Author Archives: Frilly Keane

From top: World Rugby Referee of the Year Joy Neville; Former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and former Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald

Frilly Keane writes:

November is an awful month, it’s always dark, everyone is fed up and pissed off with Christmas pulling up ahead of the Toy Show; even the weather doesn’t know what to do in November.

I’ve also known it as the Month of the Holy Souls (in Purgatory supposedly, yeah I looked that bit up.) I remember a late uncle always going off the drink for the month to serve some penance for them. His words btw.

Anyway, I think it’s worth taking a look at this penance carryon since a few things I brought to yere attention, or at least tried to, over the year of Frill-Bits somehow knitted together this month; especially one.

It is not to plug an I told ye so about Noirin O’Sullivan; it’s getting a pin into this Frill-Bit because I want to repeat a particular opinion within it. We are not safe.

November has been choc-a-block with Garda smearing campaigns and the collusions and the collisions within, the Dept. of Justice, its Ministers former and present and their emails, from Tribunals to Investigations, to who said what to who, where when and how.

I’d rather a dose of the shingles than try and get me head around the lot’ve it to be honest. It may seem like it all came to an end with talks of a Winter Solstice election and resignations; but let’s not fool ourselves anymore, We are not safe.

When that original Frill-Bit went up it was just before Dara Quigley died in circumstances so thick with Garda maltreatment and misconduct they might have just smothered her altogether. Their cruelty towards a fellow citizen was so barefaced and unabashed that they even supported it with their own raw footage.

Thanks in part to Broadsheet (although few thanked themat the time) we were allowed to witness what they did to Dara. But we simply cannot just leave it at that, and expect tribunal timelines and Government fallouts to be the reaction. We cannot just leave all this evidence that proves that Citizens are not safe or protected in the jurisdiction of An Garda Síochána until we ensure our policing is radically changed.

By not doing so we are guilty of collaborating with the act of desertion of their Vocation; “The Mission of An Garda Síochána is Working with Communities to Protect and Serve.”

I wouldn’t even bother looking at the top. They’re not worth investing in and they’ll just result in a costlier write-off to the taxpayer when they retire anyway.

I’d go straight to the bottom, or the start if you like; Templemore. Shut the gaff down and turn it into an Emergency Reception & Orientation Centre. This is already a Dept. of Justice & Equality function, so it just came to mind easily. I’m sure it has other far more suitable uses ye’d love to tell me about.

Send new recruits to The Curragh or Haulbowlin or Pat’s instead – anywhere but a facility grown out of rancid seeds whose putrid spread is now so out of control that not even its own produce is safe from it.

And here’s the bould’ Noirin O’Sullivan again in a Frill-Bit mention she got during her holidays about Gender Quotas.  Thankfully the carry on of Frances & Noirin still doesn’t change my mind. While the revelations infuriate me and disgust me, they don’t embarrass me; I still swear that your credentials, ability, and capacity to do the job, any job, is all that matters. I still insist equality is one of our most important rights as Irish citizens, and yet probably the one that is most underrated and undervalued.

Therefore, it is my pleasure to introduce a wonderful example of a woman being measured and tested under the same criteria and conditions as her male colleagues; Joy Neville.

Joy was recently announced as 2017 Referee of the Year by the World Rugby Awards crowd. Unfortunately, I can’t provide any statistics of male: female international referees in any sport but I’m sure someone else can. In the meantime,

Joy deserves more than just congratulations from the likes of me; but all I have to offer is thanks and immense pride for someone like myself who just gets on with it and proves us right.

Just to satisfy the curiosity I know most of ye are now itching to scratch, the last Paddy to get a World Rugby Award was Declan Kidney in ‘09. Yes BOD too, in ‘08; Try of the Year.

Before I tog out into my Toy Show onesie and eat my Advent calendar, I just want to bring last month’s Frill-Bit back to the surface, and submit to a bitta Blind Eye carryon meself.

Given the amount of bloggarding I do and how long I’ve been at it, through all sorts of regimes and formats, it was only to be expected that someone, another Broadsheet Author as it happens, would get upset with my sometimes-feckless careless attitude to t’internet forums.

I am not making excuses nor am I looking for contrition for what is only fair to call my freestyle, and sometimes mocking, shyte talk.

I admit I provoke and stir the worst out’ve other commenteers, and I thrive on it, and I do so knowing that many are not like that. I apologise for that and I will be mindful of that behaviour in future.

November really is the month of purgatory and therefore penance must be served, so have at it lads.

And for ye’re own penance; 12 Frills of Christmas starts in 2 weeks.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Tom Humphries

“It’s not a great thing in the current editorial climate for a columnist to lack certainty. Seeing both sides of the issue is a crippling form of paralysis in a environment where the pace is set by bloggers and chat-room tyrants, those lucky creatures who have never felt a second or third thought tugging at their sleeve.”

Tom Humphries. The Locker Room, Irish Times, 2008

That was in November 2008. I’m not going to provide the link to the full Locker Room article, but the quote currently sits on a thread on a an old GAA chat forum that hosts over 1500 posts.


The above is being applied as an example of how the established media and their household names treated those of us that populated this now very efficient super-highway from when it was still a scruffy slow-going boreen.

