Cross Training

>Cafe Disappointment

With an eight mile run under my belt yesterday evening, I decided to take a break today.

Cross-training was the name of the game. Many of my fellow Juneathoners been very adventurous in this regard. Moorhen thinks yoga and meditation count Shaz thinks buying a coke in Spar is a Juneathon activity, while, another blogger, who shall remain nameless but knows who she is, insists that horizontal jogging is a Juneathon activity.

People, you are pushing your Juneathon luck.

Moi, on the other hand, I engaged in one very brisk walk today. Two miles, through the city AND trailing reluctant Teen Chook behind me. Now THAT`S Cross training.;-)

The plan was that my destination would undo-I hoped-every ounce of good the walk would deliver.

Destination? A pretty little coffee shop. I would abandon my cholesterol austerity diet and eat cake!

Reason for Teen Chook`s reluctance? “Mum, you know I HATE `pretty` and `little`.

I should`ve listened to the girl.

The café`s website was superb. It screamed “chic ” and “hip”.  See above pic.

Oh, there were other pics too showing the on trend mismatch of vintage china, rockabilly inspired decor and delectable cakes everywhere.

I couldn`t wait to get there.

But reality dealt me a cruel blow.

Glass doors opened into an average sized room. Half of it was taken up with a huge and chaotic kitchen.  The eating area itself is comprised of seven or eight small tables with barely walking room between them.  The waitress pointed to the only vacant table and as I sank into the bentwood chair, my heart sank too.

I was facing the kitchen. Though the dividing wall was quite high I could see enough to convince me that the kitchen was a mess. The staff themselves looked slovenly. One sported a loose top that kept slipping over her shoulder revealing a dirty bra strap, another rubbed an icing ruler  on his face, while utensils and pots and pans were is disarray everywhere. The garland that hung on the ceiling, as depicted in the website pictures, still hung on the ceiling, but it was dirty and frayed.


Meanwhile the cakes. for which this café claims to be famous, were left on open display and uncovered in a particularly busy part of the dining area. Not that they were any great shakes either. The sponge was overfilled with cream, and the lemon cake had sunken badly. There was a fruity traybake  on one stand but it didn`t match anything on the menu.

I ordered a coffee,  a plain scone and homemade jam. Daughter ordered the overfilled sponge. I cringed while I waited.

I got a good look at the floor. Filthy, filthy, filthy. You know the gunge that builds up at the doorstep and in corners? The bit you get down on your hands and knees for and gouge out of it every couple of weeks? It was all there. The yard outside had all the look of a place that had never been swept. The grime continued up the wrought iron pedestals of the tables.

I had to use the bathroom facilities. Too bad. The room leading from the diningroom and into the bathroom was a floor to ceiling jumble of cake boxes and cake boards.And the clutter continued into the toilet area. There was only one for customer use. And it was packed with posters and leaflets and all kinds of magazines, presumably to give it that hippy, eclectic look.  It just reminded me of dirt and chaos.

My scone arrived. It was cold, and rock hard on the outside. Overcooked. I ate half of it. The coffee was okay. The jam was definitely homemade: it hadn`t set. Daughter ate her cake but without any relish.  I paid. I didn`t complain because nobody looked like they were terribly interested or even very much in charge. We fled.

Yes, all this was training. And it left me very cross indeed. Now, that`s cross training! Junethon Day 28 done!





Sheep Runs and Cookies

Ewes and Lambs

Ewes and Lambs

I am lucky enough in live in the midst of rolling countryside. In fact, I have lots variety available to me for any of my runs-woodland, beack, parkland, fields, towpaths and roads. I always delight in finding new routes. It takes the tedium out of running.

During the week, one of my runs took me to a sheep field. What a delight at this time of the year! The lambs and ewes were cordoned off by a high wooden fence.

There is such a sweetest and innocence, of course, about little lambs as they leap about in their mother`s wake. And Mother is ever so protective, moving off at the first sign of danger-me!- her lambs following suit after.

And here`s me…

Long Shadow

Long Shadow

…leaning on the high fence. Any excuse to take a break from the running.

Did run yesterday. Had three and half miles done before my garmin died. It`s okay, just out of charge.  Foot fared fairly well. Just more painful for the first mile and then eases off. Anyway, I took garmin death as a sign to stop myself.

And went home to bake pistachio nut cookies.


Pistachio nut cookies 600

It really intrigues me that anything I cook, never, ever, looks like the pic in the recipe.See how my cookies are all different sizes? And overcooked?

The fact that there are three teenagers in the henhouse means I have lower standards: I know any kind of cookie I throw up at them will be eaten.Once its called a cookie, they feel dutybound  to eat it as quickly as possible.Maybe if I start called Irish stew cookie stew they might eat that as well….

Cookie recipe is from One Dough, Fifty Cookies. I`ve made about ten different cookies from it so far. And yes, as the title suggests, their all built around the same recipe-8oz butter, creamed with 5 oz butter. Peg a beaten egg yolk and 2 tsp of vanilla essence into that. Fire in 10 oz of flour into the mix with a pinch of salt. There`s your dough.

Add any flavourings you care to think about. If I reduce the flour by two ounces, I can add 2 ounces of cocoa for chocolate cookie dough. Or peg in any kind of nuts. Now form the dough into balls and place well apart on your baking sheets. Cook for 10-12 min at 190/375 or Gas 5. The chocolate cookie has been the most popular cookie in the henhouse to date. I didn`t even get a chance to set up a photo shoot for the resulting cookies.

I have zero interest in eating cookies myself. But I`ll have a little nibble, just to check for gooey factor. And lately, I`m getting more interest in testing cookies with my coffee.

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Yep, my idea of heaven…great coffee and the Irish Times in the local, little, super cool coffee shop. I asked for a cookie too, just for the nibble test. It made my morning to know mine are even nicer. I just need to work on the shape and size and overcooked factor.

Okay, got to go run off some cookie nibbling….