My Heart is in Ireland

Comfort Food from the Past!

My heart may be in Ireland. But I’d rather my arse was too! 😜

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. 🙄

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. 😜

I love the lobster roll in Nova Scotia, the subs, pizza & poutine in Québec, the salmon in BC. But I think a big part of my heart, & my stomach, will always be in Ireland. 🇮🇪🇨🇦🇮🇪🇨🇦🇮🇪

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. 😭

Waste Not … Want Not

Waste Not … Want Not

Potato Bread

To Eat … or Not to Eat!

The phrase “Waste Not … Want Not” goes back centuries. But it is burned into my memory as one of my mother’s favourite phrases, from my earliest years. I loved my Ma but, and despite that, I like to blame her for so many childhood problems that have carried over to my adult life!

One of my biggest challenges, at least while trying to lose weight, is reminding myself that I am not a garbage disposal unit. In our house, I am like the fridge vacuum cleaner! I dedicate my life to sucking up everyone else’s leftovers. I scrutinize and smell those last few slices of deli meat. I check that piece of aged cheddar for green spots. I peel the outer layers off that limp half-head of cabbage. You name it, I will try to salvage it. Real leftovers are a no-brainer! Potatoes, veggies, meat, lasagna, that chicken curry from two days ago … all great things to toss in a hot, well-oiled, frying pan.

The problem is that these leftovers aren’t always in line with my diet-du-jour. Regardless, I somehow manage to talk myself into believing that those few layers of pasta in that leftover lasagna are, by some miracle of cooking and cooling, low-carb. I just cannot overcome my desire to not waste “good food”, and I feel compelled to eat it. Ma’s brainwashing has stood the test of time. Combine this phase with her other much-proffered one about “cleaning your plate” and I’m done for.

All that said, I am encouraged. I am now nearing the end of the 4th month on my new weight-loss program. During the course of this week, I enjoyed a really nice work lunch, in the company of some great people. We went to a Hungarian restaurant. Despite my good intentions to order the diet-friendly debrecener sausage, with sauerkraut, I found myself having the beef stroganoff. With spätzle! That eastern European pasta stuff that is so good. Then there was this lángos thing on the menu. I hadn’t tried lángos before. It is a deep-fried potato bread. Who knew such a wonderful food even existed? Unless you’re Hungarian of course! To alleviate my guilt, two of us ordered one of those to share. It was hot, thick, oily, and delicious. And it was big. The darn things overhung the dinner plate it was served on by two inches on either side!

My encouragement comes from the fact that I left most of the spätzle on the plate. And I only ate a hand-sized (palm & fingers!) piece of the lángos. Leaving food on the plate? This is new for me. Is it possible that my natural control systems are beginning to work again? And if that’s the case, my new weight-loss program might be working better already than I could have imagined. Maybe one day soon, I will be able to pass on the fridge leftovers too.

That would be quite the victory!

Is there a fridge vacuum in your house?