Mannings Ballylickey

Postscript: I thank you for watching my TV shows for almost twenty-five years and following my blog posts; felt this story was timely this week given St. Patricks Day next Saturday. As I shared Val Manning's life-long story of local and stainable back then I know this is the true meaning of celebrating the people of Ireland on St. Pats! Sláinte

I've been taping in Ireland for my TV series. A few days ago I had the pleasure to share a glass of Rose and taste local cheeses with the honorable Val Mannings of Ballylickey at his food Emporium, Mannings located along the River Ovane.

I was dropped in the heart of County Cork, Ireland and talked local food and sustainability with Val. Sustainability is nothing new to Val, after all, he's been doing it for decades, in fact for generations in the Mannings Family. Just ask anyone in Ireland and they will know of Val Manning. His cheeses, sausage and breads were out of this world; and I was lucky enough to have some time and listen to his fabulous stories. The food, wine and food conversation in Ireland is all part of the experience. I know my life has been made extra special from my visit - so thank you Val for sharing your knowledge with me so I can share it with my friends back home.

So if you venture off the beaten path, to experience original authentic artisanal foods; I recommend a drop by to Mannings while in Cork on N71. I'll be back.

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For more info on traveling to Ireland: Tourism Ireland

Images: Hirsch Media

The Apiarist's Cake

As summer begins to fade and we settle into the back-to-school rhythm of things, the phrase busy as bees takes on a whole new meaning; closing pools, fall clean-ups and many outdoors chores. 

Eating locally made honey helps build your immune system. A bee keeper, aka an apiarist may manage a colony of bees that can have upwards of 50,000 members. But, the art of the apiarist is not only about making honey, it's more about the preservation business these days. 

I talked bees with J. Smith, who takes his bees very seriously. He is based in County Kerry, Ireland where he has devoted his life to preserving the species and is constantly spreading the word of the critical condition the bee population is in globally. The one thing he said that really stuck with me was his explanation of how the bee colonies "live together with a collective consciousness - something humanity should adopt." His honey is available for local merchants and markets; sustainability is paramount.

The perfect combination of locally made honey and citrus is what inspired today's post, as seen on an episode of GH Living it UP! Enjoy a slice of my Orange Honey Cake with a hot cup of Barry's Tea, a Good Stuff pick. BTW - this recipe is a really easy one to whip up for a impromptu gathering since you can make, bake and eat this cake, all in under one hour! Enjoy!

For My Orange Honey Cake Recipe

Say Cheese

It's no secret, among those that have seen my TV shows how much fondness I hold for my friends in Ireland. It is truly one of the most friendly and hospitable lands on earth. I actually think the phrase tender loving care was born there. Here's proof, in this TV ad from KerryGold. 

Dubliner Cheese: Once you try it, you'll be hooked. I am. It was first described to me as a mixture between Cheddar and Parmigiano Reggiano. This description is quite accurate. Dubliner tastes of a mature Cheddar with the sweet aftertaste of Reggiano. Created by the Irish company Kerrygold and named after Ireland’s capital city, this cheese shares traits with several well-known cheeses but the combination creates a flavor that is completely unique.