Where, oh where, did the time go?
We moved back home to Galway 4 years ago. After having spent 15 years in America (Cincinnati, Ohio) then one very educational year in Zurich, Switzerland, we touched down on Irish soil on August 2008 with little or no expectations; all we knew is that it would be raining.
We trundled back into the town of Galway and made ourselves quite at home. The first year was absolute hell. The Chef kept pining for, and not finding, every kind of American ingredient a chef could think of. He kept comparing the price of this in euros to the price of that in dollars. After one or two ‘come to Jesus meetings’ with him he finally got with the program and realised we were not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.
Baking bliss followed with his job at Mortons of Salthill where he got his daily baking groove on after having had an almost two year career break.
I asked him a few weeks ago if he missed his old life still and how does he feel about living in Galway now.
And true to fashion, him being a Chef and all, his answer will not surprise.
‘Bacon. I miss bacon. Oh and our friends too. I really miss our friends.’
I had planned on writing about the hardship of moving from the US to Switzerland to Ireland all with two wains under the age of 4 (at the time) but who needs to read that drivel when we (apparently) have a crises on our hands.
I remained calm and then flew out the door with my wallet determined to fix this issue, feeling confident that we have enough rashers of bacon in Ireland to beat the band, so surely ONE of them will sate him, right?
(NB: Expert bloggers state that 200 words per blog post is the PERFECT amount of words otherwise you run the risk of loosing the readers interest. I am already at 325 so feel free to tune out and let the pictures tell the story from here on…be in Sun-daze-haze if you will).
There are waaaaaaaay too many Irish bacon products on the market. Between the fat salty rashers or the thick cut smoked streaky … it took us weeks to work our way through them all. We opted for smoked streaky rashers because that is what he would always have eaten, and cooked with, in the US.
These Irish ones (above) were a bit too thick.
The Spanish ones sizzled and spat and curled in the pan and had a distinct smoked almost proscuitto-like taste to them.
The old reliables from Tesco where just that. Not too salty, not to fatty, not to controversial at all.
If you are aghast to discover that we (a) shop at Tesco and (b) eat bacon from an unknown source ………then here is another shocker.
Occasionally, we have been known to take the kids to McDonalds. Now.You.Know.
Aaaaaaaannnnndddd …. back to Bacon.
Fearing that I might never get him to stop pining for his bacon back home I took matters into my own hands and made him pick one. Pick a bacon that comes closest to the bacon he misses from back home and be done with the pining.
Spain won folks. Hands down.
So, if y’all are looking for an ‘American style bacon’ this Spanish one (Campofrío) is available at all the grocery stores now (even Centra and Supervalue etc.). Incidentally … and this is the kicker guys. The Spanish bacon is actually owned by Oscar Mayer …. so it seems ladies and gentlemen, we can now get ‘American’ bacon in Ireland. Happiness is……..Bacon.
So whaddya do when you have all that bacon laying around and all these gorgeous tomatoes?
So it seems that aside from having magic powers when it comes to curing a hangover, finding the right bacon can also keep a homesick Chef happy.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend,
Disclosure : We still support farmers markets despite a massive infection I still have from a spider bite last weekend, and we still – 95% of the time – only eat meat from a very local and reliable source. So no need to get your heckles up and start finger pointing now ….
Hello fellow food lovers …
This week in The Sunday Times we share a small twist on a family favourite supper with our spicy Turkey burger recipe and if you have a huge amount of perpetual spinach overtaking your garden, like we do, then why not make a quick batch of spinach pesto and freeze it for the cooler months.
Thanks for reading.
Sometimes I go through a folder on my desktop called ‘useless photos’ and wonder why they never made the final cut. Do you have thousands of photos stashed on your memory cards and hard drives? Photos that might tell a story if you let them out for a spell?
The above photo has too much sunshine. The sun ruined the shot but also made it one of my favourites. Incidentally, the Galway Oyster Festival is just around the corner. Running from Friday September 28th – Sunday September 30th 2012. That is also our anniversary weekend. Anyone coming to town for the festivities? Let me know!
This photo fell out of focus most likely because the ingredients were being swiped out from under my nose as the Chef was making a poached chicken for the kids lunches.
NOW LOOK ——————–> —————————– > ————————— > ————————– >>>>>
Our blog has been SHORTLISTED (in three categories!) for the Blog Awards Ireland. If I seem excited about this it is because I AM excited about this. If you are a blogger, or if you just enjoy reading blogs then come along to the Blog Awards Ireland event on Saturday October 13th, 2012 at The Osprey Hotel in Naas, County Kildare. This is sure to be a very exciting night!
For the perfectly poached chicken you will need 1 whole chicken, 1 kg tomatoes, 2 whole oranges (cut in half but not peeled), 1 whole bulb of garlic (cut in half unpeeled), 2 onions )peeled and halved), 2 tsp mexican oregano, 1/2 bunch coriander, 1 Tbsp achiote paste, 120 ml/ half cup of Aaspall cyder vinegar, salt, pepper and enough water to almost cover the bird. Put all ingredients in to a large pot with a lid and let it simmer on the stove for two hours. The original recipe comes from something Lily (A Mexican Cook in Ireland) cooked for us last year. She made a dish called Cochinita Pibil which I think is traditionally made with pork. This works well with all cuts of meat, we have discovered.
Another photo that will never end up saying much. The Chef has been working on a recipe for parmesan buttermilk breadsticks. I like them, the kids love them and he thinks they need work. Either way, these puppies are toast!
The jury is still out on this one. The dessert is great but the kids took the photograph so I am not sure if I am going to keep it for the second book or reshoot it. A reshoot means a re-bake. Who’s in for a Winky Dink? (This is the REAL name of this dessert!)
I just noticed I have a few ‘bad trout’ photos. This is one of my favourite dinners. Trout, mustard, breadcrumbs. It is so easy to make yet always looks a little ‘flat’. I will make Trout’ our new subject to study, shoot and, er, eat.
And last but not least ….. another photo that most likely will never amount to much …..
I am not sure why this ended up in the ‘bin’. I actually like this shot. It was taken at Lisloughrey Lodge earlier this summer.
If you are thinking you might need a little night away without the kids later in the year, this is the place for you. Especially if you book in for Friday November 2nd 2012. There is a special event taking place with Food & Wine magazine. Sure to be a hoot!
Book now – you know you will need that break!
Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,
OH – wait ….buy The Sunday Times on September 16th 2012.We have a recipe in it for a Pecan Pie Cheesecake.
You know you want some.
How can you go wrong with this weeks recipes from The Sunday Times?
Catering to the vegetarians in your life and also the meat lovers, all these recipes are plate lickers.
Almost all caught up now on the back log of our weekly contributions to The Sunday Times. This is from September 2nd, 2012.
Thanks for reading along and emailing me looking for the recipes! It was the kick in the butt I needed to get the posts finished and uploaded.
HELLO – - just catching up on all our Sunday Times column recipes from the last few weeks so you will see a few more posts this week. Sorry for loading up your inboxes … you can always go back later and click on The Sunday Times tab for the stories and recipes and thanks for all the feedback! Keep it coming please.
So … and because we are almost done with summer here in Galway, these Fish Brochettes might have to wait for an Indian summer weekend or even early next spring. The recipes for the black bean paste and house dressing though are to be used year round so have a quick look and remember they will always be right here under The Sunday Times tab on the blog if you need a bit of encouraging.
This is the longer and unedited version of our weekly contribution to The Sunday Times (August 26th 2012).
Thanks for reading,
When you have time, sit and scroll down to the no bake Blueberry pie. This.Is.The.Bomb.
Worth cutting out and keeping it stuck to the fridge in my opinion!
The recipe for the Blue Cheese dressing is the one and same of what we used to serve at BrewWorks, The Iron Horse Inn and Rondos. Lap it up! And if you have never had (or made) a Cobb salad – now is the time to try it!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the recipes.
Hello fellow food lovers,
Recipes below for a few excellent dishes. The Paella is hands down one of my favourite dishes. I can’t wait for the next bite! The secret is in the rice believe it or not, so give it a whirl!
This is the longer and unedited version of our weekly column in The Sunday Times (August 12th 2012)
Hope all is well,
A few recipes from our weekly contribution to The Sunday Times. I have to say, all three of these are worth printing out and sticking on your fridge for year round dining pleasure!
This is the longer, and unedited version from August 5th 2012
Thanks for reading WiseWords,
Well, I am back. Slightly sore from my first 10 k walk of the academic year but made it in brisk time and feeling electrifyingly alive as I sit here tapping on the typing keys. Yes, I realise if you are a runner you will laugh your butt off at this ‘fast time’ of mine.
But yet smugly I sit here.
While out walking I was forced to listen to snippets of conversations, as I walked behind or infront, of those I encountered along the way. Should you be a writer of fiction, I would take the following little snippets and use them as a prompt to write the next BIG BESTSELLING novel you have been waiting to write. (They all have legs).
Drunk bum drinking buckky along the canalside walk-of-shame murmuring and muttering something about the next big game. You motioned to me toothlessly, and I smiled back with half a grin, knowing sooner or later, you’d be paying for your lifelong drinking sin.
The Daddys pushing puschairs with toddlers running behind you in tow, you’re walking along the waters edge – keep an eye on the kids you know! Yes the waters nice and calm today, but Galway weather changes without notice you see – so keep a hand on those little ones – or you’ll be hearing from me!
The beautiful Russian redhead – mid forties it would seem, stroking her belly blossomed, as if to sooth it – we might deem. But talking on the phone, in English – so strained and sad – it seemed like she was fighting with the unborns (possible) Dad. She mentioned wanting to kill him, it seemed a threat we wives know all to well. I’m sure it was the hormones as her baby belly swells.
The yummy mummys at the cafe .. o’er looking their Range Rovers parked out front. I envy the luxury of time you have, and hope someday to pull that stunt. It’s funny though, I noticed, with all the luxuries of cars and prams abound, not one of you was smiling …. you seemed sad with lipstick frowns.
And finally on my way back, sweat dripping on my brow, I paused to say hello my friend, to ‘Laurence-the ladykiller’ as he sat on his boats bow. ’Stay and have the tea with me’ … says he luring me in like he’s known to do…
‘No Laurence I must run, late for class and my first day too’.
This ends my observations for today … but scroll down for a few photos please.
After my walk … I went to fill up my water bottle and was so (not shocked at all) dismayed to see the same tired old food in the canteen.
I am back in college – looks like it will be a 30 hour week of class and tutorials.
I am trying to stay cool, calm and collected and not freak out over the work load that is ahead of me and hope that I can get my head in the game and start back to studying with a bang. The Chef bought me some very comfortable ‘gear’ and I am glad to see he still has a sense of humour over loosing ‘me’ for the academic year.
Meanwhile, back at Chez Wise … the kids are back to school also and so absorbed in their own world of drama (apparently there is very little ‘golden time’ in school this year – now that they are all older and have to actually ‘work’ in class!) that they have not really noticed I am not there. This is all thanks to the support of my husband and mother, of course.
Ok – back to work I must go. If you are out buying the newspaper this Sunday (September 9th), then buy The Sunday Times please. We have a recipe for Blackberry Buttermilk Buns in our weekly column that will knock-your-socks-off.
Hope y’all are doing well and still trucking along xx
Horseradish and marmalade glazed chicken thighs, tomato salad and peach cobbler. (The Sunday Times weekly column. July 29th 2012)
Hello fellow food lovers,
Here is the longer, and unedited, version of our weekly contribution to The Sunday Times newspaper.
Here is a few excellent recipes for summer suppers. First, a very easy recipe for chicken thighs. Find a friend that makes excellent marmalade and beg like crazy till she gives you her last jar. Then use it all up and forget to invite her over for dinner.
Have a read when you have time and if you are having a ‘wrap up summer’ party then these three recipes are for you!
Thanks for reading and incase you missed the big news we are delighted to have been nominated in three categories for the Blog Awards Ireland 2012. We are delighted to be on the long list and wish all the bloggers the best of luck!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the recipes,
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
About the Chef
You can't find the Chef here.
You might as well just come visit.
He prefers face to face communication.
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SHE WRITES, HE COOKS, THE KIDS MAKE A HUGE MESS