Prátaí ar maidin, prátaí um nóin
Agus dá n-éireoinn san oíche, prátaí a gheobhainn
Potatoes in the morning, potatoes at noon
And if we get up in the night, it’s potatoes we’ll get
Old Irish saying – so says my Da and he should know
If the notion of having potatoes morning, noon and night appeals, then Lissadell House in Co. Sligo is the place to be. The house and its residents may have been the stuff of poetry for WB Yeats in his day, but it was potatoes that had me treading, perhaps not quite so softly, in the footsteps of the bard last weekend. For Lissadell is now home to Dave Langford’s collection of heritage potatoes, around 180 varieties worth, and I spent part of last weekend being taken on a private tour of the gardens there, along with MGH, my agent on the ground in the North West.
Ah, summer in Ireland. Where you’re just as likely to be bathed in rain as in sunshine and where the organisers of outdoor events play a game of Russian roulette with the weather and hope that they are hit, if not with sunshine, then at least not with a fatal shot of precipitation.
As I made ready to head to the Midsummer Fair in Temple Bar on Sunday last, I peered out at grey skies and a persistent drizzle. It didn’t look good for folks wanting to picnic and be entertained while lounging on the faux-grass in Meeting House Square.
Still, I donned my rain gear and arrived to find a few other hardy souls enjoying the trad music on offer, some even be-seated on the I-can-believe-it’s-not-grass patch. More importantly, I was able to satisfy my morning’s need for caffeine at the coffee angel stand, my portable coffee of choice. The day was looking up.
Here follows a small public service announcement: The Daily Spud (that would be me) is a girl.
Ok, a lot of you knew that, but it hasn’t been uncommon for newcomers here to assume otherwise. There’s something about the name Spud that seems to imply solid, male qualities, as opposed to anything giggly girl-ish.
I bring this up only because of the call that went out from Carol at Simply… Gluten Free, seeking entries with a manly theme for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free. I thought that a dish with spuds was a pretty natural manly choice, even if this here Spud happens not to be built in that manly way.