We [those on the chat forums] had our stuff lifted and cogged, while being called names like tyrants and keyboard warriors.

During all those forums, threads and posts, I don’t know of any authentic Chat-Room Comrade that went legal to shut someone up or have commentary removed that did not suit; there was plenty posturing, leg cocking and threats to Moderators, a bitta’ blagguarding at matches here n’there, (like a bucket of slurry traveling from Galway to the CBS Car Park in Thurles) but that was the real fun of those days.

Because nobody was really to know then that there were two victims and 16,000 texts, or that something far more sinister was going on behind the need to use the Irish Times Locker Room to cover his real interest in underage camogie; I’m not going to poke in to it again.


The subject of that particular Locker Room was the second Cork Strike. (The one led by Donal Óg Cusack, and the then GPA by association).

Tom Humphries used the Irish Times, to represent, promote and shout out Donal Óg’s agenda, and wholly on behalf of, and for the benefit of Donal Óg  He took sides, and to add to his denying the primary principle of a Journalist, he was also engaged by Donal Óg in a private sub-contracting capacity as a ghost-writer.

Not his employer, his editor nor a single colleague dared mention his hypocrisy, or question his exposure to conflict and influence, or that as a consequence he has brought their profession into disrepute.

Likewise, from his own peers in the sports writers fraternity specifically the GAA writers; not one dared criticise the Irish Times and their Sports Section referring to non-striking Inter-County hurlers as “Spotty Imposters.” Or even the GPA for refusing membership to these players.

That is a Double Standard that continues today. It’s the blind eye.

Back then there was them, the established Print and Broadcast Media and Us – the t’internet “the pyjama people.”

Actually, I remember an All-Ireland winning Manager calling ‘me’ “a coward and a very depressed individual who must be one of Corks worst losers.” As shur we all thought it was funny at the time. We were the Puck Rockers and getting picked out like that was like cracking a bottle of Champagne off the bow of pirate ship call the Anarchy.

Today we are all steadily balanced between Mainstream Media and Social Media; and the likes of me are no longer the tyrants. But professional scepticism, Independence and transparency has never been more important.

Never before has it become more important to disclose the credentials and possible partialities and self-interests of any commentator or expert presented to the public in either medium or format.

In the era of Fake News and a more dominant ownership controlled media, the citizen has to be advised fully to the ethos and business interests of anyone being presented as an Expert, or presenting themselves as such. That includes paid staff Journalists, pundits and columnists.

There was a notorious blind eye event here on our own doorstep witnessed by those same people and organisations, including us Tyrants, that was allowed off to be forgotten about.

I am talking about a former Ireland Captain and Lions player, who is now to be seen regularly sitting behind a TV studio sports desk or pictured as a correspondent in the print media.

With all due respect to him, his family, his fans, his employers even that ape Hook; the media – be it social or Mainstream, that includes me and all of you, and our hosts here; we simply cannot dare to question a randy, narcissistic Theatre Director for their carry on and leave this and all the others behind and out of the spot light.

That makes us all complicit in the Double Standards and cover ups that take years before there is any contrition or truth realised.

I think there are enough of us that know better than to believe the insincere waffle from RTÉ and Marian [Finucane] and the likes, while pretending to have discussions between sides who clearly have pockets filled with conflicts.

Let’s boycott the papers for not reporting the news in full. Let’s question every single utterance from commentators and experts being put in front of us, and have them empty those pockets of conflicts out in front of us.

Let’s do more than just tell them that our eyes are wide open; lets prove it.

Only then can they all be convinced that they can no longer rely on the Blind Eye that greased their operational and professional Double Standards, and cushioned their failures for all those years.

There can be no friends or an assumed loyalty more important than Truth and Justice.

This is a new World Order lads; Get used to it and get yere houses in order.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Bake Off 2017 winner Sophie Faldo flanked by Prue Leith (left) and Paul Hollywood

The Great British Bake Off final took place on Channel 4 last night.

Frilly Keane writes:

Of all the episodes to have a giant Ah FFS ahead of it.

While I was fortunate to un-folly all Bake-Off updates and news after oven-door gate I managed to keep meself ignorant of Prue Leith’s yeah-right accidental spoiler.

So when the GBBO’17 winner was announced I was still hoping for Kate. Yet when t’was Sophie that got the engraved Cake Stand my immediate response was that it was a boring decision by Paul and Prue. There was a distinct fed-up’ness about it.

They went with Steady as She went, rather than the plucky last burst from the outsider, and explained themselves off by saying Sophie wasn’t as experienced as the other two and had achieved so much over the 10 weeks.

But it was just too plain and easy a decision for me. Maybe if we’d known her fella was Irish I might be more exited. Or may t’was just the Honey in her Showstopper. I curdle on the mention of the stuff.

There there was Steven, who was nowhere near that finish line so maybe the Hollywood just wasn’t arsed giving it too much attention in the end. Christ he was over and back to that freezer like they were cooling rods he was checking in case of a meltdown.

Either way, I’m more interested in the Final Show and how Bake Off got on overall following its move to C4 rather than the winner.

The 1st Final back then in 2010 required a Full Tea Party that had the bakers produce everything from bread to fancies, slices, sangwiches and of course presentation, so it was a solid and thorough all-round test to separate those very first Finalists, but all three from Signature to Showstopper in the last night’s final, was collectively the best full two-day finalist trials of any Bake-Off season we’ve had.

