Fresh and good

Every time I feel too tired to cook I yearn for the wonderful takeaways we had on our travels in Australia – gorgeous fresh fruit salads with yogurt, fresh vegetarian Indian, Korean, Greek, smoothies, wonderful wholesome salads, sushi galore, stir fried noodles, all freshly made and bursting with nutritious goodness.

Our local take away options are, with the exception of Saturday pizzas on a saturday, X amount of greasy, MSG laden chinese or chippers. Nothing fresh and vibrant. I often despair. I don’t want to cook, but I also don’t want to serve my family something that unhealthy. It doesn’t make me feel good on any level. And it’s not even cheap!

However ethnic cuisines are few and far between in rural East Cork. Irish salads are of the limp wristed lettuce and green tomato type. And potato salad with bullet hard potato lumps, vinegary white mayo and too much onion, ditto the coleslaw. And that’s it.

So hurray for the Village Greengrocers in Castlemartyr,(which is under new management) just ten minutes from the Pink House, where there is a selection of thirty or more freshly made salads favourites from the Avoca and Ottolenghi cafes: broccoli with feta and cherry tomatoes; mangetout with toasted almonds; puy lentils and peppers; proper potato salad; three different types of couscous; two varieties of carrot salad; three pasta salads all made in-house from their own produce. They also have a large amount of fresh baked cakes and breads, fresh roasted meat, real ham, as well as plenty of fresh fruit: local strawberries, blueberries, cherries, golden kiwis, apricots that you would not find in a supermarket. We stocked up and headed off for a picnic. I know where I’m going back to next time the healthy take away need occurs!

I have previously just popped in there to get fruit and veg, and maybe a loaf of bread. But their deli selection of jams, chutneys, cheeses, olives, and so forth is extensive. I had previously found them a little too pricey – now that the Celtic tiger has run away the prices are now extremely good value, for real food, fresh, nutritious and it hits the local shopping button too. Friendly staff always willing to carry to your car, and you can eat outside by the river or upstairs if you’re not in a rush. They’re Bridgestone award winners for 2011. Deservedly so. Hurray!

Want to read more Dreaming Aloud foodie posts, have you seen…
Gill’s Secret Garden Supper Club (At Ballymaloe Cookery School)
A Life Affirming Luncheon (Saturday Pizzas)
A Cherry Blossom Picnic

And do visit my baking blog The Queen of Puddings for Rhubarb and Cardamom Upside Down Cake; Popple Cake; the best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake around; Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing; online baking stockists  and much, much more

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  1. earthlytreasures

    Oh lush! We dream of such a thing! In North Wales we have even less choice than you I fear… we often think of opening something ourselves but I don’t doubt we’d be the only ones actually interested ;/

    We used to live near Ludlow, and still have connections there so from time to time we can at least get good very bread and the odd bit of lovely deli or veggies. Ooh and cakes! The Local Produce Market often has some very good cakes by this woman: If you’re ever at the Hay Book fest, check her out!


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