Nearly Home

We are back on American soil, returned from our trip to Ireland with Good Food Ireland, waiting for our connecting flight in Boston. We had so many experiences that there was very little time to share them here. That, and I’m still trying to figure out how WordPress works, since I only set up the blog a week ago!

Ballymaloe House

Ballymaloe bed & breakfast (and nearby cooking school)

My plan is to patiently over the next couple of weeks to organize pictures and stories and share them here. In the meanwhile, thanks to all who checked for your patience, hopefully I have your understanding as well, and here is a photograph of our home on Thursday: Ballymaloe House.

Downhill Harp

We have been kept so very busy, I have hardly had time to turn around. This has proven to be a very good thing for the experience we are having here with Good Food Ireland, but a little troublesome for blogging! This is my first chance since Monday to have internet access as well, so here now I finally share an image of the Downhill Harp that we saw at the Guinness Storehouse on Monday.

Downhill Harp

The head on the Downhill Harp at the Guinness Storehouse

I am beginning to see that I will be writing and posting about this Ireland trip more completely when we arrive back home. Which makes sense, really. The important thing right now is to experience the journey and share the many wonderful stories afterwards. But that won’t stop me from trying to share as we go, so do please check back.

Dublin, Ireland

We arrived at our hotel Monday morning at 4:00. Yes! 4:00 in the morning! The hotel staff were very kind. As naturally the people who were in our room from Sunday night were still sleeping in that room, we were escorted to the lovely spa, where we were able to completely freshen up. Eric even swam a few laps. Then it was off to the Guiness Storehouse, where Eric learned some great tips on cooking with Guinness, rather like the French cook with wine. But of course, we are in Ireland, and when in Ireland (especially when in Dublin) one uses Guinness.

While at the Storehouse we got to meet Eibhlin Roche, who helped so immensely with the Guinness on WireStrungharp.com. Then of course we went to see the Downhill Harp, which is in the center of the Guinness Storehouse. I think Eric got some good pictures using the fancy camera that Brian loaned us for the trip, but I’ll toss in the few I took with my little camera. I hope they came out, I haven’t even looked at them yet. But first we must be off to dinner here at the Merrion Hotel, so you’ll have to check back later!

Ballymaloe Cookery School – Anticipation!

Eric_CathcartFollow me on my Good Food Ireland trip next week. The Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork, Ireland is as good as it gets if you’re a foodie. Darina Allen has created the model experience by growing all the food that is used in teaching, prepared and eaten on the grounds of this estate. She uses 100% organic local good for you food while teaching the next generation of chefs the importance of good cooking. I do hope to meet her and get a signed copy of one of her cook books!

Jewel Weed

Flower of the Jewel Weed

Flower of the Jewel Weed

Such a contradictory name, Jewel Weed. The flowers are tiny, but when there are hundreds of them all together they will catch your eye. According to my son Alex, it’s called jewel weed not because the flowers look like little red opals (though they do) but because the leaves shine with a silver sheen when they are wet. Jewel weed is the antidote to poison ivy. If you are exposed to poison ivy, you can stop the rash developing by taking leaves from the jewel weed plant and rubbing them on your skin. It’s worked for me a couple of times. Sadly, the jewel weed I had growing in our backyard was all eaten by the deer before it had a chance to seed. and so it’s been lost here. But we do find it in Sligo Creek Park. (There, I kept this post Ireland-related).

Favorite Images

Early Morning LightPurple HydrangeaJewel FlowerLeaning Mushrooms

Favorite Images, a set on Flickr.

These are four of my favorite images, which I use as wallpapers on my personal computer. I’m mostly just sharing these on my new blog because, well, it’s a new blog and I don’t know how to share pictures yet and I want to get that all figured out before we leave for Ireland! These pictures are all taken state-side (all but the hydrangea in Western Maryland.) Enjoy!