My Book of Stories from Ireland is on Sale!

My book (For a Man or a Dog) is on sale at Amazon.com. It doesn’t appear to be on sale at any of the other Amazon sites, but it’s 41% off on the .com site.

I didn’t put it on sale, but maybe Amazon does every now & then? No clue how it works, but if you want a copy, this might be a good time to get it.

Possible appeal to the Irish diaspora, or if you have any interest in Irish life & culture. If the link below takes you to your local site, you might have to go to Amazon.com the hard way.

My Heart is in Ireland

Comfort Food from the Past!

My heart may be in Ireland. But I’d rather my arse was too! ๐Ÿ˜œ

Really, I’m way overdue for a trip home. Haven’t seen our families & friends for years now. I’m seeing more planes in the air recently, but no resumption of direct flights to Ireland yet. The cost is triple what it was pre-covid, & the journey is three times longer with layovers. Aaaarrrrrgggghhh!

That said, even if things were back to “normal”, I’d probably wait for my booster shot before travelling again anyway. ๐Ÿ™„

Along with seeing family & friends, the other great thing about Ireland is the food! I’m not kidding, it’s not all about bacon & cabbage, with boiled spuds, you know. Though that is so amazing too. I think Ireland has the best take-out food on the planet!

Yes, I know, I know, I’m biased. And that’s probably not what it’s known for. After all, it’s got all that natural beauty, the people are lovely, & the history is … well … very historical! But the food leaves all that nonsense in the dirt. As the travel restrictions drone ever onward, I find myself looking up the menus of Irish restaurants online now.

The battered smoked cod & chips is the best. A doner kebab, with extra garlic sauce, reminds me of late night trips home from the pub. Buy an extra one for the hangover breakfast next morning! Speaking of breakfast, the full Irish breakfast! Mmmmmm! Another Irish staple, chicken curry & fried rice is not to be found as good anywhere. Not even in China. Scampi & chips, with Dublin Bay prawns. Mutton. Real bacon. Black & white pudding. Drisheens. Coddle. Boxty. Soda bread. Alright, enough, I won’t go on any more.

Okay, one more … I must mention the fresh, real, cream cakes. Did you know that all dairy products in Ireland are healthier? Yes, it’s true. They’re all made from the milk of grass-fed cows. (What do the bloody cows eat everywhere else anyway!?!) If you go, you can ladle on all the butter you’d like. It’s health food in Ireland. ๐Ÿ˜œ

I love the lobster roll in Nova Scotia, the subs, pizza & poutine in Quรฉbec, the salmon in BC. But I think a big part of my heart, & my stomach, will always be in Ireland. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช

PS … The pic shows one of my favourite fast meals from way back … fried onion & baked beans, with a spoon of curry powder. Accompanied by leftover protein & some melted cheddar. Typically rushed together when a night at the pub was in the offing. Though it didn’t have the fancy sprig of basil back then!

Okay, I’m homesick now. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Big on Big!

Savour the International Flavours!

I’m big on big. Wonder if that’s part of my weight problem? We generally like big though, don’t we? While I’d rather not have a big gut, I think big can be good.

We like to “talk big” , for example. We want to “make it big”. We’re encouraged to “go big or go home”. Big winners. Biggest losers. No matter the field, we are conditioned to see big, by & large, as a good thing. Some of that kind of talk is pure giraffe guano, but big does work for some things. Like shopping!

Buying in bulk both saves & satisfies. I like big boxes, big jars, big bottles, & big containers of food! Especially those expensive foods that come in little jars. The way I use hot peppers on a burger, it could cost me an extra 5 bucks to dress up a bun. But that only happens when I buy the peppers in those dinky little jars at my local supermarket. When it comes to condiments & seasonings, it’s way cheaper to buy big. Yeah, I feel a twinge of guilt buying online, but I don’t do it very often, so I get over it. And the stuff I buy is Canadian, right?

Turns out not!

My latest shipment had mixed pickle spears from India, pepperoncini from Egypt, hot peppers from Mexico, with curry powder & spices that were only packaged in Quรฉbec. A big box of Japanese cookies that I love so much (not in the pic, too big & too bad! LOL) are now made in the US. They must’ve gotten popular enough to justify manufacturing on this side of the world.
The “decorative” candies in the pic were only purchased to get me over the free shipping limit, I swear!
They are made in Poland.

How much does it cost to ship such low-cost items around the planet? I don’t know why we can’t make more of this stuff closer to home. That said, nothing wrong with a little international flavour either.

You know what I’d most like to get delivered?

An Irish breakfast!

OMG … Irish bacon, sausages, black & white pudding … mmmmmm!
Let me know if you know how to make that happen. Please.

Now that would be truly big! ๐Ÿ˜‰โ˜˜๏ธ

TGIF & have a good weekend all!

Stocking Stuffer & Christmas Gifts

Christmas is coming, pick up a copy of my absolutely amazingly hilarious collection of Irish short stories as a stocking stuffer for yourself. Or as a gift for a friend. You can tell them you know the author!

For a Man or a Dog is available at your local Amazon site, in paperback & Kindle versions.

Okay, guilt is forcing me to back off the sales pitch a bit … being honest, I think that maybe one third of the stories are great, another third are decent & …

okay, let’s leave it at that! ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜

Click the Preview button below & skip through the Introduction to read the first story.

PS … Aside from the Irish shenanigans, you’ll get some interesting insights into where my dietary challenges might have originated too!

Bubble ‘n’ Squeak

Bubble ‘n’ SqueakBubble n Squeak

Bubble ‘n’ Squeak might be familiar to anyone with a connection to the British Isles. In our house, it is very much a part of our Christmas tradition. It is a pan-fried collection of Christmas dinner leftovers. And we very deliberately cook Christmas dinner to excess, with a view to eating bubble ‘n’ squeak for several meals afterwards!

We start out by adding diced turkey and ham to a pan swimming with your fat of choice. Though butter is highly recommenced! Adding the Christmas veggies next, Brussels sprouts and carrots are among my favorites, starts the whole bubbling and squeaking symphony that gives the dish its name. Chop up some leftover roast potatoes, and in they go. Next it’s the mashed potatoes, to glue the whole mix together. These should have been mashed with ludicrous amounts of butter and heavy cream! When the first evidence of pan singeing appears on the potatoes, turn the mess over to brown the other side. Now add heapings of stuffing on the already-browned side. Next comes a strained jar of sour pickled onions. And finally, just before serving, add a big splodge of Christmas gravy, and blend.

If you haven’t had bubble ‘n’ squeak before, it probably sounds disgusting. Trust me, it’s not! Indeed, we have an annual debate about which meal was better … Christmas dinner on Christmas Day, or the first Bubble ‘n’ Squeak meal on Boxing Day. Or St. Stephen’s Day if you prefer.

We went out for Christmas dinner this year. But we cooked a full Christmas dinner on Boxing Day anyway. Just so we could have bubble ‘n’ squeak. No kidding, we didn’t eat the food when it was hot and freshly cooked, we just tossed it into the fridge so we could make bubble ‘n’ squeak later.

I’m really not sure what this all says about my weight problem! LOL

The bottom line is that we need a diet that tolerates occasional bouts of delicious insanity. And what better time is there to go nuts than Christmas. Just now isn’t the right time for me to discuss the impact of all this on the bathroom scale. We’ll get back to worrying about all that nonsense in the new year!

Whatever your traditions, I hope you are enjoying them to the fullest this holiday season. And if you have any good recipes or food traditions to share, please do. I love to learn about new cuisines and cultures. And I’m an equal opportunities eater! ๐Ÿ™‚

PS … Next time, I must remember to tell you what those closest to me think appropriate as Christmas gifts for a fat guy trying to lose weight! And no, it’s not socks!