Fond memories of Turf
You might think that Turf is an odd name to give a sauce. Yes, I’ll agree with you it is but for me it totally fits.
This tangy multi-purpose sauce is a real kitchen gem. An Irish brown, sweet and tangy in flavour, it blends perfectly with meats, a perfect partner whether you use it to marinade, baste, pour or enhance dishes.
As a stout based sauce, it has a rich dark colour that reminded me of my childhood and led me to settle upon a name.
As children of a man who loves his turf, we spent many summers footing, turning and what have you in local bogs. Stooped over, the sun beaming down in those yesteryear summers that always seemed to be hot. Lunch would be corned-beef and brown washed down with a bottle of red lemonade.
We would return, waiting for the heavy lumps to dry signalling their readiness for Autumn fires, hitting one sod off another to see how it would break, discussing the colour and its quality. I ‘hated’ every second of it and yet, many years later, it is one of my fondest childhood memories. My sister’s version of the story is that I never did a tap, but then she is the eldest and it is her role to say that.
It is one of those memories of perfect summers stuck in my head and will always make me think of my Dad. Even now when we go home and he has a turf fire burning, there is something comforting about the sweet earthy smell, the warmth and the memories. It means we are home.
And so, although it might seem like an odd name for a sauce, for me it is perfect because of the happy memories that the very word evokes for me. That and it is an ode I guess to my lovely Dad.