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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mums Day Out

Back in April my mum celebrated her 60th birthday, whilst I managed to get home for the party; there wasn't enough time to do what my sister, Nickki and I had planned for her present.

So, Thursday 26th July was the arranged date for a day out together to spend some quality time - isn't that what most people need more of? We had a leisurely start time of 1130 and we headed to The Lovely Food Company in Terenure for brunch. It really didn't disappoint. The staff were absolutely lovely, my poached eggs and bacon on artisan bread with a tomato relish were a delight and the conversation flowed, we were all in a great mood. That continued as we made our way to Aspen where we had booked in for facials and a massage for Mum. It's a quirky little salon but they succeeded in relaxing all three of us and we had lovely shiny faces after 90 minutes. I made a slight error in judgement in asking them to do my spray tan though. The machine didn't seem to work very well - there was more tan on the floor than on me; I had to assist the girl in doing my own tan and she really didnt have a clue how deep the colour should be! Unfortunately I did end up a bit stripy! Anyhow, we moved on for a spot of afternoon tea in the Cake Place off Pleasant st. What a find! The lemon polenta cake was so light and tasty - I'm still salivating 5 days later! The chocolate brownie was also delectable, so rich. More girly chat and feeling refreshed we even managed to fit in donating 3 full black bags of mum's barely worn clothes to Enable Ireland. Trust mum to fit in something off her to-do list on a girls day out. It made her happy though so that's what counts.

Onto Bluebell, an unlikely location for the "Flavours of Italy" Italian cookery school, where Giuseppe awaited to impart his wisdom on preparing a 3 course Italian dinner. He explained the idea of bruschetta (which really should be pronounced "bruscetta") and offered some ideas for accompaniments - gorgonzola, fresh olive pasta, olive oil with lemon and chilli - our palettes were tantalised but we had some hard work to do first. Downstairs to the kitchen, we had to form teams of five. Unfortunately we were short some people so Mum, Nickki and I formed a team. I thought this was a great idea as other people wouldn't get a look in with us in the kitchen but it put us under pressure later on. First up was the starter - pizza or latticed bread. We loaded up on fresh mozzarella, pancetta and mushrooms and tossed our dough to our hearts content,  Giuseppe's tips as he moved around the kitchen were sometimes welcomed but at other times we wanted to dump some flour over his head. 3 women in the kitchen - possibly a recipe for disaster? We moved on to prepare the dessert - a very typical Italian tiramisiu, here we also had challenges, mum tired of beating the egg whites, Nickki of the yolks and mascarpone, I prepared the biscuits, dipping in orange juice and limoncello and cutting fresh strawberries for a summery interpretation of the sweet. The heat was on at this stage and tempers were fraying at the table, mum tried to escape for a cigarette and all sharp objects had to be removed from my sisters reach. For the main course we tried making our own tagliatelle from dough and preparing a pesto sauce. This was great and team harmony reigned once more. We were ready for the starters when they arrived out of the oven, with a lovely Pinot grigio to wash it down. The latticed bread was a success, the other team complimented us on it too. Overall a great evening out, even with our less than aesthetically pleasing tiramisiu cups. 

Sated from a successful day I fell into bed after the few vinos dreaming of the weekend to come in Cork.....

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