Irish clans are traditional family or kinship groupings that share a common surname and heritage. The Irish last names we bear so proudly are handed down to us from our fathers. So, I thought Father’s Day would be the perfect time to explore our Irish clans and crests. And to really help us celebrate Father’s Day, Brendan McCarey of Painted Clans, an artist based in County Monaghan, is offering a wonderful framed, single Irish crest, piece of artwork for one lucky reader to win….. Read more and enter the giveaway here by June 26th.
Irish people love floury potatoes. But once we leave our native shores, most people have no idea what on earth we are talking about when we ask for floury potatoes. And so, today I plan to answer the all important question… What is a floury potato?…. Read more here.
Summer is here and lemonade season is upon us. Every time I squeeze a lemon for juice, I smile and think of the old proverbial saying …”When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” What an encouraging, optimistic, can-do phrase, loved throughout America! Today let’s explore the origins of this phrase and let me introduce you to the Irish version of the lemonade philosophy…. Read more here.
Introducing Captain Cillian Plus A Fun Irish Giveaway For Kids
Captain Cillian is a friendly sailor from Ireland, who loves to explore the oceans with his mates. Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to this fun and educational Irish seafaring character for children. And good news! There’s a fun kid’s adventure pack giveaway at the end of today’s post. But first, let’s learn a little bit more about this friendly Irish sailor…. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
The Triads of Ireland refer to a collection of early Irish proverbs presented in threes. Here’s an example of an Irish triad … “Three things which justice demands: judgment, measure, conscience.” First compiled in the 9th century these usually wise words comprise three items that share a memorable trait….. Read more here.
Lissadell House is a magnificent Georgian home in County Sligo, where the Gore-Booth sisters, Constance and Eva, once passed their childhood summers. Despite her privileged upbringing, Constance played a pivotal role in the Easter Rising of 1916. Yeats, a frequent visitor to Lissadell penned a tribute to these sisters, a poem I vividly remember learning off-by-heart as a school girl in Dublin. Here’s a little snippet… Read more here.
This month Skellig Michael reopens for the summer season. This craggy island is ready to welcome tourists to climb its rocky steps, and to explore the ancient monastery built upon its stony ledges. Beehive huts and stone oratories, constructed by monks of olden days, have stood the test of time, and now bear witness to their builders’ self sacrifice and eagerness to live solitary and devout lives…… Read more here.
Last year we explored the history and cultural significance of Irish Famine Pots, the giant cast iron vessels created to cook massive volumes of soup to feed the starving Irish in 1847, the bleakest year of the Great Irish Famine. I’m delighted to report the completion of a new documentary film about the preservation and historical significance of these cast iron pots. Today, one lucky reader will have an opportunity to win a copy of this DVD…. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Dublin’s iconic Ha’penny Bridge turns 200 years young this week. The bicentenary of the opening of this ornate, metal, pedestrian bridge was celebrated on May 19th, 2016. And so, I thought today I might share some photos of this magnificent structure that elegantly spans the River Liffey, connecting the north side and the south side of my hometown, Dublin….. Read more here.
County Laois was once a center of Irish religious and cultural life. The ruins of old medieval stone castles dot the countryside, together with the isolated remains of once great monasteries. Laois is home to meandering country roads, picturesque villages and towns, lonely bog landscapes, red sandstone mountains and lush green pastureland. Why not join me on a photographic and informational tour of this beautiful inland county?…. Read more here.
When you think of stone circles, the mammoth monument at Stonehenge in England probably springs to mind. But did you know Ireland is home to many stone circles too? Today, I’m taking you on a photographic tour and a ramble around one such stone circle found near Glandore in County Cork. Drombeg is well worth a visit. But I know many readers may never make it there, so today sit back, and let me bring Drombeg to you….. Read more here.
