For the second year, members of Slow Food Ireland throughout the 32 counties will be celebrating International Grandmothers’ Day on or close to April 25th with a series of events designed to draw attention to the value of older generations in preserving and passing on precious skills that might otherwise be lost. Grandmothers – not to mention grandfathers – all over the world will gather their grandchildren around them for some old-fashioned fun and to show them – for instance – how to bake a cake, catch a fish, sow a seed… because grandparents are the guardians of inherited wisdom, this is a perfect opportunity to pass on forgotten skills on to a new generation. Here’s a rundown of a few of their events that will be taking place in Ireland (for others visit www.slowfoodireland.com)
In Belfast, Slow Food North East will be highlighting near-forgotten skills such as bread-making, butter-churning and jam-making at St George’s Market on Saturday April 24th from 10am until 2pm. There will also be a Youth Food Movement stand and demonstrations of how to plant runner beans and maintain a small urban vegetable garden. And traders – led by Annemarie Mullan – are developing Market Memories, a celebration of local market skills and culture that will include a Belfast-based cookbook. More from Celia Spouncer: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Waterford, the Four Rivers convivium will hold workshops at Dunhill Ecopark on April 25th, from noon to 4pm, exploring such skills as gardening on a budget, baking with seaweed and the simple pleasure of letter writing. Grandmother Rita Byrne will read from her book “Fenor 2010: Growing and Changing”, the results of a competition to write about old skills will be announced, there will be a plant and cake sale and US photo-journalist Paola Gianturco will be researching a chapter on Ireland for her new book on grandmothers of the world. (She plans to document and photograph the lives of grandmothers in India, South Africa, Swaziland, Senegal, Israel, Canada, the US, Latin America and Asia for the book.) More from Samantha Richardson on 086 0827644
In Wicklow, the Sugarloaf Convivium is gathering on Sunday 25th April in OOOOBY (Out Of Our Own Back Yard) Store in Glenealy. Everybody is invited – but first find out from your own gran what wild foods she used in cooking, where she got them and how she used them. They ask you to bring something to share based on the information you gather (for example, bake your grandmothers favourite cake – or have her bake it with you if possible. If you can’t make it we suggest you spend time that weekend with your grandparents and find out how they harvested wild foods, then send us that information (or photos of grandchildren with their grandparents) and we’ll put it on our blog. More details fromAisling nic Craith email@example.com or http://www.dulra.org/ooooby
For the second year running the East Cork convivium links up with The Irish Examiner to run a competition for grandchildren to submit the recipes they most like to cook with their grandparents (and an art competition for paintings or drawings of “cooking with granny”). Prizes include a day at the Ballymaloe Cookery School for winners, their teacher and their grannies. More details from Sharon at 021 4646785 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cork City and West Cork convivia join forces to celebrate the wisdom, knowledge and recipes of grannies at Hosford’s Garden Centre on the Bandon-Clonakilty Road at 1pm on Sunday in a day filled with fun, music and workshops. Ballinascarthy Bakers will make fairy cakes and soda bread, locals promise homemade lemonade, chocolates and fudge (with children welcome to get their little hands stuck in. Grandkids are invited to bring recipes from their grandmother with drawings showing the results. Olive Brennan of the Geranium Cafe will provide old-fashioned afternoon teas from 3pm. More details from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Galway convivium are holding a competition for third-year pupils from schools in the area. Slow Food members will visit local schools and ask the children for projects based on “Cooking with your gran”. There will be prizes of bakeware for the three best and also presents for the three honoured grannies! More from email@example.com
Kerry will be sharing food stories and recipes with a generation who knew about cooking for the family. Members and friends are invited to bring along a favourite dish and a recipe from their grandparents. The aim of the day will be to collect the recipes for a permanent resource. We also plan to have demonstrations of traditional skills such as home baking and bread making. If you would like to share a skill, please contact Kate Carmody, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Clare on April 23rd, grannies will tell tall tales to children at the Cois Ceim Community Creche in Lisdoonvarna while others show how brown bread should traditionally be made. More details from email@example.com
Slow Food is a non-profit eco-gastronomic member-supported organisation founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. The movement is founded upon a recognition of the strong connections between plate and planet.
Slow Food is good, clean and fair food: our food should taste good; should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and producers should receive fair reward for their work. Slow Fooders consider themselves co-producers, rather than consumers because, by being informed about how food is produced and actively supporting those who produce it, they strive to become a part of and a partner in the production process.