Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

May 18, 2009

Fantastic Festival!

Filed under: home base — admin @ 11:57 pm

festival-0791festival-056festival-052festival-0581festival-0631festival-0571It was lashing rain in Lisdoonvarna for the Burren Slow Food Festival this past weekend. But that didn’t make a bit of difference for the throngs of visitors whose cars crowded the massive car park and flowed out onto the streets of Lisdoon. They came by the hundreds from the Burren and all over Clare, Limerick, Galway and beyond to buy all the freshest and most creative that  County Clare has to offer.  As I was on the festival committee this year, and I live in Lisdoonvarna, I have been asked over the last few months, by numerous people, “what is slow food?” I hope this local, grassroots festival answered that question. It’s about connecting. Connecting the farmers and producers with the individual consumers. Connecting local businesses and producers with each other and facilitating the notion that we are all part of the same community with the same issues, economic, political and personal. Slow food in Ireland is what has been here for centuries, people growing their own food – good and healthy straight from their own garden and from their own animals. Slow Food is about getting back to that idea – know what you’re eating and where it’s coming from.  I was thrilled to see so many people from my community turn out for an event that has sometimes seemed “alternative.”  I think this weekend was a good stepping off point for changing attitudes and raising the issues connected with Irish food production, whether it be supporting community gardening, traditional ways of farming,  the critical issues of exporting and importing,  organic farming and dealing with our economic crisis.

The inspirational welcome address was given by Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School and John McKenna of Bridgestone Guides. Cookery demos, a huge Farmers Market, gorgeous local pottery, cultural displays, a BBQ,  a cafe, art gallery, childen’s events, a vintage car rally and traditional music was enjoyed by all. See slow food clare for a full listing of events in the brochure. I gave a cookery demo on Sunday to a packed audience, cooking 3 recipes from Coming Home To Cook. It was great craic, a very special community effort and event. A huge thanks to all who volunteered and to all the vendors and participants who gave their all and made the whole weekend so much fun.  Slan go foill. Up Clare! dscn5109

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