17 March 2012

A Journey to a Wee Bit of Éire

I'd love to someday go to Ireland;

to visit the land which some of my ancestors called home.

THAT would be sweet...

But since I can't go this year,

a little journey to Irish Portland will have to do.

My Irish eyes were smiling because we had finally arrived

AND got parking right in front of the restaurant!

Our destination!

They were busy setting up for the St Patrick's Day Festival...

how I would love to be there to see Irish dancing,

hear Irish music and enjoy more great Irish food!

A tradition of caring...money collected throughout the year

from Kell's patrons and matched by the kind owners (sorry about the photo quality; I was actually trying to shoot something else and then realized what I had captured).

Personable servers too!

And the food...

Irish lamb stew----yum! Makes me hungry again just to look at the photo:)

Shepherd's Pie, soup of the day (chowder) and

corned beef and cabbage

(all good)

Irish soda bread (traditional)...one of the best I've had!

Great texture and taste; no raisins.

Part of our Irish experience in our visit to Portland this month!




Kells is well known in this area and has recieved honors before.

A few things to keep in mind...in this area of Portland,

parking can be hard to find (in my opinion at least).

There are parking places (with meters which accept cash or cards);

some paid lots too. Portland also has a mass transit system with MAX trains and buses.

Some times are obviously busier than others--we visited at a slower time and were there about 1 1/2 hours. Kells has Irish dancing and music throughout the year -- see their website for details. Loved their servers--very personable; loved the atmosphere too! And -- loved the Irish food; a great way to celebrate St Patrick's Day 2012!

As usual, I am in no way associated with Kells (or any restaurant for that matter);

just wanting to pass on a good place to eat for those in the PNW.

A BIG thank you to the kind staff who assisted and waited on us while we were there;

a BIG thank you for permission to take photos and post them on my blog.

Can hardly wait to go back...

St Patrick's Day Food

St Patrick's Day morn' found me very tired after getting little sleep last night

(I was staying with my dad at my sibling's home while they were out of town).

My DH, who had my car, picked me up and gave me a little St Patrick's Day treat...

one of my favorites with a little seasonal flair

(see last photo).

It was yummy:)

Earlier I had decided to cook our corned beef in a crockpot per Cathy's

(http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2012/03/13/st-patricks-day-dinner-colcannon/) instructions. This method of cooking worked beautifully...I was able to catch up on a little sleep AND also do some more family heritage research (discovering even more Celts in my ancestry). After 2 hours on high, 6 1/2 on low, I boiled some potatoes and placed the Irish soda bread (purchased) in the oven to warm while the corned beef simmered 1/2 more hour.

Irish butter, hot honey mustard, horseradish sauce, sparkling apple cider and place settings on the table; cabbage to boil in the last 8 minutes...and I was done!

An easy meal but very, very tasty meal for a tired Irish lass and her Celtic Farmer Boy:)

Next year, I will try Cathy's glaze and perhaps her recipe for Colcannon,

something I have never--to my recollection--had.

I heartily recommend her site to you and hope you will check it out.

Well---time to finish a few things and then off to bed I go...

How was your day?




Still not sure about the place setting--

next year I might try a darker green plate with the chocolate colored ones; we'll see...

Another Irish site I found recently

(Irish blessings in Gaelic, English along with pronunciation and more)

16 March 2012

The Great Hunger

An Gorta Mór--the Great Hunger.

I've never known that type of hunger. Our pantry, refrigerator and freezer are full; I can easily drive to the several grocery stores not too far away should I need anything more.
My kids are not hungry; my dad and other family either. None of us are wan or haggard from going without; all of us are well nourished.

Here in the beautiful PNW we are blessed.

Even when the crops fail or are lessened because of the weather,

we still have abundant food.

But for those who came before, this has not always been the case.

Things have not always been as easy; goods not always as plentiful as now

(here I am not referring to those areas of the world that still know

hunger, thirst, famine, drought;

sadly they know firsthand the knawing pain of hunger, the endless yearning for pure water).

In Ireland they knew hunger;

they called it an Gorta Mór--the Great Hunger.

It was a time of great pain and anxiety in the Emerald Island;

it was a time that brought great change and suffering to many who called

Ireland their home.

In the beautiful hills above Portland; in that area above the snow zone,

stands a memorial to those affected by the Potato Famine, the Great Hunger.

It is fitting that the victims and those affected by the Potato Famine should be remembered;

it is fitting that those who came after them never forget the suffering that took place there.

It is fitting that we as fellow sojourners on this beautiful earth

remember there are those who even now know great hunger...

it is fitting and furthermore I think our ancestors would want us to.

Blessings, Aimee

Notes: I have used a wee bit of literary license here. Although I am part Irish, to my knowledge --thus far--all my ancestors arrived prior to the year when the Potato Famine began (1845). However, there may be an exception as my great grandfather was said to come from Ireland sometime before the 1870's.

