La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I really am not the most consistent blogger in the world, I know that. And I assume you were all thinking that I had given up on my low carb - IF diet. Right and wrong !
Dieting is hard. Dieting when on holiday is nigh on impossible.
But I had semi prepared myself and had 3 fast days before we left for Ireland. Still, in the weeks before our trip I've kept myself busy with baking my mother's (who turned 75) birthday cake, I obviously had to 'taste' it.
I cleaned the house, did a pile of laundry and ironing, cooked some chicken and rice for the cats and dogs as a 'haute cuisine' treat for when we were away, got 'some' food in for our pet/house sitter (my mum - it was her birthday present, the house sitting ;) ).
How I love going on hols, NOT. It's all the prep that I have to do beforehand, not to speak of emptying the suitcases when coming back home. Blergh!
That's why we (I) just prefer to move house to another country, at least then you have all your furniture and stuff with you. Ha !
Yes, our holiday to Sneem wasn't just a social visit to all our friends and acquaintances. We also went house hunting. Some of you may know that we have accepted the offer on our house in Belgium and we now needed to start looking for something in our beloved Sneem.
We have put an offer in on two properties and they have both been accepted, so we are on the right track.
Two properties ? Well, yes. One in Sneem village as an investment and one near the Sneem estuary right at the water's edge, to live in.
I just adore the place on South Square, the building has a lot of charm (and a lot of work too) and has sitting tennants (comercial) who will stay. It has a small garden (full of Japanese knotweed, 5 old mattresses, rotten wooden dressers and all the other stuff we haven't seen yet). But it also boasts a stone barn with a beautiful arched gateway. We heard it used to be a butter factory, but I can't seem to find any information about it on the net.
It is ripe for restauration and I cannot wait till we can get the whole place spruced up. To make it the gem of Sneem village.
The house near the water is a 'new build'. From the outside it looks okay-ish, the interior is far, far too modern (think Kelly Hoppen-esq ) with near white wall to wall carpet in all the bedrooms and living room, highly polished white floor in the kitchen that give me the feeling of walking over ice cubes, black kitchen. The windows are uPVC, wood imitation with 'fake' crossbars between the double glazed window panes. They'll have to go !
We'll also need to add a garage/tool shed as there isn't any. Every house needs a tool shed.
Whatever we paid for the place, it's going to cost us an arm and a leg to get it to work for us in the style we like. But it will be worth it in the end as the land is pituresque with stunning views over the water and the mountains. Added bonus, it has a stream and a pond too !
From past experience we know that till completion of a sale lots of things can happen, so we prepare ourselves mentally for that and hope for the best. Fingers crossed.
Now about the diet.
While we were in Ireland we stayed in the Sneem Hotel. I kept my cool and didn't over eat on bread, sweets or any other carby fillers. For breakfast I usually ate yoghurt (lovely and creamy) topped with almonds, walnuts and prunes (that'll keep the bowels moving), then a cooked breaky of sorts : egg (always egg) either poached or fried, tomato, mushrooms and white pudding (which was very tasty indeed). Right, sometimes I did give in to a slice of toast with a good lump of butter.
For lunch we usually had a filled sandwich on the go or at one of the many coffee shops.
Dinner, either at the hotel, D O'Shea Bar (which serves great food) or at friends (I couldn't resist Jo-Anne's cake or Pam's scones smothered in jam)
So yes, I did sin a bit, but not as much as I did this Saturday when we were already home. I made some lovely starchy risotto with butternut squash. I also ate a whole (200 gr) bar of chocolate filled with hazelnuts on that day ! It didn't seem to weigh that much to be honest as the nuts felt very very light. ;)
I recovered from this blip on Sunday. No more carbs. I have it out of my system, with a fast day yesterday and today.
Some of my recipes ? I'll try and get them on this blog soon. That's a promise I'm hoping to keep.