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
“You mean to say I went all the way to Waterford and missed the potato spaghetti? Sheesh.”
That’s pretty much what I was thinking when I heard (courtesy of Alex Meehan) about the potato spaghetti machine – a contraption for turning an unsuspecting four inch spud into eight or nine inch lengths of ‘spaghetti’. Yes, I missed said spaghetti and the monkfish around which it was wrapped at Martijn Kajuiter’s Michelin-starred restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore. Oh well.
Still, never mind. I found much else to delight in west Waterford last weekend while on a flying visit to the Waterford Festival of Food. Though whirlwind in nature – and the absence of potato spaghetti notwithstanding – the trip served up a well seasoned taste of a region less travelled by, with a Friday bookended by a killer breakfast at Nude Food in Dungarvan and a joyous dinner at O’Brien’s Chop House in Lismore, and a Saturday that included a fine lunch back in Dungarvan at the Tannery. There’s no denying that you can eat very well in this neck of the woods and, better still, you don’t need to wait for the next food festival to enjoy it.
Dinner at O'Briens Chop House in Lismore, which included the
wonderfully animated Norman waxing lyrical on the art of salmon fishing
Lunch at The Tannery:
Crab crème brûlée
Sea bass with mussel broth (and, yes, potatoes as well)