Full Irish Breakfast

Do you know what you will get if you had just ordered a Full Irish Breakfast? No? You think so? Yes? Depending on the location and/or the tradition/s of the individual (restaurant owner’s) family, the ingredients can vary quite a bit. Some food is more, some is less accepted by its receiver. If you are to discuss this issue you will run into all sorts of people who have all sorts of different opinions about it. Just do a search online and you will see 😉

So I’m going to give you a list of a couple of things — and add a comment here and there to explain…

  • Baked Beans Some say they are a part of the breakfast while others don’t like them on their plate in the early hours but would eat them for a Fry (Keep on reading, I’ll explain). Than there are those who would argue that beans belong to a Full English Breakfast only.  
  • Black Pudding and/or White Pudding, fried in a pan. Most Irish would agree that “pudding” is an essential for breakfast.
  • Mushrooms some say that there is absolutely no need for mushrooms to be on the plate.
  • Potatoes Now this turned out to be a real challenge for me. Some ask for Hash Browns while others say: “Absolutely not!” and demand that only the original Irish Potato Bread/Farls are supposed to go onto the plate. Then there are those who would rather want a Boxty (Irish Potato Pancake) for breakfast. Imagine, even chips (french fries) must have made their way on the plate before — at least in one or the other restaurant up North.
  • Rashers fried, or better yet, barbecued.
  • Sausages All I have asked agreed: without the sausages it wouldn’t be a true Irish Breakfast.
  • Toast/Bread  While some are okay with the slice of toast, others won’t go for anything less than the Irish Soda Bread.
  • Tomatoes What’s their function? Are they there to eat, for decoration purposes only, or something to leave on the plate? Not sure about that…

Leaves us with the question: What’s a Fry? If the Full Irish Breakfast isn’t served in the morning but, let’s say, between 5pm and 6pm, it would be called a Fry instead.

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What Would You Miss the Most

If you are already living in Ireland, my question to you is: What do you miss most? What are some of the things you’d wish you could enjoy in Ireland, too?

I miss the Feldwege (farm lanes) a lot. We used to walk for hours on these in Germany. They are great for walking the dog/s. Some of them are in the middle of farmer fields or woods, others are next to a road leading from one small town to the other. I also miss listening to church bells ringing, especially around Christmas time… Then I miss a few areas we have visited while still living in Germany — areas like the Black Forrest or Reutte and others.

Yes, there are also some foods we are missing now and then. Sometimes we’ll get a parcel from our family in Germany, at other times we’ll order some from one or the other online store.

Next month, my school friend is coming over and she has already asked for a list of things we would like to have. She mentioned that she has booked a 20kg suitcase to bring along. Whoaw! Let’s start thinking of all the things she could bring along… 😛

If you are not yet living in Ireland but planning on moving here, perhaps you should start making a list of things you want to bring along?

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One Of Those Days and Surprises From Germany

Except for Monday, it had been one of those days… all week long. At the moment, I’m taking a forced break from baking more Christmas biscuits.

Last weekend one of my dogs started limping again. Since about two years this happens now and then. It might have to do with his age a little but I think it is more likely due to the recent drop of temperature and the wet weather. Those of you who have pets know how hard it is to watch them being in discomfort. (Yes, no worries, I have taken him to the vet and he is now on medication.)

What happened Monday? Remember what I have said in my post Advantages Of Online Shopping?

There are things we would love to have, we sort of miss, things that remind us of Germany – things that we order online and receive by post. 

Well, Monday we received another surprise parcel from Germany. No, not an order but something my sister-in-law bought for us and sent over. What a treat!

This was the second parcel from Germany within a short period of time. A little while ago my mother-in-law had sent us a parcel filled with Nippons (yummy rice cakes covered with milk chocolate), a baking dish and a couple of other things.

How did that feel? It was so exciting and felt a little bit like Christmas🎄had already arrived.

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Christmas Biscuits

I went grocery shopping on Tuesday and bought quite a few extra items. Can you guess what for?

Yes, you are right: baking! Baking what? Christmas biscuits or cookies as the American would call them.

Isn’t November a bit early to start baking? Well, yesterday somebody asked me if I’m mad 🙂 However, my grandma and her two sisters always baked their biscuits weeks before Christmas. My mom used to say that these goodies taste much better before than after the holidays. So maybe it’s in the family? I find that with only 7 1/2 more weeks to go, it’s about time to start. 😉

I started with a batch of 40 Spitzbuben (the ones with the jam) on Tuesday.

These are quite common Weihnachtsplätzchen (Christmas biscuits) in Germany. My grandaunts would have made these every year. So delicious! Baking this kind of biscuits brought back lovely childhood memories.

