Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rasher Sandwich Bagel ( A 1am Kitchen Raid Victory)

I had a bit of a route around the kitchen last night to see if there was the makings of a sandwich and hit the blessed trinity of ingredients.

  • Good bread.
  • Good cheese.
  • Rashers.
In this case sesame seed bagels, decent white cheddar cheese (Kilmeaden purple block) and a full packet of rashers. This is very similar to a rasher sandwich I put up here before but I will repeat myself without guilt if only to hammer home the point that when someone asks you do you want red sauce or brown sauce on your rasher sandwich your reply should always be "I'll have cheese and mayonnaise please".

A halved and lightly toasted bagel generously spread with mayonnaise on both sides filled with 3 rashers and plenty of good cheese is a pleasure in life that I guarantee you will repeat until you shuffle off your mortal coil (which could be sooner rather than later if you keep eating these). If there's a bit of cream cheese knocking around fire that in too, any kind of rocket or spinach leaves in the gaf? By all means go for it... This is all I had so this is how I rolled (or in this case bageled).

Throw a bit of coleslaw and a packet of cheese & onion crisps on the side to really set that shit off and you've got a meal fit for any man, woman or unhealthy child. I seriously don't know how they're not packaging coleslaw and cheese & onion crisps together in some form or other yet, they were born for each other, they're like some non alcoholic yet just as damaging food version of Red Bull and Vodka.


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Preview: Brunch With Boozey. Happy Valley Festival Sunday 2nd June.

This weekend 'Feeding time with...' will be making it's first festival appearance in the form of 
'Brunch with Boozey' at the 'Happy Valley Festival' in Thomastown in Co. Kilkenny.

To say that Thomastown is close to my heart would be a major understatement. In the close to 10 years that I've been visiting this beautiful wild town on the banks of the River Nore I've had a lot of the best times of my life and made countless life long friends in the process. 

The pinnacle of the great festivals on offer here every year is the 'Happy Valley Festival', like everything in Thomastown there's really only a rough guideline as to when it starts and ends but every June Bank Holiday weekend for years I've been making a pilgrimage to partake in and attempt to survive its madness.

This year will be no different except I've been kindly asked to kick off proceedings at the infamous 15 for €15 show in Murphy's that takes place all day Sunday with 'Brunch with Boozey' which will entail amongst other things food for everyone who arrives early AND a Sandwich Competition which is open to anyone attending and all musicians playing during the day. All you have to do is bring a Sandwich to the gig and myself and my panel of esteemed judges will decide how it rates alongside all the others. There will be 2 (drink related) prizes, one for best tasting sandwich and one for the maddest sandwich. Of course I'll insist on having a shot of the winners prize with them, it's only fair.
Also at some point in the day (sobriety permitting)  I'll have a rummage through the pub kitchen, and failing that anywhere else in the town, and construct a Happy Valley inspired sandwich for anyone who fancies a bit of an afternoon snack. 

To keep up with the latest info on this event like or a follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for a full run down on everything at Happy Valley visit

Looking forward to seeing you there and sharing in a bit of the joyous madness.

B. Swine.

Van Sandwiches: Knoxville Morning Tour Apr '13

Ah life on the open road... The joy and excitement of not having to play by societies rules... Will it be one hour or four hours before we happen upon another roadside service station and the inevitable ham & cheese sandwich from the fridge?... That absolute certainty that you'll be eating those poxy paprika crisps along with it... Will the admission charge to the next soulless service station toilets be 70c or will I hit the jackpot and only be charged 50c?... What insane amount of money will the French extort from us to pass through the next toll bridge?... Will the smell of farts ever leave the van?... Will I ever get sick of Mezzo Mix?... What a great way to live.

Here's a sample of the culinary joys I was subjected to on a daily basis and grew to love and loathe in varying measures while living out of a van with my friends as we travelled around some of Europe.

