Thursday, May 28, 2009


I began my day by sitting with a coffee by the pool. Far cry from the mornings in Cork ! From here, I spotted a little weeding that was crying out to me. Somehow,whilst lost in thought I was thinking about seaweed !

When I was 13 years old I spent 1 week in Knockadoon camp. Located in Ballymacoda, 30 miles from Cork City. Primitive conditions at best, this Dominican run facility provided a lifetime of memories for me. Here, I learned all about the various zones in the sea shore. Daily, we pottered around in rain and shine looking through UPPER, MIDDLE AND LOWER ZONES. We slept in bunk beds in army style barracks, and ate God only knows what. At 39, I still remember this as one of the most enjoyable weeks of my life. Think about it. Children, sea shore and friends. Could you really ask for more ? I only wish my kids could go also.

Speaking of kids, seaweed seems to be their dreaded enemy ! Happening upon some whilst swimming conjures up thoughts of some slimy serpeant around your legs ! Well it did for me. I hated the feel of it around my legs.

Todays trend is to call marine algae "Sea Vegetables" .Carrageen Moss is a very popular seaweed found in rocky parts of the Atlantic Ocean, especially in Ireland and North America namely Massachusetts. When fresh, this seaweed is generally a green to purplish/brown color. Used also for medicinal purposes, for its anti viral properties, it is used in Ireland and Brittany (Western France) for respiratory problems.

It is actually used in cooking in Ireland. During the famine, it was used as a primary food source. It can be used in Stews, Soups and Puddings. Yes puddings, you heard me. It has a gealatinous quality when blanched in boiling water. Some of my favorites include the following:

Guinness battered oysters in Carrageen moss

Carrageen moss pudding (using vanilla a vanilla pod and Bailey's Irish Cream )

So, the next time you are swimming in the Atlantic, and something snarls around your limbs just ask your self "Whats for Dinner?" !