Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘In and Irish Home’

It took me a long time, a very long time, to fall in love with Ireland. I was young and foolish, when we first arrived, and I longed for the familiarity of the country I grew up in, the people I knew well, and a life faster-paced. But, slowly, oh so slowly, this serene country grew on me…like moss taking over a field.

Rolling green Irish countryside with ancient trees and cows grazing in the distance

Today I appreciate what I once did not. I love how at every turn something arresting catches my eye…like this field near our home. Notice how the land rolls softly at crooked angles, emerald green. Imagine cow bellows being carried softly on the breeze, and leaves rustling loosely in the wind. See the old trees huddled together, while one brave one stands tall and stately on its own. And sense the darkened cotton-ball clouds rolling overhead.

If you will, take a moment…blot out the words…and just look at the photo. Drink it in. Does it make you feel serene? I hope it does: then you too will share a tiny bit of what it took me a long, oh so long, time to realise: Ireland is an extraordinary place. Slán.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credits:

* WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

** Want to stay at an Irish farm? Check out this article from The Irish Independent newspaper!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Looking for a delicious recipe for a busy mid-week supper? This Oven-Roasted Salmon may be your answer. It’s so easy to prepare, a child can do it. In fact, both my daughters learned to make this dish over the summer.

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 9.47.37 AM

A quick wash of the salmon, a squeeze of lemon, a pad of butter, a dash of salt and pepper, pop it into the oven for 15 minutes and you’re done. If you have the time or energy to jazz it up, play with the herb and fat combinations: sometimes I replace the butter with olive oil {or use both!} or I sprinkle some parsley, dill, tarragon, or lemon zest on top.

Oven roasted salmon, boiled potatoes, and a green salad on a white plate.

If you need another reason to make this recipe, consider this: salmon is a superfood. In our busy Irish home, I’ll take every opportunity to get good nutrition into my family. Salmon contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids {which support heart and eye healthy}, and it is an excellent source of vitamin B-12, vitamin D and Selenium.

Oven-Roasted Salmon

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 x 3oz salmon fillets

1/2 lemon

4 pads of butter

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking tray with aluminium and top with a sheet of parchment paper.

2. Rinse the salmon, pat dry with kitchen roll (paper towel), and, if needed, remove any bones.

3. Put the salmon fillets on the parchment paper, skin-side down, and squeeze lemon juice over them.

4. Top each with a small pad of butter.

5. Salt and pepper, as desired.

6. Roast in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked all the way through. Roasting times will vary depending on your oven and the thickness of the salmon.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Most nights, we serve boiled potatoes and a simple green salad with our salmon dinners.

** Wild or Farmed Salmon? See what the Time.com experts say here.

*** If you’re interested, here’s an article on how Norway avoids antibiotics in fish farming from the World Health Organization.

**** Invasive pink salmon are found on Irish shores recently. Learn more in this Irish Times article.

***** Two more salmon recipes from In an Irish Home: Salmon Fillets with Pesto & Pecorino and Salmon Pesto Pasta.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Photo from Jessyparr on Flickr

There’s a belief in Ireland and elsewhere that Americans are fat. It’s a stereotype to be sure but a quick look at the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that “more than one-third of adults and approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents in the U.S.” are obese. While it’s unfair to capture all Americans and lump them in one big fry-pit, if things don’t change it is conceivable that by 2o2o, 83 percent of men and 72 percent of women in this country will be extremely unhealthy.

What I can’t help but wonder is this, “Where are all the large people the C.D.C. is talking about?” They’re not living near me on the edge of the Rockies. The trend here seems to be quite the opposite. I wasn’t kidding when I wrote back in March about the 60-year-old with arms like Madonna and the well toned thighs of some ladies taking a Boxercise class. The people around me are fit. Really fit. I mean…über fit!

There’s a joke among us “blow-ins” about how many athletic enthusiasts live around us. There are walkers, joggers, mountain bikers, road bikers, hikers, rollerbladers, tennis players, golfers, lacrosse teams, rugby teams, swim teams…the list is endless. Those of us who are new to the area find it funny until we get hooked too.

Take me, this morning. I rode my bike 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) to buy ingredients to make my family’s favourite soup for this evening’s supper. TWELVE MILES! Getting to the shops was easy: it was mostly downhill. It was the six miles (9.6 kilometers) back up the hill that was the killer. Remarkably, I enjoyed it.

As I rode my bike I kept thinking, “What would my friends back in Ireland say?”

“Kim! Are you mad?” immediately came to mind.

Mad? No. A little crazy? Maybe. Thrilled I made it? Definitely!

Today marked the day I went from blow-in to settling in. Actually, I’m not ready for that leap, so let’s just say I’m a temporary “local” bucking the American trend towards obesity. You might even say I’m living Irish in America. In Ireland people don’t think much about exercise or their weight because they walk everywhere. Conversely, in many America cities, shops, restaurants, schools and churches aren’t within walking distance so people are forced to get into their car and drive. With such a sedentary lifestyle it’s easy to pile on calories and gain weight.

Twelve miles to make Pea & Mint Soup…was it worth it? Absolutely! What’s the craziest thing you ever did for exercise?

Pea and Mint Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g/3 cups fresh or frozen peas

1 bunch spring onions/scallions (or onion) roughly chopped

1 head iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

900ml/3 ¾ cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 large sprig mint

Black pepper

For the Garnish (Optional)

Yogurt

Mint leaves

Directions

1. Wilt the peas, onions and lettuce in the olive oil.

2. Add the stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Add the mint and liquidize. For a smoother texture, the soup can be put through a sieve.

4. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and the mint leaves

Note: This recipe is taken from Terence Stamp’s cookbook called The Stamp Collection

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: