Finally, the tickets are booked! We are going on January 15th for ten days! I can not wait to take photos of EVERYTHING I do and eat and to be able to write in the moment. So far everything I have written about Ireland has been on memory; writing while I am there is going to be so much more fun and detailed! So the next few months for me look crazy. November 6-11 – San Francisco/Sonoma/Napa for the Foodbuzz Festival, Timber Cove Inn, Bouchon, and other wine country amazingness November 19-22 – San Diego for work November 24-27 – New Jersey for Thanksgiving December 23-27 – New Jersey for Christmas January 8-12- Scottsdale, AZ for work and some nice winter runs! January 15-24- Ireland and perhaps Spain Speaking of travel, I was recently asked to write a post for CheapOAir. I am not sure when the post will be up, but I will keep checking their site: Cheap Flights and their blog, cheapoair.wordpress.com, and I will let you know. One of the many things I love about Ireland is the food. Yes, the food in Ireland is good. Despite what you may have heard, Ireland has some incredible, comforting dishes and products, and I always manage to lose weight when we are there because our activity levels are so high! 1) Smoked salmon – The West of Ireland is well known for its salmon supply, and really other than in the Pacific Northwest, I have never tasted fresher or more delicious salmon. 2) Brown bread – Made of wholemeal flour, brown bread is hearty, crusty, and crumbly and goes perfect with everything. Favorites include open faced smoked salmon sandwiches with salmon and Kerrygold butter on brown bread, or prawn cocktail sandwiches on brown bread. It’s not always easy to come by in the US, but you could make your own. I found a good recipe at 101 Cookbooks: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000151.html 3) Irish cheese – Ireland, like England has a lot of great cheese choices. Again, Kerrygold offers a variety of great cheeses that are sold here in regular US grocery stores. Their Dubliner cheese is readily available and offers a nutty and delicious flavor that pairs really well with fruit or in sandwiches. Their cows are grass fed which makes all the difference in Irish dairy (and beef I am told!) In Ireland, you can get a variety of great local cheddars for a couple of Euro. We often pick up a variety of cheeses, red cheddar, white cheddar, Cashel blue, and make a nice cheese, fruit and bread plate for the family to eat while we are whipping up the rest of the meal
Photo courtesy of kerrygold.com 4) Proper breakfast- Picture this, you have been flying all night, it is 6 am and you step out into the dark mistiness that is Shannon. Driving home to Galway, the sun is coming up, and you can see little swirls of black turf smoke, accompanied by the best smell ever, coming out of chimneys as Ireland wakes up. We arrive at my in laws house, and despite the god awful hour they left the house to pick us up, they somehow have all of the fixings for an Irish breakfast ready. Eggs, mushrooms, rashers, sausages, toast, tea, and juice. I just eat the eggs, mushrooms, and toast and may have to steal a piece of rasher after smelling its pungent saltiness as it sizzles in the oven.
To 90% of you this probably looks really unappetizing, but it smells SO good, and to my husband, it is home. 5) All things potato – yes the Irish love their potatoes, and when we are there we eat them boiled with butter and parsley, roasted, baked “jacket style” and stuffed with great things like veggie curry (if you go to Galway check out Couch Potatas, they have every variety of filling for jacket potatoes imaginable!), and fried. I looooooove good chips! In the US I rarely if ever eat fast food, but when we are in Ireland I go to the Irish chain, Supermacs, several times in week. My in laws probably think I have a problem! I always get garlic and cheese chips, which are French fries with a creamy garlic sauce topped with shredded, not melted cheddar cheese. There is something about the contrast between the hot chips and the cold sauce and cheese that is heavenly. A night out in Galway, even if we have been to a nice, fancy dinner, is not complete without them! Because of Ireland’s mild climate, potatoes and other root vegetables grow year around and are available in the wonderful local farmer’s markets. I love getting carrots that are covered in inches of dirt in a bucket. They are so sweet and just out of the ground fresh. There is nothing like it! I will be counting down the next couple of months and looking forward to the second that we touch down in Shannon. Until then, some more Ireland photos below, because I love it. One of the search terms for my blog today was “where to find pumpkin puree in Galway”. If you are reading, try McCambridge’s!