Guest Posts

From Ireland with Love: An Irish Breakfast

I’m super excited!  It’s the Pearl Project’s first guest post ever!  One of my most near (in spirit) and dear friends is currently living in Ireland, and I thought it’d be great to have her share some of her experiences here.  She’s a lovely person and a lovely writer.  She blogs over at Enos Village about her Irish adventures and wonderful fam.  Thanks, Jenny!

I had to share just a couple pics of her cute little (yet tall) family.  (I’m so hoping she doesn’t mind!)

(p.s. If anyone else is interested in a guest post for a specific country, feel free to contact me!)

Without further adieu–

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Top o’ the morning to ya!  And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

My name is Jennifer Enos.  Six months ago my husband, Luke, and I, along with our daughter, Isabella, moved to Ireland for Luke to play professional basketball.  Living in Ireland has been a great learning experience.  The first experience was finding out no one actually uses the greeting, “Top o’ the morning to ya!”  At least not seriously.  I know, I was disappointed, too.

Nearly everything has changed in regards to our meals since moving to Ireland.  We don’t have a car, so we always walk to the grocery store.  Which isn’t a horrible thing, but it becomes old when it rains nearly every day.  Our refrigerator is about three feet tall, so this results in grocery shopping every third day on average.  (A lot of the refrigerators here are smaller in comparison to American refrigerators). The selection of groceries at our grocery store is pretty limited compared to my local Safeway.  Overall, the food selection is a lot healthier than in America in regards to processed/packaged/boxed foods.  Also, the portions are a lot smaller for the price.  Some examples:

  • The only sugary cereals are frosted flakes and cocoa puffs.  If you want to buy a box of Lucky Charms or Reese’s Puffs, it will run you 9 euro (around 11 dollars).  Needless to say, we haven’t purchased either of these cereals.
  • The largest container of salsa available is about 1 cup, and it costs 2.70 euro (3.50 USD).
  • There is one kind of Pop Tart – Strawberry.
  • Three chicken breast filets costs 5 euro (6.60 USD). Because filets are so expensive, I have started buying whole chickens. **Side note: Filet is pronounced “fill-it” in Ireland**
  • A jar of 18 oz peanut butter is the largest available and costs 2.80 (3.70 USD)
  • If you want to buy black beans, you have to go to a health food store, and the cheapest can I have found is 1.29 euro (1.70 USD)
  • For those of you addicted to pop (called Fizzy Drink in Ireland) like my husband, a 2 liter pop is 2.19 euro (2.88 USD)  This is the cheapest route in feeding the addiction.
  • The largest portion of milk is 3 liters (4 liters is just over a gallon) and costs 2.88 euro (3.79 USD)

I like to believe that somewhere in Galway there is a grocery store that carries more bulk items, but the store we shop at does not.  One benefit to the higher prices and smaller portions, it seems like the population is healthier here than in the states.  Part of this could also be due to the fact that gas is 1.62 euro a liter (which is about 6.40 USD a gallon).  A lot of people walk or ride bike to save on gas.

When Cassie asked me to write a guest blog about Ireland’s food, I was unsure about what I should cook.  Most traditional Irish meals are very simple and use few ingredients.  A few months ago a friend and I made a meal from an Irish cookbook – baked onions.  Yes.  An onion, covered with foil in a broiling pan, baked for an hour.  Simple. We made a curry sauce to go along with it.

I decided to do something a little more elaborate than a baked onion, so I whipped up a traditional Full Irish Breakfast.  Nothing too fancy, but it is something the Irish definitely take pride in.

A Full Irish Breakfast consists of:

  • Bacon (which is more like ham than American bacon)
  • Sausage links
  • Black Pudding
  • White Pudding (these puddings are not of the Jello variety.  Pudding here is like a sausage)
  • Eggs
  • Potato bread
  • Soda Bread
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Baked Beans
  • Orange Juice
  • Tea or Coffee

The only part of the meal that required any preparation was the potato bread.

  1. Peel, boil and mash four medium potatoes.
  2. Add ¼ c flour, a dash of salt, and 1 tbsp melted butter.
  3. Mix with the potato masher, and then knead the mixture, adding flour until a sticky dough forms.
  4. The recipe calls to roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin, but I formed small pancake-like circles with my hands.
  5. With the pan sprayed with Sunflower Oil, I let the breads cook for 5-8 minutes on each side.

What really makes this breakfast an Irish meal is the pudding.  Like I said earlier, black and white pudding is like a sausage patty.  The white pudding is made of pork meat and fat, suet, bread, oatmeal and seasonings.  Its counterpart, black pudding, is very similar, but is made with pig blood.  Yes, the blood of the pig is congealed and put in this pudding.  And the Irish love it.  These come precooked in the form of a large sausage, and before serving are cut into patties and fried.

Generally the tomato is cut into thick slices and grilled, and the mushrooms left whole to grill.  I decided to incorporate my tomatoes and mushrooms into my eggs, since I don’t like tomatoes on their own.

Had I been a bit more ambitious, I could have made the Soda Bread.  Instead I opted to purchase some from the local bakery.

I must apologize for the horrible lighting, but these are the best pictures I could capture of our Full Irish Breakfast.

You may have noticed there are no baked beans on the plate.  So, the story goes: Luke was gone, and I was attempting to cook up this meal with only two frying pans while entertaining Isabella.  In the midst of cooking everything up and singing made-up songs to Bella, I forgot to prepare and serve the baked beans.  It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I remembered the beans were still sitting on the shelf, unopened.  Ah, well.  Can’t win them all.

So, there you have it.  Start your St. Patrick’s Day off right and enjoy a Full Irish Breakfast!  If you want to be extra festive, you could add some green food coloring to the eggs and drink some green milk to wash everything down. 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And as the Irish say, Good Luck!

(yes, that is a very common parting salutation)

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Thanks, Jenny!  I miss you!

Hey, readers, I’ll be back in a couple hours after mid-morning yoga with a post about our semi-Irish feast from last night.  We decided to celebrate a day early, in case we wanted to escape downtown Knoxville when the pub crawlers start to take over.  And yes, I am wearing a green shirt to yoga today 🙂

Categories: European Food, Food, Guest Posts, Holidays | Leave a comment

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