The secret gallery’s blog

Maybe the first secret gallery in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

Archive for the ‘James artfull food’ Category

Happy New Year

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Gingerbread house by James Slevin.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! I hope all your dreams come true and if you have no dreams may you start dreaming again! There will be more posts soon so do visit again in the next few days. I am now using Linux so just getting used to the new system. It feels funny, I must be the least competent person on a computer that ever used Linux. Way to go for the new year! Lets do lots of things that we have absolutely no idea how to do! Now I am off to calm my steaming, frothing steed! Only joking really, she’s lovely! Now where are those steel toe capped boots and gum guard!

Written by Marianne Slevin

2 January, 2010 at 10:44 am

Breakfast without electricity

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James and our two children made me breakfast on the fire the old fashioned way, it was delicious! fresh bread baking over the embers filled with egg, no electricity just candles and fire. We used turf our friend gave us from a nearby bog and charcoal that was left over from our Wedding feast.

The lanterns were all made for our wedding too. They are recycled tins that have been drilled into to create the holes for light then either wrapped in tissue paper with p.v.a. glue or painted with house paint. The jars are recycled or salvaged from the garden then painted with nail varnish ( the old salvaged ones). The more modern ones are wrapped in a layer of pink tissue paper. We had a lovely lighting ceremony one night in the garden, I will post the photographs James took of it, sometime soon.

Happy Breakfasts!

Written by Marianne Slevin

10 October, 2009 at 4:31 pm

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Peaceful Studio breakfast of James’ Biscotti and Coffee

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James’ Biscotti



Our Children have been given breakfast in bed. I have decided to at least eat breakfast  in my studio even if I have not done much art there for a while! Well that is not exactly true as I have been painting clothes with fabric paint to create my new winter wardrobe!  Last night I renovated a chair that was very stained and with broken back, I did a painting of tree on the seat and the word Peace on the back.  Downstairs James was baking a symphony of almond and vanilla biscotti with the tangiest lemon drizzle icing. This morning I wonder what will I art-around with while I have my breakfast. They were definitely the yummiest biscotti I ever had! Sometimes the possibilities are so infinite that I get lost! Will I Paint, draw, print, make, stitch,and that is just the start1




Peace Chair at The Secret Gallery

Written by Marianne Slevin

18 November, 2008 at 10:21 am

Cooking in Interesting Places

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Four years ago in a small town called Negreira about 20 kms west on Santiago de Compostella, Spain, I first met James. I had been living on the simplest of food; no cooking just lots of tinned sardines, with the variation of sardines in oil one day and tomato sauce another, sometimes interspersed with tinned mussels or squid, Manchego cheese, olives out of a plastic sachet, the occasional tomato and a lot of bread!  Yes I did have one or two of the famous Bocadillos con tortilla de patatas, which translates to a roll with potato omelet, these came in varying degrees of dryness and hardness, but if you were lucky could be delicious!

My first sniff that James was an extraordinary artist of food, in the best possible way, was when out of his three wheeled baby buggy which contained his life since he began walking from London, he produced a great salad! James had a pretty extensive range of herb in there!  We still ate olives and tomatoes but they tasted amazing, I don’t know if it was just a little seasoning and oregano, but I just knew it was different! That night we made a fire and James made some bread, which we devoured with garlic butter and roasted freshly picked corn on the cobs! Ever since those days while we were walking, every time James cooks it is something different; never ask him for the recipe or how he made it because he wont know! his food is like eating originals no mass reproductions here!  

One of the lovely and delicious memories I have of are time walking to the south of Spain was when we were walking through Portugal and stopped in a bus shelter for a rest while it was raining, and James made the most amazing Pumpkin soup! I did something in my sketch book and suddenly there was a soup brewing, cream, onion, garlic, cumin and I am sure a few other magic ingredients were added. I would like to confess to taking the pumpkin from some farmers field, sorry, but thank you for the pumpkin, who ever you are! I would also like to say thank you to the lovely man who brought us into his garden, sat us down and gave us figs and home made bread!  Possible the same man, thinking we were very hungry! Along with cooking in nature and bus shelters we frequented Band Stands to dine in and sleep in too! We ate in the band stand in Merida and a few others along the way!