Welcome to the lab, please watch your step...

Welcome to the lab, please watch your step.... I'm a busy young zombie just trying to balance writing, food and life. I love to cook and love to eat even more! And I promise I won't eat your brains—unless they are made from cake, then I can make no promises.
This is where I run my experiments and post the results for your enjoyment. I have a weird sense of humor, so bare with me, I promise the food will be good ;)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Travel Diary—Food and Photography of my Trip to Ireland and Scotland

As a part of my graduate program, we were required to take a week long class in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Since I was going to be in that area for school, my boyfriend and I decided to stretch some money and take our summer vacation in Ireland.  We documented our entire journey through pictures—I think I took something in the region of 900 pictures—so I thought I would share the food adventure.

Our first day we arrived to Howth, Co. Dublin.  Had some hearty crepes—much thicker than I'm used to—and our first "traditional" Irish breakfast.

The most spectacular part was dessert though.
There is little that can compare to irish cream and butter, so it is easy to understand why their ice cream was so delicious!  It helped that during our trip the whole country was in the middle of a heat wave.  It was a scalding 70-80 degrees all week—which isn't much compared to PA—but one big difference is that they have NO airconditioning.  None.  Most of the B&Bs we stayed at didn't even have cieling fans.

Sunday, our second day we discovered not only that the Irish take their rugby very seriously (one of the towns we planned to stay in was booked solid for miles around, we could hardly drive through it the streets were so crowded) but that shops and restaurants—even in a city like Waterford—close EARLY on Sundays.  So we resorted to what we could find in the convenience store.

From Waterford, after a tour of the Viking tower and the crystal factory, we continued on to Kinsale, Co. Cork.  We arrived in the middle of a music festival and decided to try some festival food.  We decided on trying what the Irish consider Barbeque.

Pork roasted on the rotating spit—ala gyro—mixed with potatos and onions.  It was quite delicious, and perhaps the best seasoned dish we had on our trip!  I will admit in general, the Irish don't use many herbs, or spices, or salt.  This yummy street food was the oddity.  It even attracted a cute little begger.

Our dinner in Kinsale was had at The Lord Kingsale, which some people might recognize from travel ads.  It was a decent pub with some very good food.

Naturally, as we were in a pub, my boyfriend enjoyed himself a pint.  I know everyone who has ever been there says the Guinness tastes better—but it is true.  Something in the way the bartenders pour it.

For dinner Scott (my boyfriend) had Sol while I enjoyed some bangers and mash.  Some surprisingly spicey bangers and mash!

The next day I got my first taste of a traditional Irish lamb stew, though I admit it was wanting for salt.  I suspect if I had been able to get it from someones home instead it would have been yummier.

Next we moved on to Killarney, Co. Kerry.  We were hungry upon arrival so I could hardly take pictures before lunch was devoured.  We found a cute little cafe and had ourselves some colcannon twice baked potato, stuffed with potato, cabbage, cheese, and bacon.  As well as a sausage wrapped in puff-pastry (or whats left of one).

The next day we drove the Ring of Kerry, back-tracking back down to the town of Kenmare where we indulged in a deliciously cheap lunch.  Fresh baguette with grilled chicken, cole-slaw, and sauteed onions with chips (french fries) on the side with some local strawberries for dessert.

After lunch we drove the famous Ring of Kerry.  At first we weren't sure why it was so famous, most of the views of cows or trees or brush.  Then we saw this:
Make it Bigger!! Trust me on this one!

Breathtaking is an understatement.  After an amazing day driving through Kerry, we took the ferry over to Ennis, Co. Clare.  In Ennis I was finally able to find myself a menu with a steak—you'd think with as many cows in this country there would be more beef on their menus.  Scott tried the curry.  Apparently Indian food is to Ireland and Great Britain as Chinese food is to us in the U.S.

The next day we went to the Cliffs of Moher, another spot that from further away doesn't seem all that spectacular.  Then you climb up to the edge and WHOA.

 And no, these pictures have not been altered.  That is what they actually look like.  After another beautiful day, we found our dinner in a little rest-stop.  We were just hoping for something cheap and quick, what we got was Chicken ala King (aka breaded baked chicken) with mashed potatos (three scoops!) green beans, carrots and gravy.  It was huge!  and far more delicious than what I'm used to getting in a rest stop.
Our final night was spent back in Howth, where we indulged in a fishy feast—as it is a rather prosperous fishing village.

 Next time we'll look at my culinary tour of Scotland!  Until then—stay hungry!

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