Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sausages, Banoffee Pie and Murphy's

Probably 60 percent of the photos I took over Easter weekend showed people sitting around a table. 
Breakfast first. I've always considered the English one as the benchmark but it' s a feeble effort compared to a full Irish breakfast. There's bacon and eggs of course, but also sausages, black pudding and potato farls which are a kind of cake. That's Gerry cooking the bangers in the Aga and Valerie making a large vat of soup for lunch. 

To nourish the work crew (that's a couple of them--new friends for us--chopping vegetables at the table) we also had Banoffee Pie. 

A new dish for us but go on the Internet and you'll find all the info you need to make it. This version began with a crumb crust base. On top of that went sliced bananas. Then the toffee layer. Simplicity itself. All you do is bang an unopened can of condensed milk into a pot of boiling water for three or four hours, let it cool and open it. (You definitely don't need to empty the condensed milk out or faff around with a bain-marie as one pernickety web recipe would have you do.) So toffee on top of the bananas and then, the icing on the cake, so to speak, a thick layer of whipped cream. Let me tell you, Irish cream is so thick that it's almost butter. See how it looks in that pavlova. 

The groaning table shows some of the dishes we made for the big party on Sunday night. The star elements were a beef stew and a sliced ham plus lots and lots of salads and side dishes. Then came the pavlovas and Gerry's apple pies which, not too sweet and dense with fruit, were probably the best we'd ever tasted.

Wine played a role in all this but, oddly, not Guinness. In this part of Ireland, it's a "foreign" drink. What you order is a pint of Murphy's which is what we did when we went to the village of Baltimore for the afternoon.

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