Happy St. Patrick's Day - with a fine Irish breakfast in Toronto to start the day
Well, THAT was tasty.
The fine folks at Tourism Ireland put on a crazy spread at The Bay's eighth floor cooking station this morning, all part of an attempt to showcase the great variety of Irish cuisine you can find on a visit to fair Eire. I was there for 10 days a year ago and the food, I'll concede, was marvellous. Fresh fish and beef and lamb and inventive cuisine of all sorts; a far cry from what folks might've expected a couple decades ago.
Mind you, food also has come a long way in England and in Wales, where I visited a year and-a-half ago. But I digress. This day is about Ireland and that wonderful St. Patrick, who gets more ink than just about all the other saints put together when you think about it.
The tourism folks today started things off with some bread pudding laced with Bailey's - yum - and also blood or black pudding and plenty of fresh fruit; blackberries, strawberries, melon and pineapple (must've come from the real SOUTH part of Ireland). They had a couple cooks on hand and made some fine brown bread and also fresh, creamy scones with currants, grilled kippers with a pad of butter on top and, best of all, potato cakes laced with cinnamon and nutmeg (I think) and topped with warm apple compote. The potato bit sounds weird but it was one of the tastiest breakfast items I've had in some time.
Oh, and I forgot the cheese. I didn't write down all of them but included on the plate was a Guinness cheddar and an Irish whiskey cheddar.
I'm supposed to deliver a talk on Ireland to the Ashbridge's Bay Yacht Club tonight and I gotta admit I'm nervous. I've never done anything like that before, although nobody who knows me has ever accused me of lacking in verbosity so I guess I'll manage.
Luckily, I'm slightly handy with a camera and Ireland is stunningly beautiful, so I'm hoping my photos will tell the story of my visit better than I can.