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Christmas Past and Present

Christmas table
Christmas table

I love this time of year and it brings back so many happy memories from my childhood ……………..

Dad taking the list for Santa,

Roaring fires and the lights on the Christmas tree and feeling warm and cosy and safe.

Mrs Roche a wonderful wonderful woman who was always there for us, Who taught me to sew and knit . Who minded the family and loved us all.

My dad putting up the Christmas tree and that the lights to his dismay! Always seemed to be in a  tangle  in the box.

Mam making the most delicious cakes maybe 14 or more, beautifully iced and giving them as gifts and of course one extra for the raffle.

To putting on your Sunday best and raiding the warm cooked ham after coming from church on Christmas eve.

Mam taking a lovely Irish linen table cloth and setting a beautiful table and then cooking the  most gorgeous food

Mam and dad delaying Christmas dinner until I arrived home from work.

Watching  TV with mam and listening to “Bing” sing “White Christmas”

Dad making hot ports.

Uncle Andy trying to make us laugh during prayers, with Holy Mary Mother of God.- Going to school is only a cod!  and mam saying behave with a “Look”

Now I take a lovely Irish linen tablecloth and dress the table and prepare for Santas arrival.

Roaring fires, the lights on the tree, with my family and friends and all are warm  cosy and safe

How lucky we are!

Have  safe and Happy Christmas.

x Agnes

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“Unsung Heroes”

http://www.wexfordopera.com/

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Wexford, where I live, is a small “Viking” town  on the South East coast of  Ireland. It has a small population and people are friendly. We boast the most wonderful quay side and board walk with miles of water and magical sunrises. When the sun shines, there is nowhere else to be!

We have just come to the end of the 62 nd  Wexford Festival Opera and it all began with Dr Tom Walsh  a few friends and a gramophone recital in 1951 see ; http://www.wexfordfestivalopera.com  and has been running every year in October and November, setting itself apart by introducing audiences to neglected or forgotten operas in our magnificent new opera house.

Over the years we have heard the most beautiful voices and seen many famous faces.  We all put on our “glad rags” to listen to as much music as we can, visit all the antique and art exhibitions. The local restaurants put in the effort and dress their tables with nice Irish linen designed and made locally by Agnes H Design.ie! and serve great food, the shopkeepers dress their windows, the pubs too join in and have great live music and competitions and we wish it will never end . But  for me the real heroes of the opera festivals are  the 350 strong volunteers who day and night give up their time to help out! The person who takes your coat or shows you to your  seat or calls a taxi. For the most part they go unnoticed, they don’t get the applause or the standing ovations and some may even think they are paid (which they are not) Some of my friends are part of that team and they are so dedicated it is amazing and are there purely out of love for the festival. So hats off to the band of Volunteers!They do a great job!

So….. if you love music or you just want to experience opera for the first time, come and visit Wexford and enjoy the fun or as the festival would say ” A great experience”.

Regards,

Agnes

from, infotabletop at AgnesH Design.ie

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Food for the heart and the soul on a very rainy day in Ireland.

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It is a misty, rainy day in Ferrycarrig. The chill is back,

Food for the heart and the soul ! on a very rainy day in Ireland.

 as it always is when it rains here, but there is nothing like freshly baked Irish soda bread coming out of the oven to make you feel warm and toasty inside.
Freshly baked bread always reminds me of my childhood. My mother was a wonderful cook and confectioner so we were lucky to have lots of gorgeous things to sample all the time.
Once while I tried to master the craft of Soda bread ( which was hit and miss at the time) she said that in order to be really good at bread making you would have to make it every day. Only then will you have constant success.
as I do not have the time to bake every day, my sister K gave me this great fool proof recipe,
it never fails and I use all the time.
The bread can be made with butter milk
This bread is made with fresh milk so no excuses…… always in the fridge!!
So here we go………..

Heat the oven to 240C
Line a 2 LB loaf tin

8 oz of plain white flour
8oz of wholemeal flour
half a cup of milled flax seeds / goji berries and or pinhead oats
1x tesp of baking powder
1x tesp of bread soda
half x tesp salt
pinch of sugar if liked

Sift all above into a large bowl and add
1 x large egg
I small tub of plain yogurt
and use fresh milk to mix into a soft porridge like mixture

Put the mix into the lined loaf tin and pop it in the oven for 40 minutes and
Bob ‘s your uncle..
Freshly baked Irish brown soda bread.!!
Enjoy…………..

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Irish Soda bread storage bag from http://www.AgnesHDesign.com

Irish Soda bread storage bag from http:// www.AgnesHDesign.com

Linen is antibacterial and in early cultures has always been associated with cleanliness and protection against illness. Linen wears well and does not soil quickly.
Like silk it retains body heat in cooler weather and when its warm linen can absorb up to 20% moisture without feeling damp and so prevents bacterial growth.

It has an open weave and so air can circulate and is resistant to fungi and insects..It is recommended for use all around the house so this is why our storage bags are perfect for this.
It does not accumulate static is lint free and does not cause allergic reactions. It is said it can calm and heal skin breakouts and reduce inflammatory conditions and this is why it has been used as bandaging right through the centuries.
I think it is a wonder fabric and I love it.
I hope this is of help Karen, I will add a bit more in a day or so as time is the enemy and I need to embroider and finish a new baby bag I am designing.
I could happily talk about linen all day.
Regards Agnes

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Keep it fresh! In the Irish soda bread bag

Its a dull misty morning here in Ferrycarrig but we look forward to the week- end weather, as it is promised to improve then !?……. Well we live in hope! We enjoyed all that beautiful weather we had in the summer so much….. and forgot about the rain so that was nice.
To day I have a lot to do in my workshop so I will not notice it and later I hope to do some baking including some soda bread which I will store in my bread bag from www.Agneshdesign.com You know linen has anti bacterial qualities so it is the perfect place for all storage ! and so perfect for storing bread.
See you soon x Agnes

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New Irish Linen Collection

I have been working on this amazing Irish linen.  It is just so beautiful, the texture, the colour, the look…. just wonderful. I hope you approve of my designs and how I have made use of this beautiful linen.  To launch my new Irish linen collection,  I are offering special rates for a short time.  Take a look at our web site /http://www.AgnesHDesign.comImage