Ireland day 0079. Thursday 16 December 2021- Pumpkin

Ireland day 0079. Thursday 16 December 2021- Pumpkin
Today’s summary Quick walk round the Malahide Castle demesne in the opposite direction to usual, then late lunch before Val went to work.   Pumpkin preparation in evening
Today’s weather Bright and dry.   Quite mild and no wind.   About 11C
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Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(Click button below to download a GPX of today’s walk):
Castle anticlockwise

We’ve been enjoying a few slightly less frenetic days lately and today continued in that theme.   Although Val does have her evening job, we still have most of the rest of the day before she sets off to do as we like.   So in the morning we are finding it quite nice being able to have a leisurely cup of tea and relaxed breakfast rather than rushing around all the time.

Today has been another decent day – last week’s storms have passed and the ones threatened for this week don’t seem to have come to anything.   Well not yet, anyway.   But by the time we had finished enjoying our relaxed morning, it was after 11 so we packed some emergency rations and headed out for a quick stroll round the castle demesne (I must remember that nobody outside Ireland will know what that word means so perhaps I should use it a bit less often in the future).

It was pleasantly mild – though without the bright sunshine that made yesterday so special.   The castle grounds are always a welcome oasis of calm and today being a weekday they were especially quiet.   We set off to walk round the outer path but a brief detour out onto the perimeter road was needed at the south side of the grounds, to avoid forestry work that was going on to remove fallen trees from the path a bit further on.   But that by chance brought us to the Garden House garden centre which is one of those places that people of a certain age – i.e.  us – are supposed to enjoy visiting.   So we dropped in and had a quick look round – lots of Christmas paraphernalia for sale, and what appeared to be exactly the same collection of soap, honey and knitwear that was on offer at the Dublin Castle Christmas fair on Tuesday.

After a brief but essential stop for Jaffa Cakes and coffee back in the castle grounds, we returned to the flat for lunch.   Val headed off to work and I made a couple of phone calls, and now have been tasked with what I am assured is a Very Important Job, namely Preparing the Pumpkin.

You might very well ask what I am supposed to be Preparing the Pumpkin for, and in any case why we have a pumpkin at all.   Especially given that it’s over a month since Hallowe’en.   Well, the answer is quite simple really.   Val returned home from work last night proudly carrying this gigantic autumnal vegetable – and I did wonder for a moment if perhaps the event organisers had run out of money and were remunerating their staff in this more novel agricultural currency.   But in fact the answer was far more prosaic – a kindly person at work had grown an abundance of these fabulous fruits on his allotment and had brought a few of them in to share with his colleagues.   You can see from the banner image at the top of this blog the size of our particular cucurbit – the wine bottle which strangely enough quickly came to hand – gives an idea of the scale.

So now my task is to slice it into bite -size portions – whilst at the same time trying not to mutilate myself as I hack through the seemingly bulletproof rind – and then roast them in the oven.   Tonight it’s sausages for tea so the roast pumpkin will do for tomorrow, and fortunately we have a recipe for a vegetarian curry-type dish which I will try and concoct if everything goes to plan this evening.

So I’ll sign off now for tonight, and hopefully be back at the same place tomorrow, with all my digits still intact.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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Roses still in flower.   There have been a few frosty days in Ireland and even in sheltered spots in Malahide.   But generally the climate down here near the sea seems to be a few degrees warmer so perhaps they just keep going all year?   February will be the test The best bit of the castle grounds is a private golf course.   To someone like me who appreciates freedom to roam in open spaces, they are a bit of a problem the world over
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Honestly, it’s a lot easier just to walk Quite a few trees came down in the castle environs during storm Barra last week.   Tree surgeons are still busy at work, ruggedly clearing it all up
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So I wonder if that means you are OK to try them on for unhygienic reasons? Healthy lunch – Tesco jaffa cakes, bought on the premise that they were a quarter of the price of the McVities ones and therefore must have less calories
Enjoying an autumn outing.   Pleasantly mild today, but not as sunny as yesterday
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