own business, exposing the fact that there is not a lack of jobs in the industry, but a lack of skills. However looking at the distinctly dull and lifeless call to arms, I can see many approaching just because there’s a paying job at the end of it. I caution that a paying job is never a good driving factor for a life in this world.
I was reared in the business of food and farms and therefore acquired an easy knowledge of the natural world, seasons, soil, animals and the roles that man plays within nature’s boundaries. I also have a great passion for food but sometimes though, when one is immersed in a world it’s easy to forget that not everyone shares your passion or knowledge. Our increased busy-ness and technological advances have meant that simple knowledge about nature is often lost. Add to this trade agreements, modern food processes and fast transport and suddenly most foods are available all year round and the natural seasons and what they yield become irrelevant. It’s always “summer somewhere” and so everything appears to be available all year round. Many people just don’t know what is “in season” at any given time and therefore cannot operate within nature’s laws even if they wanted to. By the same token we don’t want to go overboard. This isn’t about adopting a bad attitude to anything imported, processed or not grown within a ten mile radius. It is, however, about adjusting the balance. If we increase the amount of local and fresh food that we consume we are positively impacting nutrition and the local economy.
I’m always conscious of the balance between time invested, money spent and the result. Some things in life just aren’t worth it. Puff pastry is an example. Getting puff pastry right is a skill and for the amateur it requires time and patience. If you have a burning desire to master it then go ahead, but for the rest of us I would say, “buy it”. If your family is fond of tomato ketchup that too can be recreated at home but it’s a lot of work. Homemade ketchup might be considered the healthier option perhaps but, unless they are consuming it by the bucket load, then a squeezy tube is the way to go.
October 3rd is National Potato Day; a day to celebrate the spud. Not the most glamorous of national days perhaps, but despite the fact that it is probably a promotional notion dreamt up by potato growers, why shouldn’t it have its own day? There was a time in Ireland when every day was National Potato Day but the world has evolved and pasta, rice cous cous and a host of other grains have muscled in on the potato’s patch. Also the spud’s criminal association with its fiendish friend, BUTTER, hasn’t helped its reputation in the health conscious and fat fighting communities. It’s high time someone spoke up for the spud and even the dairy company that it keeps. It’s time we stopped vilifying a perfectly good food and enjoyed its versatility. Here’s to National Potato Day; I declare myself a supporter.
A Butchers Life for Me
I’ve posted this piece before but I think it eloquently captures the point I am making and so I’ve posted it again. We have some great opportunities at the moment in James Whelan Butchers, so if you know anyone or perhaps you’d like a career change, this is your chance!
Following the successful launch of our butcher shops in Dublin, at Avoca Monkstown and Rathcoole, we are delighted to announce that we are bringing our craft butchery excellence and expertise to the new Avoca Food Market in Kilmacanogue.
James Whelan Butchers Beef Dripping wins 3 star Great Taste Award! Selected as a 2014 Top 50 Food
Beef Dripping, produced in Clonmel, Tipperary by Pat Whelan, a fifth generation butcher, has just been announced as one of the Top 50 best foods in the UK and Ireland. Of 10,000 entries to the Great Taste Awards, just 153 were awarded a Great Taste 3 Star, and James Whelan Butchers Beef Dripping has now been further selected as a 2014 Top 50 Food and shortlisted for a Great Taste Golden Fork Award.