A common phrase used lately with regards to spending money and using fossil fuels, however in my case, it was kitchen appliances.
Last Sunday, July 18th, communities all over Ireland celebrated Street Feast. A day long festival were you joined your neighbours, some you may have never seen before and enjoyed food together. My local street feast was in a really cute area called Kirwan cottages. We have a few showers of rain but that did not dampen and lovely atmosphere I experienced when I encountered the feast.
The men were standing beside the BBQ talking about the tenderness of the meat while the woman shared out food and made sure that no one was standing without and plate and cup in their hand. What made this day so special was that these people normally only made small talk down at centra buying the quick pick and now they were sharing stories about how they met their spouses to where they’re going next on their summer holidays.
There is no better way to encourage a group of almost strangers to get together other than the ceremony of sharing good food. Everyone brings a dish, so there’s effort from the beginning and if you’d nothing else to say to the person you’ve already got a topic to start with… ‘so, what did you make?’. It’s also something that Irish people can’t seem to shake off since we were all farmers living in a field of potatoes. No visitor comes without being fed and if they don’t eat, sure jaysus, there must be something wrong with them! A quote resonates in my head ”will ya have a ham sandwich, a go on, ya will, they’re only small”
Which brings me to the next part of my story. Being really short of cash lately, I had only just about enough money to get scone ingredients and since everyone loves scones I was really excited to make them… that is, until I realized the oven was broken. Utterly disappointed, with a ball of sultana filled dough in front of me and a resistance to go to the street feast empty handed, I turned to the good ole George Forman. It never let me down before, how can it now?
I floured my scones well and placed them in the George Forman at a medium heat and after 10 minutes they were piping hot, golden brown on the outside, flatter than usual scones. Very flat scones. Maybe they could be called Flones, I’d avoid calling them Scats for misinterpretation reasons.
I tried one with a cup of tea to be sure and they actually weren’t that bad. Turns out the George Forman is a good alternative to the oven, it’s quicker and it’s cleaner. The only downside is that you’d have to spend the rest of your life eating flat food.
I set off to the Street Feast with my Flones, I was glad to hide my shyness with with broken oven story and people seemed to be intrigued by my alternative idea. The stories moved on from flat food to where we were from and how getting to know your neighbours is really important in a community.
One week later and I can pick out a few friendly faces on my way to the shop and rather than just the polite nod, we have small chats, and it gives me that sweet fluffy feeling on the inside, that feeling of being recognized and liked.
I think everyone needs a bit of that. Who knew spending time with the people who lived closest to you would be an alternative way to spending your weekend.