The Mini-Loaves in the Signature were genius, and Kate well won that round. Her Curry Buns  get a fancy name of Chala Breads but the skill level is set to Easy. How could you not try and give’em a lash and get Jaggery  with it?

And Stephen’s Fancy Knot ones, are totally up my street because they have Cinnamon, but I definitely would need full diagrams and plenty goes to get that knot thing right; so it’s no surprise that that the skill level par is Challenging. But fair dues to him they did look the business.

The Technical was all about Confectioners Craft. It was brilliant to watch and fair play to all three. If only Kate had’a finished them all … She pretty much forfeited that round to the other two. Fine icing and finishing is a skill that I never got a chance to get any handle on. But maybe when I collect my 6-figure pension and since I‘ll still be young enough …. Ha! I’m as likely to start appearing in Porno flicks.

That Showstopper, an Entremet, was just the best final showdown for all us home-bakers, simply because we can all try one out at home ourselves, regardless of skill level and to our own recipes and tastes; you might even include all the family and guests in the different layers and finishes.

Merange, Sponge, Moouse, Jelly, Ganache Bavarois – which could easily translate as shop bought sponges, Eaton Mess, Instant Whip, jelly and custard. Seriously tho’, it could well go on and be my Christmas Day afters centrepiece using some Christmassy bakes already done anyway. (Probably not this year but definitely next year if I’m still about.)

My final thoughts go to the Season overall and its move to Channel 4. OK last night’s final didn’t reach the BBC’s 15 million the year Nadiya wiped them all out.

But two things that must be considered along with that value. Prue’s big trap, and the spread of streaming and Netflix/ Amazon etc onto the Domestic Television viewing landscapes and all our front rooms.

But give Channel 4 their due, their Great Big Gamble paid off. The only thing that really changed was the line-up, the format remained intact and didn’t even suffer from the ad-breaks. We really did get our full 60 minutes each episode.

I can’t see them changing anything about the line up, but I would love to see guest judges in on some of the segments, particularly former Bake Off finalists.

Two final thoughts for the Final Final Frill-Bake:

My tip for future success is Bread Week Champion Julia Chernogorova  And I’m going to miss those singing cakes.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter @frillykeane

Stacey Hart was voted off last night’s bake off

The Great British Bake Off reached the semi final stage on Channel 4 last night.

Frilly Keane writes:

It might have been the Semi-Final but it was all a bit Craic’a’ lacking for me by the time the tea-cloth was lifted off the Technical.

We’ve gotten to know that Patisserie week is all about precision and finesse and posh cake, and to be fair most home bakers do manage Choux buns and Meringues anyway, so it was always going to be about the finishing touches, but it was still all to too annoyingly predictable, even samie once the Craquelin Signature was over. As for Craquelin (or crackling) I would no more be arsed than going beyond Google to get the correct spelling.

The producers egged on Stacey’s chances a bit, and I know that’s television, but they were fooling no-one. Even the Hollywood was embarrassing himself looking for a way to make it more of a tense finish. I’d say Stacey had her stuff already packed in the boot before he even said they’d have to do a “Look Back” to separate them into who was staying, and who was going to be last seen with Jo Brand.

Sophie and Steven were always going to be in the Final, sur’ we knew that before Bread week. And despite her rankings within the Bake-Off tins, Kate was always my dark horse.

Although I do appreciate Steven’s tip for Choux (the peak kinda flops over and take it easy with the egg) the only thing else to remark about the Signature was Kate’s not so very coy anti-Brexit theme with flavours from all over the EU being piped in.

When it got to the Technical I had to admit that I was more interested in Noel’s chest hair. But that could be just me, I don’t do Pistachio anything; in fact, nuts are bar snacks as far as I’m concerned and shouldn’t have an’ting to do with cake. But with respect to our hosts over there in the Tent, I’ll remain polite and tip my hat to the Almond and the Hazelnut on their respective roles in confectionary matters. But Jesus green cakes lads… yuck.

The Show-Stopper wasn’t very grand and French Patisserie at all, I’m not even sure I’d eat any of them. My teeth are actually quivering at the thought of all that sugar. But it was funny to watch Steven’s basket melt wasn’t it?

So now it’s all about the three bakers left in the Tent.

Kate herself seems to have caught the Hollywood off guard, and I’m beginning to wonder if he only ever saw her as his pet Scouse, like last night he admitted to being “freaked out” by her flavours, and it was always Prue that was more in awe of her. Like with the Apple Cake  (remember Prue saying it was the best cake she ever tasted) and she wouldn’t shurr’up about the colours and flavours of the Rainbow centre piece Kate put in front of them.

Sophie hasn’t put a foot wrong yet. All through the series she was never even threatened with the risk of leaving before the final. Like, last night the only dodge comments she got was about “thick ganache” – as if that’s a bad thing; and pickie Hollywood saying there should be 7 layers in her Opera Cake tutu filler.

So now Steven. There was no way the Hollywood wasn’t going to put him into the final. I’d say the Hollywood’s tan faded into a pasty soggy bottom at the thought of not having Steven in the last 3.

