Will you be having the Full Irish?
When AAM and I visited Ireland two years ago, we stayed in a few hotels and enjoyed many breakfasts. Our favorite hotel was Number 31 in Dublin just off St. Stephen’s Green. Besides the amazing location, the owner, Noel, took one look at me and said, “Ah, so you are the Irish one, Maureen. You couldn’t be anything else.” He set the trend for the rest of our trip in Ireland, where everyone spoke to us through me, which I found hysterical, since in the US people always directly address AAM first. Upon finding out that I am a dual citizen and that we were on route to visit my cousins in my Nana’s hometown of Riverstown Sligo, Noel, moved us to a large suite. Of course, this made us huge fans of Noel. He also made for one of the most memorable breakfast recitations I have ever heard. The dining room sat on a sun porch of an old Georgian house, and you could hear the clatter of the house kitchen as Noel launched into his verbal menu, “Now will you being having the Full Irish– now that has fried egg, bacon, tomatoes, potato cake, and toast. We also have kippers, a mushroom fritatta, eggs benedict, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and we can always make you an omelet. Of course, we also have a buffet of cereals, breads, fresh fruit, juices, yogurt and cream.” You would hear him recite the entire menu in the same order, tempo, and of course the same kind tone. Two years later, we can never remember the entire list, but we often joke “Now, will you be having the full Irish?” After a day, Noel figured out I was a vegetarian, and altered his list stripping the Full Irish of the meat– good customer service!
I have never been a fan of the real Full Irish, which includes an odd bacon that would make any American stop eating meat– my sister detests it and I think she would be in bliss if she could have bacon everyday for the rest of her life. So, instead, I alter our Full Irish to include a more typically British breakfast item: Baked Beans. The past two weeks we have been reflecting on our trip, our sweet little Serafina’s first name comes from a queen buried on a small mountain overlooking my Nana’s home. Our trip up and down that mountain was a good indicator for the calm our future daughter would bring us. For some reason, a look at a picture of that hike reminded me of one the best mornings of my life, which opened the floodgates of memory of the amazing trip we had together.
Because of sweet Serafina, we won’t be able to return to Ireland for a little bit, but in between we can at least remind ourselves of that trip. For example, we recently watched two new Irish movies on our new Roku, The Secret of Kells and Ondine. This morning, after our calm Serafina slept in despite daylight savings, I broiled some tomatoes, cooked up some eggs and beans….and we had our vegetarian Full Irish in honor of Noel and Number 31.
Broiled Herb Tomatoes
- 1 package of grape tomatoes sliced
- 1 tb herbes de Provence
- 1 tb olive oil
- 1 tspn lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Turn on your broiler
- Mix the tomatoes, oil, herbs, and lemon juice in a ceramic oven proof dish
- Place under the broiler for 8-10 minutes (while you make your eggs, beans, and toast).