Pancake Day

This coming Tuesday, the 5th March 2019, is Pancake Day, also called Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday — in German Faschingsdienstag. But do we really need a certain day to enjoy fluffy pancakes? Probably not. Americans like to have them for breakfast. The ones you will find throughout the US are a little thicker and slightly smaller than the ones in this recipe, though. Also, these pancakes are made out of whole wheat flour instead of plain white flour.

Ingredients*

3 medium eggs dash of salt 300ml milk (1 1/4 cups) 200g whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups) oil/butter to fry

Blend**

  • eggs with a dash of salt
  • add milk (blend again)
  • add flour (blend again, first on low speed, then on high speed)

Fry

In a frying pan melt 1-2 tsp of butter/oil. Over medium heat fry each pancake for about 2-4 minutes on each side.

Keep warm

Preheat oven to about 100°C (210°F). Stack pancakes on a baking sheet. OR Place fried pancakes on a dinner plate, cover with same size dinner plate.

* Makes about 6-8 salad-plate-sized pancakes. **I usually use a blender to mix the ingredients; works well for this amount of servings.

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Travel Time

Plan enough time when you travel by car in Ireland. The road network isn’t always that great everywhere. If possible, stay on the main roads.

The M1-M4, M6-M9, M11, M17-M18, M20 and the M50 (45km half circle around Dublin) are all Motorways with an average speed limit of 120km/h. The others of the Irish road system are:

  1. N- National (primary N1-N50 and secondary N51-N99) roads
  2. R- plus three-digit number (R100 to R999) are Regional Roads, country roads which are usually (but not always 😉 ) wider and have a speed limit  of 80km/h to 100km/h. Note, though, that even though you are allowed to drive that fast, it isn’t always advisable to do so.
  3. L- plus four-digit or five-digit number (L1000 to L8999 and L10000 to L89999) are Local Roads, meaning these are link roads leading to villages and houses. On many of them you are allowed to drive up to 80km/h but beware that they can be quite treacherous, very narrow, winding and it is very hard to see ahead of what is coming toward you (including pedestrians and cyclists).

When driving in Ireland keep in mind that the “big roads” lead from and to Dublin. The roads between these bigger ones aren’t as wide and straight and using them it will take longer to get from point A to point B.

 

 

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Perfect Timing for NCT, Car Insurance and Tax

Last year we went too early to get the NCT done. It wouldn’t have been due until the end of April but we thought we could schedule an appointment and get it over with. Later on we’ve found out that going too early will result in an early due date for the NCT. Instead of 14 months (February until April) we’ve only had 12 months until this year’s test. In short, we’ve actually lost two months. Be careful not to schedule your appointment too soon.

Having said that, we are pleased it had worked out this way. Why? Now we have the perfect timing for the test and the following payments:

1 NCT comes first. Which means, as soon as the car passes we will be able to drive it for another year. If not, we would have to get it fixed or get another car. However, the date for the NCT remains the same (comes first) for this car as long as we won’t take it there too soon.

2 With the car being accepted to drive on the road for another year we can then get insurance for it. If it wouldn’t have passed we would be paying for a policy we might no longer need. Yes, the payment could be used toward the next car but only limited and along with more effort.

3 Next up is the car tax which can be paid annually, quarterly or monthly. You can save quite a few euros if you’ll pay it in full, once a year. But if you do and the car is taken off the road or sold later on that year, you will have lost money. You won’t get reimbursed for what you have paid ahead of time.

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