So all the Frill-bakes will end next week and the GBBO Season 8 Final. I predict the biggest Channel 4 viewing audience ever, and since I mentioned Brexit earlier, I reuse it before it goes off; Unlike the other Brexit Katie, this one will be welcome into my gaff anytime Hon’Kate!

I bet there’ll be more ructions as the Brits split themselves down the middle over this one too.

Frilly can be followed on @frillykeane

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The Great British Bake Off continued on Channel 4 last night.

Frilly Keane writes:

I promised Historical Bake week would be worthwhile, and I think I was right.

It’s certainly been the best show of the series for me, so far, even the In-Tent’sity there at the end; and fair play to Stacey.

So first things first; let me take back my foccicia’out’ve it from last week’s Frill-Bake  (although I still think in Week 6 v Julia, when she left the parchment in the Showstopper, Julia should’a won out).

But give the pukka’girl her due, she fought to end, even when the oven door came out against her. When her leaky clanger got The Hollywood Handshake, the 1st one in two weeks btw, there was a huge cheer from our front room. Although it could well have been the look of disgust from the semi-pro Steven that drove it,

Genuine Bake Offers in their thousands must’ve been rooting for her in the end ‘cause I know I was. But in one way it was a long wait as the producers had trailered the oven door coming away earlier in the day; and I was left pretty much on edge waiting for it to happen.

But as I type this, I am reminded of the time there was a Coronation Street rape storyline being promo’ed, and I felt uncomfortable waiting for it to happen so I stopped watching it, and the other soaps too as a consequence.

I kinda feel like that now that we have only the Semi and Final left. So I’ve stopped following Bake Off, C4 and all the other Bake Off accounts on twitter. Except Paul Hollywood of course.

A quick mention about the bakes last night, the Signature namely. Clangers. I’d never heard of them before, but they’re a great idea, aren’t they? Now ye know me and suet; even the thought of it makes me queasy.

Stacey’s recipe is great and it does allow for Vegetable Suet. But the boss here thinks they’d be great teenager sleep-over party food, so wants to try Chicken Curry on one end of the Clanger, and Mango something at the other end. (Sweet Potato, Goats Cheese & Spinach/ Chocolate & Marshmallow being the other one mentioned.)

I’ll be honest, they’d be great Freezer stock as well. Liam’s one is the same, and like Stacey’s most of the stuff can be easily got in the Aldi/ Lidl.

Two things about the Technical that pissed me off was that they should have all known that the pastry goes to the edge; since there was no wastage at all when this Tart was as mainstream in the Kitchen as an Apple Tart is today.

Basic cop on would have answered all their chewing lips. The other thing, the Lattice work. I was delighted at first since I never managed to master it meself. Well I never properly tried since I use the wheel yoke that Steven had last night. So, I was hoping to pick up a few tips. But nah.

They were all fairly useless, tbf Sophie’s was ok but since it wasn’t what The Hollywood was looking for it didn’t make it onto the screen for much of the segment. Anyway, if ye fancy it, and it might be nice complement to yere Christmas Day cheese board, Th

e Hollywood’s recipes are usually fool-proof, although I wouldn’t go with the sweet short crust meself; and I’d use my own mincemeat.

The Showstopper, was let’s be honest, fancy dolled up Trifle Sponges. A Savoy Cake on its own is about as interesting and appetising as Savoy Cabbage. But they did seem fun to do in fairness. I wouldn’t be arsed myself.

But I’ll be trying Sophie’s Apple Filled Profiterole balls  when I gather my strength for Choux again. Which I might as well tell ye now won’t be for another 6 months at least.

It was in the Showstopper where it became all about the Bakers. Liam was a goner when he finished early only to watch his spun sugar smelt into a blobby stickey mess.

Kate was rightly in the danger zone too, since her tribute to Liverpool looked like something I’d see at a sandcastle competition in Tramore.

Last night we were watching the quarterfinal. And like the seven previous seasons, there was no room for favourites or past performances either. But I’m glad Kate survived,

I never warmed to Liam the way most did, I found him cocky and giddy, and in a previous Frill-Bake I reflected that he came across as bit entitled to Star Baker and Handshakes.

Last night was a great week for the Bake-Off because this was the first one of this series where it was all down to the Bakes on the night. And the outcomes were spot on. Stacey was the best in show, and Liam was off to the Extra Slice.

Interestingly, I think next week might end up being a showdown between Stacey and Sophie for Star Baker. For two reasons, Sophie has shown she does finesse and elegance well, while Stacey has demonstrated she can manage numerous elements and bring them together when it matters, like her Showstopper last night – separate flavoured Sponges, Madeleines, Jelly, Macaroons, Curd and Jam.

Leaky Clangers will be forgotten about since its going to be all about dainty and posh looking. Ooh Laa Laa, Can Can and not the kinda stuff we’d try at home; which makes us love them more when we have to pay for them.

Frilly Keane can be followed on twitter at @frillykeane

Paul Hollywood on last night’s Great British Bake Off

Episode 7 of The Great British Bake Off took place on Channel 4 last night..

Frilly Keane writes:

Not for me it wasn’t, even the intro was more like a drive thru Westmeath on a boggie November morning than a fizzy sun-baked lounger resting on the edge of the Amalfi Coast.

I was wishing them to arrive on Mopeds and imagined The Hollywood roaring in and leathered up on his Ducatti. Nah.

Meh. But he did attempt a Berlusconi look with that tan; Christ he was like something out’ve TOWIE, and maybe he shouldn’t have been so cribby about the use of cocoa powder in the Signature since it looked like he was pastry brushed all over in the stuff himself.

In fact Prue was a bit cribby herself, from complaining about there not being enough booze to bakes not being worth the calories. Meh.

There wasn’t even a bake I would go out of me way to eat. Order in maybe. But definitely not to the trouble of baking. And I’ve never even seen a pasta grinder outside of a shop display. Maybe if they start selling them in Mr Price would I even give one a second look tbh.

If there was anything worthwhile to follow up on last night it probably would be 9-Lives Stacey’s filling from her Lemon Cheesecake Cannoli  and maybe follow up on Prue’s Pizza dough and give the How-to-Toss like a Pro a run.

Although t’was good to know how to use a pizza paddle properly, I doubt I’d ever go to the trouble if I’m honest. But you never know, maybe one of these days I might be swept off my feet by a Lotto win and indulge myself with a trophy wife lifestyle with the kitchen the size of a scout hall. So just in case, t’was good to know.

It was all about the heat last night. And we said goodbye to Yan. Although I think Stacey should have gone, I’m not going to start a row about it. Anyone who thinks Mint Rose and Amaretto is a thing, needs lancing anyway. Yeah I know the Hollywood didn’t mind it too much; but imagine Marzipan, Toothpaste and Turkish Delight together between a few Malted Milks….. yeah me too.

Overall Yan had far more better weeks and bakes than Stacey. It must be said like. And she contributed far more memorable bakes, like that Banana-Ramen one and the Rainforest one.

But she was too convinced on Science being the key method, like that Pie Equation, for the perfect bake. But that approach only makes baking (and cooking) boring, like it’s a precision activity. No, it’s not really, and Cake should never be boring.

So yer man the semi-pro baker got the hat-trick last night, but only a photo-finish must have separated him from Sophie; that’s 4 weeks from 7 so far that she was runner up in my book, and another week where she made the break thru and got Star Baker for herself.

That type of consistency will be hard bate imo, and she is beginning to look more and more like Season 8 champion, and Christ that Stacey has to be gone next week.

Will next week be any better; We cannoli hope (‘bin dying to use that all week)

But it’s a good one for me, Historical Bakes, as I have a hunch that my favourite Bake Offer, and asaic the most accomplished baker they’ve ever had, Mary Anne Boermans from Season 2 – her with the Apple Roses for those that might have forgot) Since her particular interest is in historical and forgotten about Bakes, see I know she had some involvement in a previous series when they did a segment and a challenge on the Opera Cake, which she introduced them to in the S2 Cake Week.

Anyway, older bakes and the stories behind them are always worthwhile telly, even if you’re only a Wagon Wheel man.

Incidentally, I probably have a historical foodie thing in mind for my next book. If I ever get the last one sorted like.

I tried to slot Focaccia in here somewhere; maybe something about Stacey getting the Foccicia out’ve the show.

But still there’s always next week.

RELATED: Great British Bake Off ratings reveal it was the biggest show on television (Digital Spy)

Pic: Channel 4

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From top: RTE, Montrose, Donnybrook, Dublin 4; Twitter account for ‘secret rte producer’

Frilly Keane writes:

“RTE deplores the content and intention of this account. It is profoundly disloyal to staff”

On the one hand, I’m with RTÉ in taking issue with the motives of the @RTESecretpro twitter account. But disloyal to staff?

That’s proof right there now of a whole semi-state engaged in the mission of self interest and self service. No mention of disloyalty to the licence payer. Or disloyalty to the Irish citizen. Or disloyalty to the State that bestowed RTÉ the rights that come with being the National Broadcaster.

Just a brief intro to this twitterer; they are claiming to be an RTE Producer with a load of juicy durt, and so far there’s plenty of whinging about no promotion, ould’useless department heads, no innovation, and shyte studio & technical crews that are run by Unions.

It’s that last bit that’s worth a mention here on its own btw; the unions have a director collecting a top-up on the RTÉ board, Aengus Mac Grianna currently as far as I remember, yet he’s not a camera man.

Ara tis just really a load of sad attention seeking, miserable moaning and tell-tale’ing.
If even what they report about the sloppy time keeping, the taxis, the coffee breaks, the studio crews overtime and work practices was of a genuine concern; then report it to the Comptroller Auditor General. The Licence Payer is entitled to value-for-money; at the very least.

But what we, the Community-At-Large that is, are all entitled to is the Truth and The Facts. REPORT THE FÚPPING NEWS! Tell the Truth.

@RTESecretPro isn’t any more superior than that commissioning editor that doesn’t tell people when they are back to work on their out-of-office automated reply or the one that cancelled Podge n’Rodge for Craig Doyle.

She, I’m saying it’s a she because it’s my own original hunch, so I’m sticking with she regardless of some of the names being touted. She is just as lazy and uninspiring as anyone one she is cribbing about in those tweets.

Everything she posts about RTÉ Sport, Entertainment and Children’s telly and the state of the Late Late production and the Unions is stuff we all already know.

