A short while ago I shared news about the World Irish Stew Championship being organized in County Sligo this week as part of the Gathering initiative.
On a whim I entered my recipe for Guinness Beef Stew. Believe it or not, my recipe was chosen for the homecook's portion of the competition. I was completely amazed and thrilled. I'll be flying to Dublin today and then traveling to Sligo to compete.
The Beauty of County Sligo
A trip to Ireland to cook a stew is definitely a prize beyond my wildest dreams.
I couldn't believe my luck when my husband's work schedule cooperated, allowing him be off to take care of our four little ones. And into the bargain I will be visiting Sligo, one of the most scenic counties in all of Ireland.
When I was a little girl we visited Sligo for a short family break one weekend. We stayed at a hotel on Rosses Point, beside a spectacular sandy beach overlooking Sligo Bay.
When we reached the hotel I discovered I had forgotten my suitcase. My two sisters wore their trendy 1970's maxi dresses to dinner at night. I wore practical corduroy pants with a red sweater my mother bought in Sligo. All weekend other guests assumed I was the boy of the family.
And that's not the only time I reached my destination without sight nor light of my suitcase. Most people can blame their airline for such incidents, but in my case it's usually some silly oversight on my part.
On our trip to Ireland two years ago, I once again arrived without my suitcase. Unfortunately my bag has very sensitive rollers. It only needs the slightest touch to glide across a hardwood floor.
As my husband grabbed bags from a stack of six awaiting loading, a slight nudge caused my bag to slide away and topple over behind the bed.
And there it lay, all forlorn hiding in the bedroom awaiting my return. And there I stood, with nothing but the clothes on my back when I arrived in Ireland.
Lucky for me I have two sisters living in Ireland. I felt like a teenager as I raided their wardrobes. Don't worry, I didn't find those trendy 70's maxis.
My bag is now packed for my trip. Let's all say a prayer it makes the journey all the way across the pond to Ireland. This time I plan to arrive in Sligo with a suitcase and a change of clothes to my name.
Photos of Ireland
I promise to take lots and lots of photos of Ireland to share with you this week. Keeping my fingers crossed a little bit of sunshine will break through the clouds to illuminate some good shots.
In the meantime, please excuse me if I don't add very many new posts this week. I have a few stories prepared to share, but posting them will depend on internet connection at my destination. The beautiful town of Sligo is well worth a visit.
And so during this first week of May, the Kentucky Derby won't be the highlight for this Louisville girl. Instead of focusing on horses, I'll be cooking stew in Ireland.
Thanks so much for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade