This used to be a much more epic day for me, but as a mom with three kids under three, I’m way too tired to drink alcohol or just do anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. I spent my junior year abroad in Ireland, and I would commemorate it each year by drinking Bulmers or Jameson and eating Irish food: shepherd’s pie, soda bread, or maybe even some fish and chips.
After discovering a postpartum, twin-induced gluten intolerance (this was a long road ending in begrudging acceptance), a lot of these foods have become unavailable to me, unless I am interested in feeling very ill; however, yesterday we decided to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, and I wracked my brain. What can I make that is super easy and mostly gluten free? An Irish breakfast!
Now let me tell you about my experience with a full Irish breakfast. When I lived in Ireland, my friends and I traveled all the time. We would fly RyanAir, the cheapest airline available, and we often had really odd flight hours. So more often than not, I’d be at the Dublin airport at 5am, waiting for my 6am flight. Sometimes I was still awake from the night before, and this was ALWAYS a bad decision.
So we’re in the airport, possibly inebriated, possibly hungover, possibly just so tired we’re dead on our feet. What do we need to wake (sober) us up? Breakfast! They usually had these buffet type breakfasts serving fried eggs, sausage, bacon, white & black pudding, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, fried potatoes, toast, and of course tea. Now you may have thought that the white and black pudding were dessert? No way! They’re more like sausage. White pudding is a combination of animal meat, fat, and oatmeal, and black pudding is the same thing with a little blood thrown in. I’m not even kidding. But to be fair, I’ve heard it’s quite delicious. I just wouldn’t know; I was a vegetarian back then.
What do we do now that we’ve finished breakfast, and we’re just waiting to board? Why not grab a drink at the bar? It may be 5am here, but it’s 5pm somewhere! And with a double Jameson on the rocks, my friends and I would chit chat about the impending expedition. Sometimes we were traveling to Rome to visit friends and see the Colosseum, or we were vacationing on the Dalmatian Coast, laying by the pool and drinking homemade grappa from a water bottle.
Either way, the Irish breakfast continually provided fuel for an imminent adventure, and it was with this spirit that we enjoyed our meal, curious and excited about the future.