Top 10 Things That Make us Happy

Seeing as our business is all about making other people happy, we thought it would be a great idea to tell you what makes us happy – other than the job we do of course! While writing this piece, we tried hard not to make all about food. Tried… and failed. The result? 8 out of 10 points are about food, cooking, and everything in between…. I guess there’s a reason we’re in this business! Feast (ha!) your eyes on 10 of the many things that make us happy.

1. Cookbooks
Here at Brook, we are the proud owners of hundreds of cookbooks, though being honest, we each only use about 2-3 on the regular at home…. But that’s normal right? Sure, you can get recipes online, but that’s blasphemy in our books (‘scuse the pun!). There’s something beautiful about a bookcase overflowing with well-read cookbooks complete with brownie batter smudges, dog eared pages, and bearded biro scribbles on poor Nigella Lawson’s face from when the kids got their hands on them.
Favourite cookbook? Oooh it’s a toughie – we have big love for The Naked Chef (Jamie Oliver), Nigella Lawson knows how to make us scrape the bowl, and no Irish cookbook collection is complete without the Ballymaloe cookery course book! If your looking for a healthy eating cookbook, look no further than to our best pal Derval O’Rourke, who’s books ‘The Fit Foodie’ and ‘Food for The Fast Lane’ are winners in our eyes.

2. Autumn
Now we all love a good Summer salad, but there’s nothing quite like watching the sunlight change, the leaves crinkle and take on an amber glow, while the classic Irish chill in the air makes us reach for the woolly jumpers and cinnamon. Does anything compare to the excitement of rallying the troops (complete with anoraks and welly boots) to go blackberry picking? Tis the season for curling up by the fire with plum crumbles, Irish stew, hearty chilli’s and earthy soups!

3. Good Coffee
‘Nuf said. That good morning appreciation of stumbling into the kitchen, eyes bleary, head groggy and taking that first sip of coffee in the morning. Some call it coffee, we call it the elixir of life, hug in a mug, maker of manners, social skills creator – you get the gist.
Good coffee (along with fresh baked bread and real butter, wine, pasta, and cheese) is in our opinion, one of life’s greatest gifts worth living for.
Our favourite coffee at the moment? We love Anam coffee from the wilderness of the Burren in Co. Clare, and if you haven’t checked out The Old Barracks roastery in Birdhill, Tipperary – you’re missing out. As you can probably tell we like to support Irish, which leads us on to our next piece of joy….

4. Farmers Markets
What better way to spend your weekend than meandering through your local farmers market, basket and coffee in hand, sampling some of our country’s greatest artisan creations. Farmer’s markets are a bustling hive of activity, chatter and Irish banter. Food shopping as it is meant to be. Supporting Irish and supporting local is incredibly important to us and we pride ourselves on finding the best Irish suppliers to provide us with our ingredients!

5. Fred
In case you don’t know who the infamous Fred is, Fred is our vintage orange Citroen H Van who we love with every fibre of our beings. Fred is Kieran, our MD’s baby and thou shalt not say a word against our beloved mascot. Fred doesn’t drive too well these days as his bones are old and achy, but we pop him on a trailer and transport him to various events where he happily serves the world the tastiest of food with the brightest of smiles. If you would like to know more about Fred, you can check out his story by clicking here (hyperlink to meet Fred page)

6. Dinner Parties
Is there any greater feeing of accomplishment in life than that of friends and family gushing over your latest culinary creation? Whether it be a cosy night around the dinner table, summer BBQ, group potluck picnic in the park or New Year’s Eve with the gang, social eating is a beautiful and completely underrated practice.
In the words of Cesar Chavez – “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with them… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”

7. Boardgames
Let us not get into a rant here, but can we all just get off the darn screens and spend some quality time together? Our home city of Cork just got an awesome addition of a boardgame café! Pop in, have a cuppa and cake or a glass of wine paired with a meat & cheese board while battling it out with mates over a choice of over 50 board games – pure bliss!

8. Baking
To quote from Julie Powell “You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. You can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort.”
Never ever has a quote resonated with us quite so much! Anyone else plan their week around The Great British Bake-off? Just us? Ok….

9. Midnight Snacking
If we aren’t meant to eat at night, then why is there a light in the fridge?! What is it about night-time that makes food that bit more tantalising? Would we bother with an overflowing bowl of random cereal finds during the day – probably not. However, come 11pm, that crunchy, nutty, chocolatey bowl of cereal with ice cold milk becomes the holy grail of snack selections!

10. Office Banter
You know what they say, laughter is the best medicine, and our office sure knows how to laugh! Well, it would be pretty tricky to be in the happiness business if we weren’t happy ourselves. Some may say we laugh a little too much – but is there such a thing?! By keeping happy we keep alert, creative, and get the job done. What makes us laugh? We have quite a few jokers in HQ not to mention one or two pranksters that shall remain nameless… We are a team, and a happy team we are!

P.s You’re always welcome to visit – pop in for a cuppa and a chat.