Sunday, 7 July 2019

The Krazi Baker

The Ulster Fry is, to my mind, one of our most celebrated staples, renowned throughout the civilized world and long associated with our Province.

All right, perhaps there is a modicum (!) of hyperbole there, though why not?

We pride ourselves on the hearty Ulster Fry.

The Mad Hatter cafeteria in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, made a very good one.

My late father did not cook much at all, though, when he did stand over the old stove at my uncle's cottage in the Mourne Mountains, his speciality was the Ulster Fry.

Potato farls, soda farls, eggs, sausages, rashers were all essential ingredients.

Sometimes wild mushrooms were picked from the adjacent fields beside the little whitewashed cottage, which stood at Glassdrumman, close to Spence's River.

My uncle adored the Mourne Mountains; in fact, when he was a young man (he was 18 in 1946)  he cycled from Belfast to the cottage he rented from the Newells at weekends.

We knew the Newells, who lived at their homestead further down the lane, not far from the main road to Annalong.

Jack was a strong character, who bellowed at friends and strangers.

My uncle purchased his own cottage at the other side of Spence's River about 1978.

HAVING been in foreign climes for awhile, I fancy the said Ulster Fry; and who should come to mind?

None other than that celebrated County Down artisan baker himself, Mark Douglas, better known as the Krazi Baker.

The Krazi Baker has a stall at Newtownards market on Saturdays from at least 6am.

Mark told me, however, that they are there, baking those most excellent farls, scones, brioche rolls etc from four-fifteen!

Mark has a terrific website which tells his story to a greater extent than I need to elaborate on.

At the moment Ards market is the nearest place for Belfast customers, though I think he runs occasional stalls at other venues.

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