Ireland. Lunch time and we pointed the van out of Newbridge in the direction of Rosslare Harbour. Not wanting to ruin my dinner in a couple of hours I'd make do with a packet of Ripples and what would be my last bottle of Lucozade for nearly 2 and a half weeks. I followed this up with a pint of Guinness in Enniscorthy while watching a bit of football and a bag of cans at the last off-license before the harbour, all of which turned out to be bad ideas considering we didn't so much sail to France as jostle with the sea like two pissed 18 year old lads would outside a niteclub on a Saturday night, both as equally afraid to throw the first punch as they are to lose face in front of their girlfriends. Not a pleasant 18 hour crossing.

We hit the ground running wanting to make our first destination of Amsterdam in good time, of course this didn't happen, primarily due to the nation of Belgium just being one long drawn out traffic jam. We did manage to pull into some brand of a service station in France before this where I purchased the above combination of bread and potatoes whilst exhausting my full arsenal of the French language over the duration of the transaction. Not expecting a whole lot from either I got roughly what I expected. Bolognese crisps aren't going to be drawing you away from Cheese & Onion should they try to fob them off on us any time soon. The sandwich was never going to win any awards, it was my boundless optimism that the French are enjoying a better standard of garage snack to us that set me up for this minor disappointment. 

A special mention needs to go out to the this gear, Mezzo Mix. Lucozade being my morning kick starter of choice for many years I often struggle when abroad to find a suitable alternative. I'd gotten numerous messages to try this orange flavoured cola, which is in abundant supply throughout Germany, and while expecting to be sickened by it I was more than drawn in to its subtle and endearingly flavoursome beauty. It got me out of many a minor hangover over the following weeks.

I can honestly say that my only culinary disappointment with the entirety of my time in Germany, and I'm sure my compadres would agree with me on this, is that there is severe hardship involved in locating a crisp that is not Paprika flavoured. This isn't a problem for the first or maybe second packet but by Jaysus they soon wear very thin on the taste buds. This sandwich was quite similar to it's French counterpart apart form the inclusion of Salami in place of the Jambon (that being 'Ham' and not the delicacy that it refers to in Ireland). The salad dressing was nice and spicy thanks to some red peppers and jalapeƱos but I did it no favours by letting it sit in a scorching hot van for a half an hour before consumption. 

There's not a lot to say about this. Just a pastry with some bog standard tomato bolognese sauce in it and the obligatory large bag of Paprika's. Germany proceeded to hit me with the above scenarios (and some very similar variants) for the duration of our stay... Then we crossed back over the border into France...

About 5 minutes over the German/France border we stopped into the first garage we saw. Equal parts delighted with the varieties of crisps on display and pissed off with the only sandwich available to me I set about making the most of the situation...

By constructing this monstrosity. 

At some point along the trip a bottle of hot sauce found its way into the belly of our 4 wheeled beast and I thought this would be the catalyst to make this utterly boring French cheese roll topped with Cheeseburger crisps (they tasted exactly like a Micky D's cheeseburger, decide for yourself if this is a good or bad thing) into something a little more exciting. I was wrong, it was a hardship that set me up not very nicely for the 6 hour drive to Paris. Bad Buzz.

Why break the habit? Last day and 15 minutes from Cherbourg and the ferry home we made our final stop off. While the lads set about buying enough bottles of wine to capsize the ferry I made a lonely venture around the massive supermarket hoping against all hope that I might see a sandwich that was more appealing than the previous weeks Ham & Cheese, clearly I didn't. I decided the only thing to make it interesting would be to consume it with Ham & Cheese flavour crisps, or in this case the nearest I could find to crisps being some kind of own brand snacks they called 'Monster Munch' that bore little physical or tastual resemblance to any Monster Munch I've eaten before. All in all I had hoped for more from the garages of Europe, but that's just the way it goes... Thankfully the food we had outside the van was worlds apart from this hardship, I'll tell you all about that very soon in Part 2...


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