This all makes me look at the roll of ting’foil in the press and put it to better use; is @RTESecretPro really an RTE Producer?

Has management put together a frape room of their own? To try an’ shift the unions and the work practices out the door? To get rid of the embedded analogue age department heads & commissioning editors that won’t work outside the original Live@3 and Going Strong formats.

Maybe tis some poor oul’divil that got dumped by Craig Doyle. Maybe it’s all a Ballymount Road lark? (Ha! Bodger is rubbing off on me!)

One of the most telling series of tweets, starting at 08.58 15th September last;

Someone asked me if I think the licence fee is worth it. and why. My answer is yes it is, but a lot of it is being waster.

Why is it worth  it? First independent investigative journalism – He who cannot be named owns every media outlet worth talking about. Apart from RTÉ We need someone to report the news that isn’t owned by a billionaire.

Secondly, Irish output – TV  proper investigative journalism etc. Not their fault – they are dirven only by market forces. Licence fee means RTE can do that which make no kids, comedy, irish language, isn’t driven by profit. RTE just need to do a better job of it.

The most laughable thing is that RTÉ are not Independent and they are patently not free from bias, just look at who they use to stock the talk show slots; stock rotation by way of convenience and familiarity and not by sell-by-date. RTÉ News & current affairs is powered with stories where Conflict of Interest lie alongside a cosy relationship.

RTÉ already filters the news and are selectively choosy about the stories they are prepared to investigate, they follow the Government Messengers and MSM PR & Advertisers preference on what they will spin and who they will have into their studios. Even how they moderate debates.

RTÉ produce, commission and break stories that suit similar protected and well-paid entities to themselves, like say, the HSE who must have been delighted with the Creches and Nursing & Care Homes Investigations.

But Water Protestors, Murder investigations from Donegal to Dalkey, Rugby Players Rape Charges, The Gardai & The Charleton/Disclosures Tribunal, whatever yere having yerselves…. They’re fairly tight lipped then alright.

I’ll admit to engaging her a bit, most notably on referring her to the RTE Whistleblowing Policy and to speak up.

Predictably the reaction was typically look how that worked out for Maurice McCabe. Look to Maurice McCabe now you tribe of fatted self-serving un-talented cowards.

It took real independent Journalism to keep the public fully informed. Not RTÉ, and it took a whistleblower with gumption and integrity and the will to defend the best interests of all of us to achieve the truth.

Go public if you really have something the public need to know, otherwise form a WhatsApp group with the rest of the uselsess in your job and keep the internal bitching about getting shafted and overlooked t’yerselves.

I am minded to pick a bone with her on a matter that would suggest my own bias; her cribbing about the GAA giving away some of the Broadcast rights.

My dear, RTÉ were making a hames of so many matches for years; the very least the GAA Community were entitled to expect is yere Colour Commentary Man getting the names of the Captains right. He’s still making mistakes btw and he’s still there.

I’ll close off by saying that as far as I’m concerned anyone engaged by RTE should the last source of a “He who cannot be named” remark and to claim they are an Institution of “Independent Investigative Journalism” is an insult.

Jesus I’d love your job; egg chips n’beans for €3.50. Grand for some.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane


The Great British Bake off Episode Six took place last night on Channel 4.

Frilly Keane was watching.

She writes:

As ye know me and Choux don’t get on, and usually I am always willing to work things out if I have a falling out, so there I was – all set up with me copy book n’all, but no Choux show up. We’ll just have to stay apart I suppose.

Pastry was the week but pies pies, foreign tarts and pies. And not a soggy bottoms between them.

Sur we all love a pie, and they can be big and tall, short and small, sweet, savoury, hot, cold, for brekkie, lunch, dinner and your afters, as well as everything else in between.

They can be seasonal, celebratory, or plain and simple. They can come in all shapes and sizes, even colours; so there is one for everyone. Even the vegans, the fussy eater and the celiac.

So, what’s not to love, learn and even experiment with a Pie.

I’m not going to arse ye around about shortcrust; everyone has a version, everyone has a different method; and I promise ye, every outcome will be different. So don’t bother getting too involved in the theory and the research; just buy it!

And use it to make Pies (remember to avoid the sweet dessert one for savoury fillings tho – use yere cop on a bit).  Jam. Stewed Apples, Cheese’ ham. Whatever is coming up to their sell by date.

Throw it into a pie. Even if is only meh; there’s always the toppings to come to the rescue; from beans to custard. There is no excuse for not ever trying to make a pie.

The most regular savoury pie in this kitchen is chicken but it’s a topped-off only pie; and its filo. Maybe one day I’ll get around to doing it for ye as it’s a great use of leftover chicken and the only thing you might not have to hand is the filo.

On that particular pastry; even Mary Berry buys in. So when ye see it next in the Supermarket pick it up and keep it in the freezer ‘till I get around to Chicken Frilly Pie. Whether it’s here or wherever. Or whenever. (Incidentally I also buy in me Puff – so there.)

Both the signature and showstopper last night were about covered savoury pies. Now I’ll admit to never trying Hot Water Pastry in a stand-up pie before but I’ll be trying it; although probably not any of the recipes last night.

