It’s Christmastime in Ireland, and Christmastime in Ireland means Mince Pies. They are huge here! Well, small actually, but ubiquitous. In Victorian times, mincemeat was spiced meat with fruit. The current version may include suet along with fruit; I need to check the ingredients. We’ve already had the opportunity to enjoy them a few times, and are looking forward to more. At right, our yuletide pleasure is evident.

Last week we attended a Christmas Food Emporium which was part of the National Arts and Crafts Fair. It was a great opportunity to try, yea buy, many Irish-made products. This scene was repeated frequently:

Vendor: Hello, would you like to try this baked good/savory item/confection/dairy product/beverage?
Us: Why thank you. Mmm…this is delicious!
Vendor: It’s made by hand/of organic ingredients/with love/from our own cows.
Us: We’ll take it!

This type of high-pressure sale resulted in the following purchases over two nights:

  • jalapeno-stuffed olives
  • viognier vino
  • rabbit terrine
  • meat pies
  • cheese (with seaweed!)
  • stollen with soft marzipan layer
  • christmas bread (fruit bread with marzipan and icing)
  • mini, caramel-filled waffles
  • nougat
  • pumpkin chutney
  • fig and rhubarb jam
  • Indian pickle
  • granola
  • Irish sausage
  • white pudding

I was very excited to find jalopeno-stuffed olives. A taste of home.

Saturday Bill and I had dinner at Gallagher’s Boxty House in Temple Bar. Our previous attempts to dine here had been thwarted by 2-hour waits. Going at 5:00, we got right in. (We had a late breakfast of eggs with aforementioned sausage and white pudding, so were ready for early dinner.) I had the titular boxty, a potato pancake with filling. The pancake is more crepe than latke. My filling was gammon steak (i.e., ham) with spring onion sauce. Quite yummy, perfect-for-cold-weather food. My salad with camenbert and pear was delicious as well. Bill started with chicken liver pâté, and had bacon, cabbage and champ for entrée. Champ is mashed potatoes with scallions, or in local parlance, mash with spring onions.

I’ve been remiss in photographing our food recently, but here’s a picture of my dinner last night–a tasty, decently spicy, Thai green curry at one of Raheny’s pubs, The Watermill.

Bill had lasagna and chips. We’ve totally given in to that culinary phenomenon.

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