Well now, this post has been a long time coming. Having been sucked into the black hole that is house renovation, the Daily Spud has become closer to the monthly spud, while prospective posts have languished on the proverbial back burner. Now that I have acquired an actual back burner – along with the kitchen to go with it, and of which more anon – it’s time to fire things up again. First stop PEI – Prince Edward Island – which, through the good offices of the Canadian Tourism Commission, I had the great pleasure of visiting back in May.
Lighthouses: a common sight on PEI, and which, for many years, guided visitors and settlers to the island, many of them Irish.
I reckon that the Irish settlers who came to PEI in the 1700s and 1800s – all 10,000 or more of them, according to the Irish Settlers’ Memorial in PEI’s capital, Charlottetown – probably felt at home. Or at least as at home as you can feel when you’re several thousand miles away on the other side of the Atlantic.
Much planning on the part of Sharon and Bill had gone into the idea of a party which would bring New Orleans po’boys to the northside of Dublin. I was excited to say the least – that they were sandwiches which would feature deep-fried oysters was, frankly, all I, or anybody, needed to know.
As time went on, and with several expat Americans involved, the plan expanded to include root beer floats, and there was even talk of homemade tater tots. Throw in both chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies and it would be a feast to do Uncle Sam proud.
And then, as timing would have it, invited parties started dropping like flies, and I thought, for just a moment, that po’boys might be no’boys.
Oyster po'boy, Irish-style
'Nuff said, just head right this way
Yes indeed, another year has brought with it another Bloom in the Park.
I do think that Bord Bia‘s five-day long festival of gardens and food in the Phoenix Park just keeps getting better and better, though, granted, I might be marginally biased by the fact that this year’s event included a dedicated potato cookery stand (it being a well-established fact that, to make anything better, you just need to add spuds). Ray Moran from Harry’s Bar & Restaurant in Inishowen was on hand to demo a range of potato recipes – including fish cakes, potatoes with pesto and a potato, chorizo and butternut squash ‘risotto’ – all of which can be found in a booklet brought out by Bord Bia and Potato.ie as part of their grand plan to get spuds back onto the Irish dinner agenda (you can download the booklet here).
Ray Moran gets to grips with some spuds at Bloom