Irish boys small town Though Drogheda showed some last-minute ingenuity to get me to stay, I am now an official resident of Dublin. Let me explain.

For my last night in The Drog, I booked Mountaineering Man and myself a room at the d Hotel. I’d spent the better part of the week packing, hauling and cleaning and I wanted MM and I to have a relaxing last evening in town. We went to Eastern Seaboard with my Collon friends (Sinead, Aoife, Earnan and Grainne) and retreated to our lovely room at the hotel, delighted at the knowledge that there were only a few more boxes and items left in my perfectly-clean apartment to take the Dublin the next day.

eastern 2

We slept in, MM went for his usual 10k run (this time in the hotel’s gym instead of outdoors) and we had a sumptuous breakfast at the d’s restaurant before heading out to get the last of my things. I found the perfect loading zone space right near the entrance to my apartment and we made a few trips up and down the lift, filling my tiny car to near capacity. It was on our second-to-last trip to the car – I had a few small bags and MM had my big television set – that I realized I’d locked my keys in the apartment. Just when I thought I was out it pulls me back in! After ringing the building manager several times with no answer, we had no other choice but to call a locksmith and pay up (though in fairness the guy was very fast and only charged me 40 Euro, not bad at all). Drama resolved and crisis averted, I said goodbye to Drogheda and we headed off into the sunset. Well, it was the M1 but it actually was sunny…so there.

spice cabinet After a whirlwind day of unpacking, I finally have everything in its rightful place. And since I moved into MM’s apartment, I rearranged a few things to make everything fit. What used to be a “junk press” in the kitchen (you know the one: old bills, mobile phone charger cords, random bits and bobs of that nature) is now a fully-stocked spice cabinet. The hallway closet, once home to only a couple of suitcases and a few pairs of trainers, is now my wardrobe – complete with a full rolling hanger rack for all my clothes. In the once-bachelor apartment are now very un-bachelor-like items like girly perfume and (*gasp*) tampons.

MM has been a great sport through all my frantic rearranging, though he’s still trying to figure out where everything is. This morning at 5:20 a.m. I walked into the kitchen to see him completely naked and standing on a chair anxiously rummaging through the upper kitchen press. I’d put his vitamins somewhere else and forgot to mention where – oops. Oh and he was naked because he’d just gotten out of the shower and he was up at 5:20 a.m. because he always has to be into work at a ridiculously early hour – something I’m still adjusting to!

moving boxes

But it’s been a wonderful first few days of co-habitation (or as a couple of friends so eloquently call it, living in sin). I’ve been cooking up a storm and enjoying every minute of it; I suppose it’s an important part of the nesting process. MM’s certainly not complaining. Instead of stopping by Tesco (he hates shopping), figuring out what to buy (did I tell you he hates shopping!?) and preparing a meal after a day at the office and a 6-mile run, he’s coming home to a fab meal every night. Since I work from home, like to shop and love to cook, it works out perfectly. Sure, there may come a time where I tire of cooking every night but right now I relish it.

Right now, I’m just taking pleasure in all of it.

Thai Turkey Patties with Curried Brown Sticky Rice

Asian Turkey Cakes

The first meal I cooked after officially moving in was Thai Turkey Patties, which was inspired by Donal Skehan’s Thai Fish Cakes recipe from his Kitchen Hero cookbook. It’s got a lot of the same ingredients but instead of fish I’m using turkey. I paired it with an easy Curried Brown Sticky Rice dish that I made up on the fly.

Thai Turkey Patties

1 pound turkey mince

1 small green chili, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 spring onions, chopped into small pieces

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, chili, garlic, spring onion, curry paste, fish sauce, coriander and lime zest until incorporated. Mix in the beaten egg. Using a spoon, scoop out the mix and form balls – the size is really up to you and depends on how big you like your patties. Pat down to form patties, like a burger. Heat up the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and place patties in the pan. Cook on each side over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Serve hot.

Curried Brown Sticky Rice

1 cup brown Japanese-style sushi rice

2 cups cold water

2 teaspoons Asian curry powder

Handful of spring onions, chopped

Put the rice and water and curry powder into a medium-sized pot and stir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it boils, turn the heat down to low and place a lid on the pot. Let the rice cook slowly, over low heat, for 25-35 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid (do not remove the lid during this process!). Remove from heat and let sit, with the lid on, for 10 minutes. Stir in the spring onions and serve immediately.