Thursday, April 30, 2009


I'm not attempting to be a party pooper here....but people, CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE really isn't traditionally Irish ! Well of sorts. Corning beef was a way of salting beef long ago to preserve it. Again, the great City of Cork, (my hometown) was famous for its production of Corned Beef in the 1600's -1825. It was exported all over the world, mostly in cans. Beef was traditionally served as a delicacy,so ham (gammon) or bacon was more common in Ireland. In the mid 1800's when the Irish emigrated,they looked around for a similar bacon joint,couldn't find one and discovered Jewish Corned Beef. This was closer in texture. This is where the tradition of Corned Beef and Cabbage began.
Now SALMON, thats a whole different story. That is very common in Ireland. I qute literally grew up on this and loved it. It was always wild salmon and not farmed salmon. Big difference. Of course the famous BLACKWATER flowed right through Cork,onto Waterford entering the Atlantic via Youghal harbour. It originated in Kerry. This is the delight for Salmon fishermen.
Last Sunday I made salmon for my family and again used it in a completely different way on Monday. Thats being frugal !!!

So here it is"
Sunday: I grilled a salmon in fresh lemons,sea salt (a little) bay leaves and peppercorns. This we had with a nice salad.
Monday: SALMON CAKES......My kids LOVED THEM
You will need:

Mashed Potatoes
Cold Grilled Salmon
Cayenne Pepper
Green onions finely chopped
Bread Crumbs & Crushed Cornflakes

Chop up the salmon , in a bowl and add mashed potato,chopped green onions,cayenne pepper.
Mold into a ball then roll in bread crumbs & crushed cornflakes. Next lightly fry in olive oil,turning occassionally. Serve with mesculin mix. I also like to serve some Irish Soda Bread with this. Enjoy

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Going to bed with worry on your mind,stress,your next move etc can take its toll. I know only all too well !
Exciting as it is, running your own business, it comes with all the other baggage you would rather do without !

So last Friday,this 5ft 8 Red Head decided to take yoga a little more seriously.
It was WONDERFUL. So much so that I felt it necessary to return Saturday morning to a "Hip Opener " class.

I learned that yoga taught me so much about my business or rather how to cope with stress. I don't mean relax, I mean I LEARNED a lot.

1) By exhaling with absolute and definite sound/noise , you are in fact ridding yourself of the buyer who was un-neccessarily rude to you, the lost package, the unpaid bill, the customer who has folded etc. At first I felt ridiculous !! Everyone else was doing it so I did it more and more and then found I didn't want to stop.!!

2) During one of the poses (don't ask me which one !) Suze, our instructor told us to hum, or at the very least to make a vibrating noise in our throat. This is really good for your heart. When you do this, you release Nitric Oxide. This is essential for healthy blood flow. It feels really really silly at first but really really good!

3) One of the people in the class gave Suze a glaring look as she did not like the pose and she simply said to her "Your look is bouncing off me, I'm in a bubble" Great advice. Acknowledge,how you are feeling during that sticky situation and then let it pass on by.

4) Hip Openers.....ow !! Boy did I have vivid dreams !! I had to remain in some pretzel like position for 5 mins. It was so uncomfortable (not painful) that I was about to stop and take a rest when as if by witchcraft Suze came and stood by me and said that we were to acknolwdge the discomfort we were feeling and to continue to feel it...just like in life we want to run away from feeling unpleasant or uncomfortable feelings. We prefer pleasure. Of course! This time we need to stay in the moment,feel the discomfort,face it ,if you will, then when its over we enjoy the pleasure. This is my goal for the next few weeks..........Facing my DISCOMFORTS in my business...feeling them,dealing with them and then moving on to the next adventure.

Friday, April 17, 2009


1- Spiced Beef is a very traditional dish , especially around Christmas Time in Cork. I loved it so much that when I lived in London,I decided to make it myself. Saltpetre is a must for this. Of course only available in chemists as it also used for making explosives. So here I was, an Irish woman,in the height of the IRA bombings looking for SALTPETRE in London ! "Honest,I want to cook with it "

2- I asked my teacher Sr Rosario, when she was giving us the talk about vocations what to look out for if we thought we wanted to become a nun. She told me, if I thought God was calling me, to run away! Refused by the convent at a time when nuns were in extremely short demand!

3- My mum was very determined that we read a lot. Quotes were also very important as she thought they would be of great use for essay writing. I found an old book in a box in the garage. I found a quote and decided to learn it and impress her. Boy did I impress her....
" A man in the house is worth two on the street" Mae West.

4- In English class the teacher asked us to use gossamer in a sentence. I did. I said it was found in a little packet , often in your medicine cabinet . Again, I had no idea what it was but upon revealing to my mother that I had announced this in Catholic school she was horrified.!!!

To put the record straight,she had been given them by a doctor after child number 4 and never used them !!!!!!!

5- On holiday in Ardmore,Co Waterford, my friend and I had been out late one night. Lets just say a little TOO late! Sneaking back in without anyone hearing us was short lived. I discovered that bats like to use the eaves of our porch !

Monday, April 13, 2009


Real Ireland....My Real Ireland.........
I was educated by the nuns, the Ursuline nuns to be more precise. I can remember each and every one of them like it was yesterday ! One nun in particular was called Sr Rosario. We called her "Sarge" as she walked like a Seargent ! Bless her heart. She was indeed a kind and sweet lady.
Its a little difficult to be taught by nuns that also taught your mother before you, especially if your'e mother was a good student and was always well behaved ! Yes, that was me. Sarge had also known my mum.....
The day came when Sarge talked to our class about vocations. Here we all were listening intently about joining the convent. I could think of nothing less that I would like to do. However,if god was calling you then you had to listen. She talked about hearing his call and that you must do his will. Now I was confused. I didn't want to be a nun. But,if God was calling me,being a good catholic, I just couldn't refuse. How did I know if he were calling me ? I knew it wasn't going to be an invitation in the mail !
I waited until after class. I was racked with guilt at knowing I couldn't ignore his call but now all my plans for the future were going up in smoke ! I asked Sarge how I would know. What were the signs? I knew the catholic church was in desperate need of fresh blood.
Sarge told me this........
"If you THINK you hear God calling.... he's away"
She said this with a knowing wink and smile.......I think she knew me only all too well !!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy" I just love this quote courtesy of William Butler Yeats !

I think I can identify with this all too well. We have such a long history of tough times. Even St Patrick had tough times ! Back then he was quietly minding his own business when NIALL OF THE NINE HOSTAGES,KING OF IRELAND,decided to kidnap he and his 2 sisters from the United Kingdom and bring them to Ireland as slaves. My family tree points to this very King !

So are some of us just better at enduring really tough times than others? This surely is a rhetorical question. I personally like to take the NIKE approach to everything....Just do it !
What is the worst that happens from trying something? it doesn't work? or its just another stepping stone to reach your destination. These are exciting times. People can re invent themselves,clean house,get rid of the old,bring on the new. Our kids can learn from us and we in turn can learn from ourselves. St Patrick,who was originally living in Pagan Ireland as a slave obviously would agree with me..............!


Today,I decided to join THE FABULOUS WOMAN NETWORK....Check it out on the link above

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


My father always said that the people that lived next door to the church had a tendency to be late for mass !!! I knew what he was saying...he was right. You take it for granted sometimes when it is right on your doorstep!
Now that I live in Dallas, I would love to have somewhere like KINSALE to take my kids to.
Sunday afternoon drives were extremely popular in my house when I was a kid. Dad,Mum my two sisters,my brother and myself begrudgingly piled in to the back of a four door sedan and drove 20minutes (often in the rain) to nearby Kinsale. Moaning and complaining that we had to spend even more time together, we drove to historic and beautiful KINSALE. As if like puppy dogs,upon arrival at CHARLES FORT,my father opened the car door and let us run ! He probably couldn't wait to get rid of us ! CHARLES FORT is a fine example of a 17th Century Star shaped Fort.
Now,KINSALE is the culinary capital of Ireland,with its numerous award winning restaurants. The town is twinned with ANTIBES (South of France). For golfers,THE OLD HEAD OF KINSALE is a must,with its majestic views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Kinsale is full of historical buildings,cobbled streets,wonderful pubs and restaurants and magnificent scenery.
Oh how I wish now that I lived next to the church !.............

Saturday, April 4, 2009


A dull miserable morning here in Dallas, reminding me of the weather I was only all too familiar with in Ireland. I remember setting off to school on my bike ,with my school bag strapped to the back of my bike. Without warning , ten minutes into the journey,the heavens would open ...........I worried about my books and my lunch getting wet,and of course they did !
I wore a royal blue skirt made from gaberdine and a wool royal blue sweater. Well, you can only imagine the smell from wet wool ! Oh,these were the days. The days that build strength and endurance,I suppose. No cars for us when we turned 16 ! Now we could ride our bikes to school or take the bus.

The number 7 bus schedule was always in my pocket. This was the bus that passed through Douglas to the City Center. I took this bus almost every Saturday when I met my friends in town. We browsed through the shops on Patrick Street. Roches Stores Department store,which is no more,was a firm favourite,along with 'The Moderne' 'Benetton' and 'Easons'. We would meet at the 'Queens Old Castle' which was a shopping arcade and have coffee there. Seriously,coffee and tea !! Hard to imagine in this day and age !!

Patrick Street as I knew it has changed quite a bit since then. Change of course happens all around us. Several streets have been pedestrianised and there is a spectacular array of shops and restaurants. The traditional street buskers still remain,and the buses still pass through. It is still as vibrant a city today as it was in my day,even in the rain....................!!!