Thursday, November 24, 2011


Racism has reared its ugly head in Ireland in this past week. The Mayor of Naas (who’d have thought they’d even have a mayor) stated on a local radio station that he would no longer take representations from “Black Africans” as his experience with “them” in the past has been less than good.  Race, is a matter of chance, a lottery depending on your gene pool, much like faith. As such it can never be a determining factor in how we treat people. Many years ago I read an article (or heard on the radio – memory fails) on this subject that has always stuck with me. When someone is spouting racist nonsense we should challenge them.  If they say “blacks are lazy” we question and say – “is it laziness you dislike?” if the answer is yes, then retort “are there no lazy white people?” Inevitably there are. So it is “lazy people” you dislike, colour doesn’t come into it.
In the case of this “mayor” I could not deny that he has had difficulties dealing with certain people. But in lumping everyone into one category, he may as well suggest that he would not deal with Irish passport holders, because an Irish passport holder disagreed with him once.

Friday, November 18, 2011


“Raised on Songs and Stories” wrote Pete St John, well we were reared on Coddle as well!

Coddle is a very traditional comfort food, eaten mainly in Dublin. Growing up every single Saturday we had Coddle for dinner. It was the only meal of the week that my late Father cooked without fail (I never remember my late Mother cooking this). His recipe used barley and split peas and you could add these for extra texture. This is slightly simpler and is how I have always made this dish. It can be difficult for people to accept the fact that the bacon and the sausages are pale when served (as they are boiled and steamed, not browned), please don’t be tempted to ruin this dish by frying or grilling these!

Even though the cooking time is given here as 90 minutes, in reality you can leave this on a very low heat for hours and it will be perfect. Also it tastes great the following day reheated. Some recipes suggest you serve this with soda bread, but a real Dub will tell you that the only way to serve this is in a large bowl with a couple of thick slices of crusty white bread or batch loaf with real butter for dipping into the soup.

As an added flavour I use Goodall’s Yorkshire Relish© (liquid – not the thick sauce) before serving – gives a great dash of spice to the dish. My wife calls this "Poor Man’s Stew", but to me this is simple, quick to prepare and fit for a king.


1.5 Litres of Vegetable Stock or Packet Soup (Vegetable)
2-3 onions, thinly sliced
8 Rashers of Bacon or 500g of Bacon Bits
12 fat, traditional pork sausages
4 carrots, thinly sliced
500g white potatoes, peeled and thick sliced
Salt and pepper


Prepare the vegetables by peeling and chopping to a consistent size. Onions and Carrots should be thinly sliced and potatoes should be about 3-6cm thick. Wash the vegetables under cold running water.  In a large skillet or stove top pot (must have a tight fitting lid) add either the stock or add the soup mix to water.  Add ALL of the ingredients to the liquid in the pot apply the lid and bring to the boil. Once boiled, stir and reduce to a very low heat (1 or 2) with the lid on and leave for 90 minutes.


Stir before serving with salt and pepper.

Serve in deep bowls using a slotted spoon (to ensure everyone gets their share of sausage, bacon and potatoes), ladle the vegetables and some soup over each serving. Remember this is a stew – not a soup – so you do not need to serve all of the liquid.