It’s officially soup season. Making your own soup is a great way to use older-looking veggies at the bottom of the fridge. Some top tips for making a great soup are: Sauté the vegetables really well before adding in any stock. I like to gently fry my veggies in butter or rapeseed oil until they’re beautifully soft (there’s nothing worse than the flavour of raw onion in a soup). Use really good stock or bone broth, if you can. Not because I think they have any health benefits, but because they give the best flavour. Always add a splash of something creamy at the end – butter, evaporated milk, cream or coconut milk are all perfect. Season your soup with plenty of salt! If you can’t figure out why your soup tastes bland, it’s because you’re not seasoning it well enough.
Remembering the Ploughing
Down the years we will remember
The ploughing fest of late September
From early morning we made our way
Towards the hum of tracks, the smell of clay
From every county they made their way
A hundred thousand every day
Lines of cars for miles and miles
Admission gained through a dozen stiles
But COVID came to spoil the fun
No ploughing for twenty or twenty one
Competitions yes but behind closed doors
With only the judges to count the scores
Unlike previous years, a quiet place
Empty sites, just open space
No bustling crowds or trading stands
Or country airs from performing bands
When we think back to days of yore
We walked for hours till our feet were sore
We didn’t mind about mud or muck
Ow when homeward bound, our car got stuck
A day at the ploughing was well worthwhile
Foot sore and tired! A hard day’s toil
But come what may it will return
Bigger and better, after its short sojourn.
– Paddy Egan, Longford
Have been following @IrelandsFarmers for a while now. I've never set foot on an actual farm other than a school tour but god isn't it ferocious what they do. I'm a bit envious of the work ethics and lifestyle they shine through. I'm loving the background info and different types— Catherine Burns (@CatWalsh1) September 25, 2021
Let’s face it, it was pretty hard to find romance in lockdown. But now that restrictions have lifted it might be time to put yourself out there again. We spotted that @rozannapurcell is running a series of Hike Life Single Events. Between now and Christmas, there will be six hikes in some of the most beautiful parts of the country where you can sign up, spend a day in nature and meet some other single people looking to find new connections, including over-40s and LGBTQ+ specific hikes. The first one takes place on Paradise Hill on 10 October.
4 – The number of things ICL thinks the new boss of Horse Racing Ireland must do.
From psychotherapist Enda Murphy:
When we focus on the future, we get anxious. When we focus on the past, we get depressed. When we focus on the present, we relieve both.