As well as shopping, I've sanded and varnished the floor of the café (or should I say my boyfriend did this - this past week, he has been more helpful than I could ever have imagined anyone to be and I'm so thankful). I placed an ad in the local paper for staff and have so far interviewed two people and set up interviews with two others (it's so strange to be the one asking the questions at interviews!).
This week, I'm buying tablecloths, enlisting family and friends to help paint the interior (if you're reading this and you are a member of my family or a friend who lives in Dingle, consider yourself forewarned!), finishing kitting out the kitchen, dealing with suppliers and having meetings with an accountant and a solicitor. Once all that is done, things should be almost ready to rock.
In the meantime, I'm not always going to have a huge amount of time or energy to cook at the end of the day. That means I'll be preparing lots of dishes like this - dishes that are simple to prepare and cook, that are flexible enough to work with whatever you happen to have in your fridge and are always full of flavour.
But when I think of it, these are the kinds of dishes that I tend to cook a lot during the week anyway. This Thai-inspired dish is one of my favourites and as it's such a versatile recipe, it might just become one of yours too.
This recipe started life as an Avoca Café recipe for green bean and coconut soup but I've adapted it to turn it into a much more filling supper dish.
It's a flexible recipe too. I've used prawns here but in the past I've used monkfish, chicken pieces that I've pre-fried in some oil and ground coriander and pieces of hake that I pre-fried in oil with chopped green chilli.
I serve this dish with basmati rice and if I'm very hungry and in need of carbohydrates (as I have been these busy days), I also serve one pitta bread per person. I think it would also be good with some slurpy noodles.
Feel free to experiment. This is a very forgiving recipe.
(Serves two hungry people with plenty left over for lunch the next day)
15g/half an oz of butter
4 spring onions, cut in half lengthways and then into 5cm strips (include the green bits)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 teaspoons finely chopped lemongrass (be sure to remove the dry outer layers first)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
100g green beans, topped, tailed and chopped so that they are approximately as long as the carrots
1x400ml/14 fl oz can of coconut milk
100ml vegetable stock
110g bean sprouts
14 prawns, peeled and cleaned
1 tablespoon nam pla (if you don't have this fish sauce, season with salt)
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander
150g basmati rice
2 pieces of pitta bread, olive oil and sumac (if using)