To mark my first year anniversary, I decided that I wanted this year's food festival to be even bigger and better than before.
This marked the start of the madness.
I decided that as well as baking brownies, I would bake ten different varieties of cupcake. That's right. Ten! Chocolate, white chocolate and raspberry, strawberry, banoffee, carrot, Guinness and Baileys, Oreo, mini mixed berry and vanilla cheesecakes, almond and orange and Black Forest cupcakes. Why did nobody think to stop me?
As a result of this crazy decision, my weekend passed in a blur of bleary-eyed activity. I rose at dawn, baked and iced cupcakes, spent the afternoon enticing people to buy them, rushed home to bake some more, snatched a few hours of precious sleep and then rose to do it all over again. This was the pattern on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Somehow, I also managed to find the time to enjoy a nine course tasting menu at the Global Village restaurant on Saturday night. I'm not going to review it here as the owners are friends of mine but believe me when I say that it was fabulous.
Highlights included a ravioli filled with the sweetest concentrated tomato that burst when cut and intensified a deeply flavoured tomato broth; albacore tuna served with seaweed; a wonderfully minty mojito sorbet; and an imaginative take on millionaire's shortbread where the caramel was replaced with zingy lemon.
One of the highlights of the Dingle Food Festival - besides the excellent market and the food demonstrations - is the taste trail. Almost all of the businesses in the town take part and each of them hosts a different food producer. So, essentially, you can stroll around the town, following your nose and your appetite and enjoying bite-sized meals in pubs, shops, restaurants and art galleries.
Tuck into some barbequed seafood at the fishmonger's. Slurp on some oysters and Guinness in one pub or tuck into a pint and a pork pie in another. Enjoy a spit-roast pig, Spanish paella, Murphy's ice cream sandwiches, gourmet coffee, wine tastings and so much more.
Unfortunately, I missed most of this as I was busy manning my stall. Next year, cupcakes or no cupcakes, I have vowed not to be so overtaken by madness. I too will eat my way around Dingle.