Chocolate cake with absolutely no flour. This delicious chocolate roulade is a gluten free treat, and a favorite dessert in Ireland and the United Kingdom. And for anyone searching for a special cake to cook for mom as a Mother’s Day treat, this chocolate roulade should seriously be considered. For any mom’s who avoid gluten in their diet, this recipe only uses eggs, sugar, chocolate and cocoa powder in the light sponge roll, making it a go-to gluten free cake recipe…. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
Today, May 3rd 2016, marks one hundred years since Pádraig Pearse (1879-1916) was executed for his part in the Easter Rising of 1916. Today my thoughts turn to his mother, who not only lost Pádraig, but merely one day later lost a second son, Willie. As people all over the United States prepare to celebrate Mothers Day this coming Sunday, Pádraig Pearse’s eloquent poem,The Mother, comes to mind….. Read more here.
Muffins are my favorite, easy, grab-and-go breakfast at the weekend. I love to whip up a batch on Friday evening, to make sure I get a head start on Saturday morning mayhem, which usually reigns supreme in our house. When we wake up on Saturdays, we’ve usually hit that snooze button a few times too often, and immediately have to start running here, there and everywhere around the house looking for football boots, water bottles, basketballs, shin guards, tin whistles, and all the other paraphernalia four kids need for matches and activities. With blueberry muffins ready to go, at least I know breakfast is covered…. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
The River Shannon is Ireland’s longest river winding its way over 360 kilometers through fascinating landscapes and breathtaking scenery. It meanders through and between 11 of Ireland’s counties from where it rises in County Cavan. The River Shannon is a natural barrier between the east and the west of the Emerald Isle and on it’s banks you can explore ancient Ireland, and discover medieval and historical ruins…. Read more and explore the River Shannon through an interactive map.
Orphans by Joan Cusack Handler is an extraordinary memoir and a wonderful new Irish family narrative. But what truly makes this story exceptional is that Handler’s new book is a memoir in verse. As you my readers know, I love poetry and all the nuance, paradox and emotion conveyed by the magical manipulation of words. When I heard from Joan, a native of the Bronx, raised in an Irish family, I was captivated by the idea of a memoir in verse….. Read more here.
Mass Rocks stand scattered around the Irish countryside in out-of-the way, difficult-to-find places, their secretive locations chosen with a purpose. When the Penal Laws were enacted in 1695 making it illegal for Irish Catholics to practice their faith, they took to the hills and the mountains, to the forests and the caves in search of secretive spaces to gather and pray…. Read more here.
Today’s recipe is for Irish flapjacks. I know! My flapjacks look just like granola bars, and nothing like pancakes. But believe it or not, a flapjack in Ireland is a homemade oatmeal bar and in no way resembles a pancake. You say ‘granola bar’, and I say ‘flapjack.’ Oh my! Here’s one of those little culinary and cultural nuances between Ireland and America, I just love to explore…. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
Driving Ireland’s highways and byways is a feast for the eyes, as motorists pass by some magnificent works of art. I love Ireland’s roadside art displays. Some may disagree with me, considering them a distraction, but for me these motorway masterpieces add a little intrigue to every journey. Today I thought I’d share some of the shots I’ve taken over the years of Ireland’s roadside art, plus a few beauties I found online…… Read more here.
“My Ireland” is a place of love which invokes a deep sense of identity. “Mother Ireland”, as we so lovingly call her, will always influence my state of mind, no matter where I wander.
She instills in me a life-long feeling of connection. “My Ireland” is a collection of stories and memories that have shaped my life.
“Memories, converted into stories,
can become a monument of sorts
to the remembered.”
– Christy Kenneally
“My America” is a place of acceptance, which invokes a deep sense of pride. I have chosen to live in a small state in the heartland of America. In Kentucky, we live outside the limelight, and may not be considered part of “mainstream” America.
Here I present the stories and images of “My America” – Smokey Mountains, natural wonders, and great rural beauty. I have learned we are as integral a part of the ‘Real America’, as our more famous urban neighbors. Welcome to my American Dream.
Slán agus beannacht!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom