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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ireland #20 Peat Bogs and Steaks.

I took these pictures on our return trip from 
the beautiful beaches and cliffs.
These are my "Peat Bog" pictures.
Right in the center of this picture you see a dark 
line and a pile of dirt.
That pile isn't dirt at all, but cut peat.
Here is an official definition of peat:
"A Brown, soil-like material characteristic of boggy,
acid ground, consisting of partly decomposed
vegetable matter.  It is widely cut and dried for use in 
gardening and as fuel."
Here in the U.S. we are most familiar with it in the form of
peat moss, which we use in gardening.
What I'm talking about here is it's use as fuel.
My first encounter with peat as a fuel was on my 
first trip to Ireland, many years ago.
I will never forget the distinctive smell of 
burning peat.  I can't even explain it to you.
Let's just say, it's not my cup of tea.
In this picture you can see where the peat was cut into tiers
From what I have read, it took several thousand years
to form this peat.
When it is harvested, an area is cut into.
They cut down into the peat and from there cut the tiers.
Here you can see that they have dug deeper and into tiers.
As they cut down the tiers, they cut off the peat
in "bricks" and pile them up in big piles.
I've heard 2 different opinions on burning peat as fuel
for heating.
Some say that it is an economical way to heat, 
PJ (I spoke of him in a past post) said that it is not
an economical source of heat, but that he does burn
peat during the holidays.
He and his family love the scent of the burning peat
and it brings back fond memories of past Christmas'
Much like some have fond memories of pine scent, 
or baking pies, cinnamon and roasting turkey.
As I said earlier, I don't care for the scent, but then
again, it isn't something I grew up with.
I do however find it interesting to see the places they are
harvesting the peat.  It also is amazing that this looks like 
a brick of dirt, but it is burned in a fireplace or stove.
Here are a few other pictures I took of the peat
during our trip.
Many homes and businesses have peat piled at the
side of the house/building.
There were places where there were big piles of peat at the
side of the road, presumably to be picked up.
Must have been harvested in the bog behind it and
left there for pick up.

And a closer picture of the peat.

Now on to the Steaks!
The night before when we were at
The West 
the men at the next table had the most
amazing looking and smelling steaks!
Soooooo, we HAD to go back for another dinner
at The West.
This time 5 of us had the steaks.
What makes the steaks so good? You might ask.
Well, let me start at the beginning of the meal.
I, as always, started my meal with ONE
Diet Coke.  Only one!
Why is that? The reason is simple.
Diet Coke in Ireland is freakin' expensive!
Here is a picture of what you get for
the equivalent of about $5.00 U.S. 
That's right $5.00 for a diet Coke
and it's only an 8 oz. bottle.
Cost more in some places than a
Guinness or  Smithwick or
any other kind of beer or ale!
So I limited it to one a day.
Ed and I both had the cream of mushroom soup.
We had had some cream of mushroom soup before and 
found it a little lacking, but this was wonderful.
The first time we had it at another restaurant, we were
surprised to find no pieces of mushroom in the soup.
Then at The West, we found the same thing and also
found this with other creamed soups.
When they say creamed they really mean it,
no pieces of veggies in the soup at all,
it is all creamed.
I have to say though, that this soup was one of the best
cream of mushroom soups I've ever had.
And I LOVE me some cream of mushroom soup!
We also had salad with our meals, very nice.
Dave was the only one that didn't have a steak,
he had a salad with grilled chicken.
He said it was very good.
Then came the steaks.
The steaks at The West come to the table on a 
lava stone that has been heated to 440 degrees Celsius.
That is over 800 degrees Fahrenheit! 
They put the steak on the stone, sear it, flip it over and then
serve it to you.  If you want it to stop cooking, 
you take it off the stone, otherwise you just cut it and eat it.
And believe me, this steak was so good!
Along with the steak, you are served 3 dipping sauces.
Garlic butter - horseradish - peppercorn
They were all incredibly good.
The others got mashed potatoes with their steaks.
I got "Sumo Wedges"
which are "fat chips with Cajun seasoning"
They were very good, cooked perfectly and very spicy.
We all enjoyed The West for the second time.
No room for dessert, even though they all sounded
fabulous.
There was only one other restaurant/pub that we 
went to more than once.
More on the other one later.
We did write a glowing report on 
Trip Advisor for this restaurant 
  We found the service to be fabulous
and the food to be incredible.
We would definitely make a trip to Westport again just
to eat at The West!
Here is a picture of 
The Celtic Adventurers
having dinner at The West.

Flowers of the Day

The areas we were in in the last couple days 
didn't have a lot of flowers, but there were these beautiful
purple flowers growing along the roadsides and
in the peat bogs.
I don't have a clue what they are, but they were pretty,
covering large areas with purple.
And  we saw sheep among the flowers.
In an area where there was a lot of brown
the purple was so pretty.
Thanks for traveling along with me.
Next time PJ answers a couple questions and
we're off to a few places that were
busts!
But then on to some wonderful adventurers.
See you next time!

1 comment:

Jody Maurer said...

Your food description sounds fantastic! I want to go to this restaurant now!