Friday, October 24, 2014

Ireland #15 A Pink Elephant and This Little Piggy

After our visit to Kinsale we were ready
for a nice dinner out.
We had to take some pictures before we went
Just because everyone looked so nice.
Jane and Michael on the patio.
Ed gets silly in the garden.
Ed and Roxie in the garden.
Ed and Michael
the "two dudes"
The Pink Elephant 
was recommended by Noreen so that's where we headed.
The views were beautiful from the restaurant.
If you were sitting on this lawn on 
May 7, 1915 
and were looking out at this view
you would have seen the sinking of the 
A German U-boat torpedoed and sank RMS Lusitania.
The Lusitania was a British ocean liner en rout to Liverpool, England
from New York.
Of the more than 1900 people aboard,
more than 1100 of them perished in this tragedy.
Luckily it is now a beautiful, peaceful sight.
The restaurant owner took this nice picture of our group.
One of the very few with all of us in the picture.
We were so glad we took Noreen's recommendation.
The food was very good.
Roxie started with a salad.
I started with Cream of Asparagus soup.
I can't speak for that salad, but the soup was excellent!
I had this amazing chicken dish.
A couple of them had duck.
Dave had a liver dish, I tasted that and it was
Ed had monk fish.
And our dessert, I don't remember what they 
called it, but it was a meringue with berries and cream.
To die for!
The service was wonderful and the owner was
very friendly.
He is quite a photographer and has several of his pictures around
the restaurant.  What a lovely man.
After a fabulous meal we were treated to a
 beautiful sight in the sky.
The clouds were spectacular and that sun
with the rays shining through?
Then we were on to Timoleague.
It was what they call "festival week" 
and there is some kind of attraction or function every 
evening in the village and tonight it was 
pig races.
Yes!  I did say pig races!
They had the big bad wolf and a pig that danced.
Here's a video of the "Minions" the wolf and the pig
entertaining the crowd while we wait for the races.
Sorry about the quality of the video, I had to hold the 
camera above my head and hope for the best.
Here is a little clip of one of the races.
These pigs are about 3 months old and belong to a 
local farmer.  
The pigs ran from one end of the main street of the 
village to the other end.
There were a few races down and then back up.
There was a huge crowd.  
Apparently this is one of the attractions every year.
There was a show afterward that we didn't stay for,
we'd had a long day and wanted to get back to our 
B & B.
We did stop to take some pictures along the way of
this building.
Unfortunately, I don't remember what this is.
I didn't write it in my journal and can't find it online.
But it was beautiful.

Here's my Timoleague selfie,
Kind of eerie with that background, don't ya think?
I saw this phone box on the way to the car 
and had to take a picture of it. 
I love their phone boxes!
Then we were "home" for the night.
We all gathered in the guest sitting room for
 a drink and a bit of socializing with 
Joe and Noreen.
Check out this sitting room,
who wouldn't want to spend a little time there?
It was so comfy and welcoming.
The next morning I took a picture of Dave with Noreen
before we left.  She and Joe made us feel like old friends.
We will be back to Kilcatten Lodge one day,
it was definitely our favorite of all the
places we stayed.
High on our recommendation list.

Next I'll tell you about 
The Cliffs of Moher 
and our adventures there.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cauliflower Soup

Holy Stromboli!!!!! 
Look at the size of that cauliflower!
I was strolling around the produce department at the grocery store
trying to decide which of the beautiful veggies to purchase,
when my eye was drawn to the cauliflower.
This wasn't the only huge one either.
I had to buy it and make some cream of cauliflower soup.
I cut up the cauliflower and put it in a pot,
then had to take it out and put it in a bigger pot!
That baby filled my biggest stock pot!
The cauliflower got cooked with water and chicken bullion,
in the mean time I chopped a nice big onion, put it in a pan with 
a stick of butter and salt and pepper and let that sweat on a low heat
until the onions were translucent.
Once the cauliflower was nice and soft,
I used my handy stick blender to puree it.
When it was nice and smooth, I added the onions
and milk.  I used about 4 cups of milk since it was a huge 
amount of cauliflower.
That all got blended and went back on the stove for a while.
It turned out to be just the right consistency for my taste,
if it had been too thin, I could have thickened it with a bit of
flour or corn starch.
Oh and I added a bit of shredded cheddar cheese too.
All ready to eat!
And the verdict is.......
Thumbs up from me!
I'm home alone tonight, so there is a big bowl of soup in the fridge
and there are several containers in the freezer for later consumption. 

Thanks for stopping by today,
now go buy some fresh veggies and make some soup!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ireland #14 A Sad Blue Wall

Slept in a bit
 (9:00 and for those of you who know me well, 
you know this isn't really sleeping in for me)
and after breakfast we were out the door.
First it was Courtmacsherry for a little drive around to see 
the views near the water.