For more information re: the Potato Famine (1845-1852) and Bliain an Áir, The Year of Slaughter (1740-1741) see these links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland)

Photo: Potato Famine Memorial, Mt Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Portland.

Of Yummies (+ Sweet Shamrocks)

Recently one of the bloggers I follow, Alicia of Posie Gets Cozy, mentioned a favorite bakery of hers...and she just happened to include a photo of one of their tarts (she takes phenomenal photos). Since I had already made plans for a trip to the 'big city', I checked out their website, drooled (without making a mess) over their menu and added 'Baker + Spice Bakery' to our itinerary.

Craving deliciousness and noticing that they had St Patrick's Day treats, I decided that the bakery would be our first stop once we got to the city. Soon we were there...
Baker + Spice Bakery is popular and there was a tiny bit of a line...

(if you go to their website and read about the bakers, you will know why).

Meanwhile my eyes pored over the many taste treat possibilities and then it was our turn!

The next few minutes were filled with the wonderful sight of their awesome staff filling a box and bags with chocolate dipped shortbread (shared yummies), lemon treats (for me), chocolate cookies (DH) and more...and we even got advice on what temperature to serve one of the treats at (in all my many, and I do mean many, decades of life, that has never happened--and I've been to a lot of good bakeries).

And tonight...well let me just say Alicia was SO right (but then I knew she would be)!

See--this is proof that bloggers really do make a difference in other's lives.

If you are in the Portland area, this is a definite recommend:)

Blessings, Aimee

If you haven't already done so, I recommend a visit to Alicia's wonderful blog, Posie Gets Cozy,

(Alicia is a very talented crafter, cook and photographer; she also likes Carl Larsson, as do I and IKEA. Her recently remodeled craft/sewing room is truly amazing!)

A BIG thank you to the staff of the Baker + Spice Bakery who gave me permission to post a photo of their sign on my blog. As per the usual...I am in no way associated with the bakery (except for possibly being their newest happy customer)!

My apologies for any mispellings, bad grammar and any other errors in this post...one of my contacts and I had a slight disagreement earlier. I did not win, so now it is resting comfortably in its case and I am feeling a bit challenged vision wise:)

Tomorrow, if my contact decides to play nice,

our pre St Patrick's Day trip to Portland, Oregon will continue. And now it is time for the right to join the left and the contact wearer to get to bed. Night!

12 March 2012

Happy to be Celtic...

Both Farmer Boy and I have a Celtic heritage--

he shows it in those BEAUTIFUL blue eyes of his

and I show it in my tendency to get freckles and LOVE of Celtic music :)

This Saturday, we like many others will celebrate St Patrick's Day with the usual fare--

corned beef (check--snapped one up a week or so ago),

cabbage (oops! Forgot to pick some up),

carrots (yep), potatoes (ditto the cabbage), Irish soda bread (absolutely...

but my DDIL promises to send me the recipe she uses which is SO good),
butter (yep, although I am thinking of picking up some Irish butter now)

and some kind of dessert (still looking for one...)



Yes, we celebrate St Patrick's Day,

all the while wishing my DDIL was here

(not only for her and the grandkids sweet company,

but because she just happens to make the BEST Irish soda bread

and corned beef of anyone I know).

BTW--our DDIL is part Irish heritage wise too.

We like Irish things, did I tell you that?


We will celebrate St Patrick's Day with a little wearin' of the green

(because I don't like being pinched and also because I LOVE green--

sage green and emerald green especially);

perhaps I'll even wear a scarf, sweater or shawl from Ireland

(found a beautiful pink one in mom's collection).

We will see...

Maybe I'll display the photo my friend took in Ireland

or possibly watch movies filmed there.

Could even watch the History Channel if they have a special

about Ireland or St Patrick's Day.
But, to tell the truth, if I really had my wish,

I'd be celebrating this St Patrick's Day in Ireland...

walking the grounds of an Irish Monastery or the green, green fields there;

eating some yummy Irish lamb stew or trying my first REAL Irish breakfast.
Or kissing the Blarney Stone

(not so likely as I prefer to not be dangling backwards over high places--

not that I've ever tried this feat, but it sounds SCARY).


Well, back to dreaming...

but before I go,

I just have to know---

how do you celebrate St Patrick's Day?

And while we are at it...do you believe in Leprechauns

and rainbows with a pot of gold at the end of them?

Blessings, Aimee

Links/resources to check out if you'd like:

(a blog I want to read more of---recipes, history, traditions, etc)

(Irish soda bread and other info)

(poem/prayer for protection, attributed to St Patrick)

(An older movie made in Ireland...my DH + I like old, classic movies.

Any ones old or newer you'd recommend?)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...