So, that’s it! 2010 is almost gone. It all feels a bit surreal really, the year seemed to both whizz by and at times go slowly, but one thing is for sure, there was a lot packed in.
I’ve never been one for plans and resolutions, preferring to let life take its course and do things as they come up, but this year I promised myself two things: that I would travel a lot more (I have been promising and delivering poorly on that for a long time now) and that I would eat out more, and work a little less. 2009 was great but it was the year of the workaholic where I was concerned.
I must confess that I had a few moments throughout the year where I faltered, its amost 4 years since I started writing this blog, and it takes so much of my time now, I sometimes wondered if it is worth the mammoth effort. Everytime I felt that way, something wonderful happened that lifted my spirits, and spurred me on to continue.
Included in these were a few exciting moments when ELAG was mentioned in Best of the Blogs in The Times; The Times: 40 Bloggers Who Really Count; The Best Food Blogs by Rose Prince in The Telegraph and Highly Commended in the Observer Food Monthly Awards. The year finished on a high with ELAG listed as the No. 1 Food & Beverage Blog on the UK.
The year had many highlights, I will try to be succinct as I go through them in three parts. Bear with me, if you can!
An autumnal Wild Venison with Wild Blackberry Sauce perked up a blue evening.
Braised Gem Lettuce, Broad Beans, Peas & Ham with Quails Eggs was a lovely summer dish. Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes were deliciously simple and quick, and used the terrific smoked haddock from Frank Hederman in Cobh. Balsamic was a feature of the year as I had some silky syrupy balsamic that deserved devouring, and so it appeared again in the warming Balsamic & Thyme Duck with Aubergine & Tomato Mograbiah.
Simple comforting brunches remained a weekend staple, a favourite was the classic American Style Pancakes with Bacon & Maple Syrup. Finally, I also started exploring sweets, and had lots of fun making Yellowman (aka Honeycomb, Cinder Toffee).
Posh Lunch Club
Indulgence reigned for the first half of the year with Posh Lunch Club, a weekly lunch club exploring the set menus of fine dining restaurants. That was enormous fun and ridiculously decadent. I loved it. Although I am suffering now as it destroyed my waistline (it really did!), I need to learn to curb my id. Now that’s not much fun, is it?!
Highlights of Posh Lunch Club were my Paddy’s Day Posh Lunch Club at Racine with that glorious watercress soup with pike boudin and truffle, my mini Scandi breakaway at Texture eating what seemed like delicious woodland landscapes, and two delightfully gentle and gorgeous lunches at Viajante. We also had a gorgeous and indulgent Summer Posh Lunch Club at Bob Bob Ricard. Posh Lunch Club will be starting up again in a few weeks time.
2010 was a brilliant year for travel, and 2011 looks to top that already, so I am very excited. I love exploring new places and new tastes. My best trips for 2010 were my trip to Lyon on the Eurostar and dicovering the wonderful Le Garet, the perfect bouchon, and the perfect local Lyon market, Marché St Antoine.
The madness and fun and all of that Cous Cous of the International Cous Cous Fest in Sicily (XIII International Cous Cous Fest in Sicily), where I was a judge.
Who could forget that glorious trip to Swedish Lapland? Full of lots of new tastes of bear, arctic grouse, reindeer, and elk. One of my favourite things that I ate this year was in Lapland, a glorious whole fish, cooked over a roaring fire. I was delighted to find some sticky smokey roe inside.
There was our little bloggers expedition to my home county in Ireland, especially our lunch and cookery demo at The Tannery Cookery School in Dungarvan.
Glasgow was wonderful too, I love the Glaswegian sense of humour and absolute commitment to whatever they are doing, we also had a terrific evening at An Evening with Hendrick’s Gin and Bompass & Parr in Glasgow
Come back tomorrow for 2010′s best meals, favourite restaurants and supper clubs.