When do you usually start baking for Christmas? Do you have favourites? Do you enjoy baking for friends and family?

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Advantages Of Online Shopping

It’s fun going places during the summertime. I don’t mind driving to the next town when the weather is nice. However, during wintertime I prefer to stay at home as much as possible. That’s the time for me to order groceries and have them delivered to my doorstep. 😛

In Groceries Delivered I’ve told you that, while we were yet living in Dublin, I’ve often placed an order at Tesco and/or Superquinn to have it delivered to our door. We didn’t own a car back then and the deliveries were such tremendous help. They saved us money not spent on bus tickets and we were spared from having to carry home the heavy items.

Another thing we save when shopping online is time. It takes time to drive to the stores and back. It also takes up a lot of time, looking for the items and, if they aren’t available there, searching for alternatives or having to drive to another store to find them. I noticed that, even to get a weekly shopping done, I will usually spend 3-4 hours outside the home while I could be loading the virtual shopping trolley in under an hour. Delivery? That’s no problem and done within 10-15 minutes!

Well, having things like eggs, flour, milk and honey brought to your doorstep might not be that thrilling but it does have its advantages. On the other side, it’s exciting to receive something you’ve ordered by courier, isn’t it? Even if it’s just a certain kind of chocolate or an unique kind of soap, we can’t wait for the parcel to arrive, can we? There are things we would love to have, we sort of miss, things that remind us of Germany – things that we order online and receive by post. Now that is exciting and sometimes unpacking the items even feels a little bit like Christmas… 😉

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Vets

It was time for Missy to get her annual booster, so we drove up to Dublin on Monday.

“You are driving all the way up to Dublin just to visit the vet?”

“Yes.”

“Why? Can’t you find one here?”

We just happened to live in Tallaght, Co. Dublin first before moving to the South East of Ireland later on. Back then we didn’t own a car and that’s why we needed a vet within walking distance. Our friend highly recommended a veterinary practice to us. We thought we’ll give it a try.

A few years back our sheepdog hurt his dew claw and needed surgery done. I tell you, I was so nervous! It was Rapsy’s first time to lie on the operating table. We went to the Animal Hospital and they handled things quite well.

I find it comforting, while I’m a bit of a nervous wreck because of something that happened to my dog/s, the vet remains calm and explains every detail to me. A vet should also explain the steps of how to care for the pet. Then, of course, you don’t want just the sole medical advice but also want the vet to see things from your (the pet’s owner) point of view.

“If it would be my dog I would/wouldn’t…”

I’m thinking of another time, when Rapsy became quite ill. My nervousness during the dew claw incident was nothing compared to the one that hit me when I didn’t know if my dog would continue to live and be healthy again or would have to be put down in the near future. Because time had not been an issue back then, I was able to drive to Dublin for the treatment.

You might or might not find a good vet in short distance to where you live. About half of Ireland’s population and facilities are in Dublin — some more are spread all over the country. The chance that you will find a specific vet or animal hospital is higher in the capital. In emergency cases you might have enough time to drive to Dublin but it’s best to find yourself a good one close by as well.

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Storm Callum

About this time last year (16th October 2017) ex-hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland. This year a storm called Callum is on its way. A status orange weather warning has been issued for all coastal counties, a status yellow for the other counties in Ireland. People are advised that high winds (gusts of up to 130km/h in this case) can be dangerous especially around coastal areas.

Once a storm warning has been issued: take it seriously, make necessary preparations inside and outside the house, and take extreme care while driving on the roads.

Preparations

Around the house and in the garden: Are there any objects which could be taken up by the wind and swirled around? Move them into the shed, into the house or into the garage. Remember the bins, too! Put them down on the ground or, if they are empty, put them into the shed or into the house. Think of garden furniture, flower pots and all lightweight objects: secure them or, if there is enough room for them, bring them into the house.

Check your supply and buy: batteries, candles, gas bottle/s (heater, hob), food cans and water bottles – be prepared in case of a power outage. Good thing to charge and keep phones and other gadgets charged all the time.

Drive very cautiously: Keep control over your car and watch ahead and stay alert. Expect spot flooding, high winds (especially from the side), fallen debris on the road and beware of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

Be careful while walking: wear hi-viz / bright clothing! Watch out for sudden gust that could blow you unto the road or knock you over. Think about your pets, too. When walking your dog be aware that he might be a little beside himself.

Looking back to 2017, I find that Ophelia hasn’t been as bad as we had expected it to be. However, storm Brian, which hit the isle just a few days later, did a lot of damage and brought spot flooding along with it. By the way, I’ve published two posts at my AbleToPerform blog. One is called Storm Coming In and is about Ophelia, the other is called Blown Away and shares a few thoughts about how Brian destroyed something that I had to let go…

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