Then it was on to Clonekilty to the SuperValu to do
some grocery shopping.
The last time I was in Ireland they didn't have 
these large grocery stores, so it was interesting to 
see what it was like.
Well, let me tell you it was a lot different than
the grocery stores here in the States.
I don't know about where y'all live, but here in the 
Buffalo, NY area we don't have a parking 
garage connected to the grocery store.
I wondered why there was an elevator near the front door,
when I investigated, I found that there were 3 levels for parking.
Very convenient, how nice to not have to load groceries 
in the rain, or if they had this here, in the snow.
Once we were inside the store, we found lots of things
that would never fly here in the States.
Our health laws are much different, but you know
everything there was very fresh and it doesn't seem like
the differences are hurting anyone.
First was the bakery,
where all the bread and rolls are just sitting out
on tables or in bins.
Same with the donuts.
Although there is a deli where they serve you,
there was this lunch meat out on a cooler table.
I didn't see any bags, so I'm assuming they would 
wait on the customer here too.
This meat in the butcher area was also out and open on a 
cooler table. These were the sales, sirloin steak and "steak mince"
As well as the fish.
I'm not saying that I have a problem with any of this,
but just that this would never fly here,
the health department would be all over it.
In the deli they had this 
"happy face bologna"
How cute is that?
And they had sandwiches, which is what we picked up for
our lunch today.
They had them pre-made, but would make up whatever we wanted.
Boy were they good. They had a lot of different veggies chopped
to add.  My sandwich had roast beef, cole slaw, onions, 
cheese and lettuce on a nice crusty roll.
I'm not a coffee drinker, but they had huge selection
of coffee beans to choose from.
I had fun just browsing around in the store,
checking out different products and prices.
As for those prices, if you look at some of those signs
you'll see that meat is sold by the kg. and 1 kg is about 1/2 lb.
The sirloin steak is 15.99 Euro/kg so it would be about 8.00 euro/.lb
factoring in the difference in US dollars to Euro
that would be about $10.00/lb
And that's the sales price,
the regular price was 23.99/kg or about $15.00/lb
The smiley face bologna was 10.19/kg or about $6.00/lb
The donuts were 6/2.00 so $2.50/6 
Some things were more expensive, some were less,
I think in the long run, averaged out it was about the same as
the stores here in my area.
The last bit of food that I'm showing you is the
Bacon Chops.
I asked Noreen at the B & B about these bacon chops
as she explained
almost anything that is from a pig is called bacon.
These bacon chops are actually pork chops 
and these happened to have some mustard butter with them.
She would cook up the chops and then put the butter 
on top of them to melt, just like you might put
seasoned butter on a steak.
Well, enough about  the supermarket and food.
We were off to check out 
Old Head Light House.
We saw some beautiful scenery on the way there.

We were very disappointed in that trip.
We did see the light house from VERY far away
while we were driving to the area.
BUT as we had been warned at the B & B
we were not permitted to go see it up close.
A private golf course was built on the land around
the light house.
When this was all proposed, it was promised that the general
population would have access to this beautiful light house and
the surrounding area.
That is not what happened and you are not permitted in if you are 
not going to golf.  The cost of golfing was about 
200 Euro or about $250.
We had hoped that there would be at least a view of 
the light house which is one of the most beautiful in Ireland
(you can see it here)
Many of the people who live in this area
are very upset that people are not allowed to see 
such a national treasure.
The views from outside the golf club
were stunning.
These are some of the cliffs that surround the course.

Those tiny little people in this picture are the other 
Celtic Adventurers
taking in the views.
And off in the other direction......
We didn't spend long at Old Head 
then we were off to Kinsale.
On our other trips to Ireland, Kinsale was one of our
favorite towns.  This time, not so much. 
We did like it, but were disappointed in the 
flowers etc.  I think it was just the wrong time
of the year for the flowers.
But we did find some things to shoot.
Here is one of the Guinness signs 
As I've said before, Guinness is huge in Ireland
this sign shows a man holding a whale up with
one finger.  He has a bottle of Guinness on his back
with a hose going to his mouth.
I also found this sign in a window of 
"Mario's Chipper and Pizzeria Take Away"
Had to take a picture of it, I wondered
how these Buffalo Wings compared to 
what we have here in Buffalo.
When we were here the last time we found a wonderful blue
wall.  The pictures of it are great sellers.
You can see them here and here.
Dave and I wanted to locate the blue wall again
and we did.  Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the same..
Here is what the wall looks like now.
It's actually 2 walls on the same little house.
Here's the other one.
Wouldn't have gotten those beautiful pictures on this trip.
I'm sure if we go to Ireland again, we'll visit Kinsale again,
but for this trip it wasn't a huge success.
So we were back to the B & B to get ready for dinner.

Flowers of the Day
Not only was the Kilcatten Lodge one of the most 
beautiful B & B's that we stayed in,
it has some beautiful gardens and views.
These 3 pictures were taken from the car park 
at the Kilcatten Lodge.
So gorgeous.

These flowers are from Noreen's garden
It was the end of the season, but her roses were still blooming
and absolutely beautiful!

Next post,
A Pink Elephant and This Little Piggy