And Hello from Carlow

Have you ever gone to Google Maps to see your own house from satellite and discovered something, well, weird nearby. Well this is what happened to someone I work with (his parents house is near this shot).

Proof, if proof was needed that the Irish Ploughing Championships needs a new specialist section. Or possibly a way to make a fortune for advertising on fallow farmland…

Here, Carlow says "Hello". The link if you want to look for yourself is… 53.31855,-7.56631 

Cheese, onion and Chocolate

I can only assume that the Tayto cheese and onion crisp chocolate bar is a childhood dream come true for someone. In the days when mixing your snacks together (probably with fizzy orange and birthday cake in the mix) was a good idea, you would try it.

It tastes exactly like what you would expect crisps (potato chips for the Americans) and chocolate to taste like. Mouth feel is chocolate and crisped rice (there is rice in the ingredients). The combination does not work.

Part of this is that the childhood version would have been Tayto and +Cadbury UK Dairy Milk. Rumour has it that Butler's chocolate was used. Every chocolate maker has a slightly different taste, this mix was tweaked the wrong way.

Glad I tried it. But no. Until the Smokey Bacon Tayto Crisp and Chocolate Bar that is.

Viewing underground

The River Poddle was covered up a long time ago. The fact that the rive runs under the Olympia Theatre and under Dublin Castle gives you an idea of the tunnel's age.

The wide streets of Cork are actually covered over rivers… Are there any photographs of this aspect of Hidden Cork?

Embedded Link

River Poddle underneath the city of Dublin's streets
Pictures of Dublin's River Poddle underground, making its way underneath Temple Bar in culverts built during the medieval period; these exclusive pictures were taken by an insider.

Lollipop Junction

The LBC asked “What is your Earliest Memory” a few weeks ago. Well… I have three possible memories.

I can’t accurately date two of them.

One is of a copper framed round mirror that used to hang in the kitchen (and is now in my own house), however that mirror hung there for over a decade (behind some hideous wallpaper). Which means I can’t say if it was my first or not.

Another is of a brown Ford Escort with altered suspension driving across a bumpy road, then a guy with enormous flares getting out to explain this as an example of destructive harmonics. It turns out that this was an episode of the Open University physics course. That such geekery is an early example of my memories should explain a lot about me.
But I can’t date it. I didn’t even remember it as a TV programme until I caught a late night repeat decades later.

The one memory I can date accurately is my fifth birthday party. Or rather the cake for my fifth birthday party.

I had to do a bit of research on this. Mum called the train shaped cake “Lollipop Junction” as she iced lollipops to the board to form “trees”. It turns out, thanks to the lovely people at Odlums that the cake is one of their recipes (I think McDonald is the author), called “The Runaway Train”.
So I decided to recreate it.

I was either going to be a triumph, or a disaster. With cake. So all evidence could be eaten.

You can see the original in the first picture of my starting set. I’ve made a few changes… Firstly instead of pouring chocolate frosting over the entire thing (which would be messy) I went with white fondant icing. Next, since I hate licorice, I swapped the licorice allsorts with jammy dodger biscuits. I also used midget gem jelly sweets for lights and stacks.

The decoration is fairly simple. Use sponge cake as the basis for the engine, engine cab and carriages. Use a swiss roll for the fuselage. The jammy dodgers became the wheels and the jellies became the decorations.
I added a few ducks to the engine as I had a duck shaped cookie cutter, and the duck has become the logo for the hackerspace.

I didn’t use all the supplies I set out to use. The chocolate fingers that were to be tracks simply stayed in their packet as I couldn’t safely lift the train (and will be eaten later), & some frosting never got opened. Also the board I prepared proved to be too small.

The TOG craft night was on at the same time, and I stopped after 2 and a half hours because the craft group were brewing tea and approaching with sharpened knives. And plates.

So it wasn’t a triumph. It was my first attempt at cake decoration after all. I’ve never even tried putting frosting on a cupcake (I might have sliced the top off fairy cakes in the past, but that was a group speed thing). So is a bit of a train cake wreck.

And it tastes lovely with tea.

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “Earliest Memory”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar.