Friday, November 8, 2019

Irish Food Reprise

by Sheila Connolly

For various reasons I haven't been able to create a
new recipe for this week. Moving to a new 
country is complicated! And the rest of my
possessions including cookware won't arrive 
until next week, though they were shipped in September.

So I thought I'd revive one the the earlier posts
I wrote for MLK--in 2014! Actually I've been visiting (and
eating) in Ireland for 20 years, but Mystery Lovers'
Kitchen isn't quite that old. I've added a few
more recent observations to the post.

Shall we begin with the "full Irish"?
(that would be breakfast)

And then on to lunch: a nice ordinary sandwich, with a bit of brown bread and smoked salmon

And then a bit of dinner, with mussels and samphire (which grows on rocks, I'm told)
Samphire is a kind of seaweed, I think. and if the TV special I saw today, seaweed has become quite popular in Ireland (dried). It makes a good substitute for salt, and has more vitamins.

I have a small kitchen to play in. (The new one now has a Neff slide and hide oven. but I keep having to look at the instructions to figure out which buttons to push.)

Bread at Field's Market in

My favorite fishmonger in Union Hall
(he was thrilled to have a real writer
in his shop). His name is Peter, and he
recognizes he when I drop by. He also sneaks in an apperance in A Turn for the Bad, although I'm not sure he knows its.

The cheeses at the Skibbereen
weekly market



Fresh greens in November!

No, the baby's not for sale

And don't forget dessert!

(Known somewhere else as
mille feuilles or Napoleons)

Bramley apples
The food continues to be amazing, and as fresh as it could be. County Cork is still very rural, and there are more cattle and sheep than people. But it also has some wonderful modern cities and towns and villages, and new restaurants keep popping up. People care about food here--a far cry from the overcooked ham and potatoes and cabbage that headed a lot of menus twenty years ago.

And it's a beautiful place. While the towns are lovely, they turn to country very quickly, and there's a lot of history in the area. My cottage is only 12 miles from where Michael Collins was born, and people still talk about him, nearly a century after his death. Is it any wonder I want to be here?

[Waving to all the Bouchercon and Crime Bake attendees of this busy week! I'm sorry to miss seeing you all.)


  1. I thought reading about Skibbereen was fun.

    Now I want to shop there! What marvelous shops.

    1. Ah, Libby, you don't know the half of it! Three bookstores (one antiquarian), a lovely local crafts shop (run by a couple from Wales), a delightful small art gallery, a lot of very good restaurants--and all this in a town with a population of 2,700 (and little crime!). And a heritage/genealogy center, and a new regional arts center. And a weekly cattle market in warmer weather (yes, the cattle are right there in the middle of town). It's a great place.

    2. My friends and I are reading your Irish books this month. Almost finished the first one and really enjoying the atmosphere you've provided in the story. All those treasured stores you speak of here make me want to visit. Since I have some "issues" that preclude my traveling, I so enjoy an author that can give me these experiences in fun cozies! I love vicariously tasting the foods too---all the joy and none of the calories. Must say soda bread is a favorite though!!! Off topic--Apple orchard books give me a "crunchy" thrill too!! Happy St Patrick's Day to you!!

    3. Sheila, it really sounds fantastic! I'd love to go there. Actually, I'd love to go almost anywhere in Ireland! I got to visit years ago (high school--back with the dinosaurs) and did a Shannon to Dublin tour. Kissed the Blarney stone and all. Loved it!

  2. Happy St. Pat's! What a perfect post, Sheila. Take me with you - I love Ireland and the books too.



  3. Sheila, what a fun pictorial history. Love the full breakfast. Yum! And the pretty bread. How I wish I could dig into that.

    Wishing you the best of an Irish blessing. :)
    Daryl / Avery

  4. Wonderful Sheila, I like the looks of the breakfast too! and the bread! and the desserts! and the produce! some else can have the mussels...

    1. I had to laugh at myself with the samphire--one of those moments when you ask "what the heck am I eating?" But I did it anyway. It's sort of like a cross between seaweed and asparagus. But I do like mussels--it's oysters I simply don't get.

  5. Sheila, what a wonderful tour through Irish food. Thanks so much, I envy their breads, and fish and pastries! And I'm most curious about that hearty breakfast. Are those beans?


    1. Yes, beans, and black and white "pudding"--and you don't want to know what's in the black pudding. Great way to start the day, along with lots of strong tea. Gives you strength for all that sightseeing!

  6. Thanks for this wonderful post :)

  7. Great photos. Love experiencing this beautiful place through your words and pictures.

  8. The market is to die for! (Hm, a book title there?)