However, let me talk about two of them for a bit because I like the ideas; Kate’s Curried Spud got the Hollywood like; and it looked great, she was even done before the last 60 second sweating last night. I’d be more inclined to take the different elements meself, like the filling on its own with samosa and fruity chutney most likely.

There was just too much spuddy starchy wadding filling about it for me for it to be mouth-watering; maybe it’s the scale of it in the high hand raised pie that I’m struggling with. Try it in smaller hand-held pies maybe? It’s worth a sticky anyway.

The other pie was also from the Showstopper; Steven’s Christmas Left-Overs one. What a great idea. And you don’t even have to do it on Stephen’s Day either. I would refresh the veg mind – or maybe use the left over stuffing and cranberry; but NO NO NO chance for the sprout.

You might get away with using left over gravy too, like I use the gravy for my Turkey Curry; which is one’a my own party pieces btw. Sur’ I’ll add that to the list of promised shares; Turkey Lurky Curry.

Even though it was less pastry and more pie last night, I enjoyed the show. And we had a first, what Social Media is now reporting as the Prue Pat, I’m calling the Christy Ring cup division of the Hollywood Handshake.

And wtf Yan. Nerd Pies and the equation for the perfect pie! Ara’ cop on a bit. The 13 year old here, who couldn’t tell ya where the dust-pan is kept, had one word for the fancy science and lab equipment; Ratios.

The result of this equation according to The Hollywood was “a mess” to which the 13 year old shouted at the telly “tell Paul you forgot to carry the 1!”

Best laugh of the night. Leaky cracks didn’t stand a chance after the signature. Not even Noel’s cardi.

And then there was Sandi’s crying at having to send Julia home, ah sur I nearly cried meself.

That Stacy should have gone after the state of that Showstopper; and she even left the grease-proof in it for them to make it even easier. Listen tho’ we haven’t heard the last from Julia; I predict a bread book.

I’m not sure about Liam as Star-Baker – I thought Sophie was in there; but curried goat must be a first in the tent and he is brave; which you can only admire.

As I said last week, it’s still all to play for although I think Yan or Stacy will be next to go.

Any thoughts on Italian week? I’m a bit iffy meself. I’m not one for Ricotta Cheese fillings and Canolli stuff; but if this year’s Bake Off has done anything, it has reminded us that there is always something worth trying out yourself. I expect there to be a Panettone to learn about anyway.

News on last years Nigella Christmas cake; it’s as lush and boozy as it would have been last December. But I’m still reluctant to recommend and it’s an expensive bake.

Goodpie everyone.

Pics; Channel 4

The Great British Bake Off Episode 5 took place last night on Channel 4.

Wait, come back.

it was pudding week!

Frilly Keane writes:

I know last week I kinda dissed puddings a bit, but I’m opening up this week with a complete backtrack. I’d forgotten how easy the prep is and how much fun you can have with them, and how cheaply they can come together with the few bits that might already be in ye’re presses.

Some of ye may have noticed already that I don’t mention my own mother very often, that tis usually her mother, my Nanny Lulu that features from time to time; she’s still alive but we’re not close and would probably qualify as estranged. I have no regrets about this status or suffer any guilt over it.

But it was my mother who was the baker I grew up with.

The only thing I’ve asked from her in the last 10 years was for her recipe books and notes, at the time there was only one hand written one I was explicit about;

A Christmas Cake recipe in the most beautiful graceful handwriting I have ever seen; still. It came into my mother’s collection by way of my sister’s best friend, and my babysitter for years Trisha.

Anyway one year my older sister was charged with doing the Christmas Cakes (it could have been a few years as my mother worked nights – I’d say t’was mid to late 70s anyway), and Tisha came by to sort it out; poor ol’ JackJack still can’t manage to re-heat a shop bought Apple Tart, but she’s an American how, so she probably gets them delivered. (If it’s of any interest I have contacted JackJack just now to get her to confirm how that recipe ended up with us and how it came about that Mam didn’t bake them herself – so a TBC sticky in this paragraph please.)

I digressed here because Mam was, when she was about, a committed and studious home baker. She sourced ingredients and kit from my aunts still in England pretty much from every call and letter between them. And what she did most and best; Steamed Puds.

Although not actually steamed like you saw last night; she used a Pressure Cooker. And in that collection of recipe books is a book with 365 Puddings in it; one for every day of the year.

My 10 year old’s memory thinks it was a St Michael’s Marks and Spencer one. But she had loads of their books, so I won’t let ye rely on it. But with every bake session there was always a few puddings done too.

Interestingly for me now, and hopefully for ye. A steamed pud will keep for weeks if its kept in the bowl its baked in and the greaseproof paper seal and top remains intact. Mam would even leave the string still on, and when it was cold wrap a tinfoil cloak around it.

So, why am I telling ye all this. I was wrong about Puddings. Maybe it was an unintended blocking out of them based on my own relationship with the woman that taught me how to make Queen Cakes and turn them into Butterfly Cakes. I dunno. I don’t care;

I’m putting ye right now.

Give one a go; try a sweet one first and don’t get too fancy with fruit and compote and curd n’stuff. Just put your favourite jam into the bottom of your pudding bowl and pour your sponge mix slowly over it. I’m sure there’s enough YouTube vids up there to teach ye how to seal and tie up a pudding bowl before steaming.

