Travelogue from Dublin: Eating, Food and Such

Walled Garden

About food, eating and the like is what I am going to write a few words in this entry today on the Travelogue from Dublin. The green, green grass of the Emerald Isle makes the cattle and also the sheep to produce the most tasty meat on this planet, I should think.

Before I arrived in Ireland in 1980, I had become more or less a vegetarian because the meat in Sweden tasted absolutely foul so that I couldn’t eat the thing without feeling ill, so my solution to the problem was not to touch the meat at all. I must say that I did feel much better by not eating the meat over there. In Israel and in Finland and any other country I am all right eating the meat, it was just the meat in Sweden at that time that caused problems to me. I have eaten meat again in Sweden while visiting and it was okay for me to eat it with no dire consequences.

The very first T-bone Steak that I was served in a guest house in County Wexford was the size of the enormous plate where it was amid the garnish and the spuds winning me over to be a carnivore once and again. Needless to add that it was poetry in the dining! The European Union in its quest to be useful to the citizenry came out one year with a ban on the t-bone in the T-bone Steak, so for a good while twas forbidden to sell and to serve, but I believe, it is all right again by the bigwigs of the EU to have and to hold, even to eat it with relish. Excellent.

Ireland is famous for its great lamb as well, in particular, the Wicklow Lamb, that we used to buy at our butcher’s  who also as a farmer grew his own meat with such skill and care that the taste came through in all the meat he sold. The County Wicklow, which in Ireland is my home county, is also known as the Garden of Ireland due to its lush growth and the rolling green hills with the fresh, clean air to boot. I used to roast the lamb in the oven with lavendar (fresh or dried), cinnamon, fresh garlic, pepper and salt drizzled with honey and the best quality olive oil and serve it with the Roast Potatoes – raw potatoes cut in good size chunks, plenty of herbs as in dill and parsley, olive oil and butter with some gorse sea salt cooked in the oven until golden. Then, of course, with the seasons I would serve it the fresh green salad and other salads or in wintertime with the Ratatouille – the French roasted vegetables of aubergine, zucchini, et cetera. Delicious.

And last but not the least is the fish which is plentiful on this island of a nation. Although, the Irish themselves are/were not so keen on the harvest of the seas surrounding them. At first I could not understand why until I was given the typical fish dish on these shores at the time: the smoked cod with the white sauce and the mashed peas from the dried ones, steeped in water overnight and boiled to death! Terrible, absolutely dreadful, so it is. This was the tradition in here for every Friday being a day for ‘fasting’ – as in no red meat to be had on that day.

I had my work cut out for me in changing the thinking of himself and our Irish guests on the eating fish and considering it to be delicious. I grew-up by the vast river in Lapland that made the border between Finland and Sweden, so I am and have always preferred fish as in the wild salmon, white fish and the like to be superior to the red meat. It was served simply but always so very tasty that one could not help but to love it. That same approach I did with the fish in Ireland as well and it worked.

The Irish Brown Bread is well-renown the worldover, and rightly so, because it is so tasty and yummy. It’s fairly simple to make oneself as the ingredients are not expensive neither is it complicated to produce only really requiring the time and the bother to bake it. At present it is my breakfast toasted and lashed with humous and for the choice of the morn beverage at the moment it’s strong herbal tea. So my breakfast is a kind of ‘west meets east’ and grand so tis.

Tis for now. I will write about eating out later on. Riihele xx.

The picture is of a walled garden in the Powerscourt Demesne in County Wicklow taken by moi on a toasty hot Saturday.

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