At last, Back to Bake Off; and apologies for taking this long. What I really enjoyed about last night, was that every challenge, Signature, Technical and Showstopper can all be attempted by a first-time baker.

In particular the Showstopper, OK not quite the ones we saw last night. But a tiered dessert is so easy to do, and its great if you have smallies wanting to help. A loaf tin, cling film, some fruit covered in an inch of jelly. Set it. Mix up a layer of Ice cream or custard or mouse or even yogurt and pour over your now set Jelly.

Next, crushed brownies, cheesecake base, trifle sponges, even slices of Swiss Roll; anything. See that, everything there now can be shop bought in the shop across the road. No baking or measuring or weighing or sifting. You won’t even need an apron.

Recipe of the week is not what ye might be thinking because it mentioned a certain gentleman known to us all here. Christ, I couldn’t even think of him and that pond together with Earl Grey tea. I’m holding back my throat now thinking about being forced to drink hot water with washing-up liquid in it.

I’m going to recommend Steven’s Lemon Pud although I’m going to swap out the Blackcurrants for Blackberries or Blackberry Jam. If any of ye have access to any Country Markets, now is the time to get a few jams in to get yere puddin’ on.

No daycent smutty stuff worth bringing to ye’re attention, nor any shurt talk that would be of any interest. As predicted, the new faces in the tent, Prue, Noel and Sandi are fully embedded into the Bake Off; and they did it without stepping on anyone’s toes or by overlooking the tradition and legacy started by Dame Mary Berry and the other two, Mel and Sue. Yeah I know but she should be.

Three Hollwood handshakes in the Signature last night; a record. But only two of the recipients were in contention for Star Baker, Stacey and Yan, who ran alongside Sophie in that final decision.

Sophie who in all honesty was up there at that level for Cake week and Biscuit week anyway, and will be a finalist imo. So, it was well earned and well deserved to final breakthrough into Star Baker.

Now to who went home, James. Ah here t’was only a matter of time anyway. And he was the only one on that step last night.

Next week is Pastry week. And ye all know too well that pastry is an art form all on its own. And no matter how many times we follow the same recipe there is always something different about each outcome.

I’ll be looking for some new tips and techniques meself, and hopefully I can get finally figure out Choux.

It’s still all to play for. The best last 7 ever and if Yan can survive Pastry week, I think Patisserie could be right up her street, and we might just have another new contender for Season 8.

Oh, and what happened to all those Recipes, my mother gave them all away to my father’s niece. Along with all her kit.

Pic; Channel 4

Week 4 Star Baker Kate

Episode 4 of the Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 contained a naughty centre last night.

The brand new Caramel Week.

Frilly Keane tucked in:

Caramel week is a Bake Off first, but throwing in a different theme among the standard fixtures; Cake, Patisserie, Bread etc is not. So I was looking forward to it myself, in particular the voyeur’ing over the making of 40 shades of Caramel from scratch; sur’ the rest of us just take it out’ve a can.

But here, I was all but gagging on the buttery molten sugar before they even got to the Show-Stopper. I could feel the fumes from that dark muscovado smouldering up my own nostrils.

For a Bread, Pie and Pud man The Hollywood has some sweet tooth and obviously a gut that can cope with a plantation of sugar.

What I did appreciate in particular last night was that the makings of the Signature, Millionaires Shortbread, is pretty much in every home baker’s kit and skill level. There are loadsa of ways to get started with Millionaires Shortbread. So give them a go. All the kit you need is a bowl, a whisk, a tray, a pot and a can opener.

Interestingly, the Technical brought its own first as well, they all made a Mickie of it. Actually, this is a good spot to get the stickie bits out’ve the way.

It must be an’ Irish thing but Prue’s “Go Low & Slow” over that very segment got a knowing sur is there any other way Girl, yet it didn’t feature in the on-line post-mortems hash tagging around. Lots of “Dip me Nuts” and Stacey’s “not as much as an erection as I would like” tho.

Again, with Stacey, and her Show-stopper; forget the erection section, sur it’ll only wilt anyway, her Chocolate & Coffee Carmel Cake is definitely one for me so I’ll be looking for that recipe. All the hoo-haa was for Kate’s Sticky Toffee Apple Cake and deservedly so.

But tis all that buttercream lads, not a fan meself and its messy enough over the day or two after (if you manage to get that out’ve it) and there’s loads of ingredients involved, and some you may not be able to pick up on the way home.

Whereas a good coffee sponge does do well in a tin – add in Chocolate & Caramel and you’ll be winning everything from Tinahely to Tullamore.

Shurt watching now appears to be a thing on Bake Off. And it all started here on the Late Late Broadsheet on the Telly show.

Finally, despite the Twitter meltdown about Star Baker, Kate who can now longer be snuck in as my ‘Dahk Hoarse’ was worthy and has served her time being there and thereabouts consistently.

While Liam did get the only Hollywood handshake last night, readers and watchers need to be reminded he barely survived Bread Week. I also sensed some sense of entitlement off him in the final stages of last night’s show; and its put me right off.

Next week is Pud week. They’re a bit like biscuits for me, too much hassle for a short-lived experience; despite the steamy atmosphere. And I’m a bit funny about suet; I even make my own Mince-Meat at Christmas without it. But looking forward to it anyway.

Pic: Channel 4