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Folk Festivals, Friends, and Food

Posted Oct 13 2009 10:06pm

Hello fabulous people!

It looks like today’s post is all about those F’s! Hah! If you are just interested in the food, skip down to the bottom. If you want to hear all about some adventures, keep reading!

Today was RAINY. Oh my goodness. I woke up at 2:30 (for whatever reason) and it was raining. When I woke up at 7:00 (to actually get up), it was raining. At 8:30, I left my apartment to walk to school, and it was raining. 10:00 came, I walked out of my lecture hall to find that yes, it was still raining. I had a 4 hour break between classes, and it rained the entire time. It maintained its drizzliness while walking back to UCC. On the way there… I was splashed by a car. It was sort of unavoidable, but it made me wet and cold for the next hour and a half. 4 o’clock rolled around, and I left my practical to more rain. I’ve been home for a few hours and ITS STILL RAINING. Yes, I know this is Ireland, the land of eternal rain, but this desert girl just isn’t used to it!

Okay, weekend re-cap! In my last post, I know I mentioned that the Beamish Folk Festival was this weekend. I took advantage of it both Saturday and Sunday, and I have several wonderful memories from it!

On Saturday, a few of us met up to go to the Grand Parade – a large street/square about half a mile away from our apartment. Supposedly, there was supposed to be ‘Fun, Food, and Entertainment’. We certainly had fun, but we made it ourselves! It was a rather dreary day, so not many people showed up. There were a variety of food stands though – it reminded me somewhat of a fair in the states. There were the typical stands – donuts, crepes, and meats – but there were also some pretty special ones! These included gourmet bakery stands, a Mediterranean stand offering pitas with either kebobs or hummus, and preserves stands. We were wandering down the Parade, just taking in all the sights and sounds, when we saw this:

Hes My Hero

He' s My Hero

So. Many. Flavors.

So. Many. Flavors.

Fudge. That’s right. In every flavor imaginable: tiger butter, caramel vanilla swirl, vanilla, chocolate vanilla swirl, chocolate mint, chocolate orange, chocolate banana, banatoffee vanilla rum raisin, caramel whiskey toffee raisin, chocolate nut, maple nut…. The list goes on forever! The “Man of Aran” also offered jelly beans, toffee cracks (hard toffee), and Turkish Delight! The three main ingredients? Sugar, cream and butter. Sugar = fear food. Cream and butter = fear foods and not so good for this lactose-intolerant vegetarian. However, the two friends I was with bought some, and pushed me into getting some myself. I bought this lovely pack:

Vanilla Rum Raisin, Whiskey Toffee Raisin, Chocolate Banana, and Chocolate Orange.

Vanilla Rum Raisin, Whiskey Toffee Raisin, Chocolate Banana, and Chocolate Orange.

Because of the whole lactose intolerant/I am strongly leaning toward just becoming a vegan outright, I haven’t touched it yet. I think I’ll sample all four, just because they sound AMAZING, and then donate them to my lovely fudge-loving friends.

After hitting up the fudge store, we headed to the actual grocery store to get some needed things, which for me included some mushrooms, cauliflower, and strawberries. We headed home, cooked dinner, and had a ‘communal meal’. My friend Nicole said it was like a potluck – only you just bring food for yourself. After that, headed out to see a movie – Fame!

I can’t comment as to how it compares with the original, but I loved it! I admit, I didn’t think I would, as normally that kind of ‘dance/sing success’ movie bores me (Yup. I admit it), but there was something about Fame that drew me in completely! Was it pretty unrealistic? Absolutely. Did I really care? Nope. Did it have some pretty good beats? Yeppers. Do I recommend it? YES.

After the movie, we headed home. I was pretty tired, so I went to bed. Boring, I know. But I’m an old lady after 10 pm. Seriously. I am terrible at staying up. I am going to have to work on that if I want to go out at all!

On Sunday, the Céilí Mor was held on the Grand Parade. Célií dancing is set dancing, traditionally held in dance halls. It came into of fashion in the 1830’s due to a silly law that banned music from private residences, only allowing it in parish halls. In 2005, a world record was broken when over 7000 people danced a set called ‘The Siege of Ennis’. Luckily, we had learned this one in my Music programme, so my friends and I went in to dance it again! I and the other girl in our group who was in my programme taught those in our group who didn’t know it, and we had a grand old time! After dancing that one, we ‘learned’ the Kerry Set – there are 8 different dances in the set, and I think we did about 5 of them with out too much trouble. However, those other 3 gave us some trouble! Oh well, we had a grand ol’ time.

Me, and my dancing partner Samm

Me, and my dancing partner Samm

By the time dinner rolled around, I was pretty hungry from all that dancing! I cooked up a lovely stirfry with soba noodles, similar to the recipe that I posted a little while back. We had another communal meal and it was lovely – for the first time in the month and a half I’ve been here, I felt that I really connected with someone. Well, in this case, two someones. We had a very spirited, deep conversation on subjects ranging from philosophy, music, and art, to politics, science (including geology!), and our plans for the future. I loved it. I am just so thankful, so blessed to have found these girls!

Mondays are one of my busiest days – I have three classes and a practical. I’ve discovered the secret of surviving the 1st year course: sit in the front! I ended up sitting next to a nice bloke who is a little older than me – he is going back to school for a second degree. Next to him were some more adults, all of who were nice as well. I guess I’m just going to sit in front for the rest of the year! I’ve found some friends in both my Geophysics class and my Mineralogy class – some kids from the GeoSociety, one of whom will take over my position as Public Relations Officer in the spring.

Between my first two classes, I went to the Student Center to read and eat my lunch. I packed a yogurt/fruit/cereal parfait, and a Primal Strip meatless jerky strip. I sat down, when suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder to find my lecturer from my first two classes standing there! She was leading an advising session, and invited me to join! The kids were all first years (including the nice bloke I sat next to that morning), and they were all pretty neat. Although the ‘advising’ didn’t help me at all, given the fact that I only am taking one of the same classes as they are, but it was kind of fun. Also – I love that lecturer, so I was fine with it.

On the way home, I stopped by the English Market to find a pumpkin! Yay! I’ve been so envious of everyone’s lovely pumpkin concoctions, from the various oatmeal wonders (Like Maya and Eliza ’s, Evan ’s, and Diana ’s ) to things like Pumpkin Chili from Caroline and Mitri ’s Bulgar Pumpkin Pie. Pumpkin is something I enjoy year round (yay Libby ’s), but it still has a very strong connection to autumn for me. I suppose it hasn’t really hit me that it IS fall since I haven’t had my pumpkin. Time to fix that!

I got home and stuck it in the oven to roast it. I pulled it out when I started cooking dinner. When my dinner was about 2/3 done, I began peeling the pumpkin skin off, and threw a little bit in. So good! After eating, I finished peeling the pumpkin, and stuck in in a container. I’ve already used it twice:

Pumpkin Teriyaki Stir Fry with Soba Noodles

  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup chopped marrow squash
  • 1/3 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 serving soba noodles.
  • 2 TBSP Teriyaki marianade
  1. Put some water on to boil for the soba noodles. When boiling, add the noodles and cook 8-9 minutes (depending on brand, type, etc)
  2. In a large skillet, saute the garlic in a little cooking spray (or oil, if you choose). Add all the vegetables (except the pumpkin) and 1 TBSP teriyaki – cover.
  3. Let cook over low-med heat for 7-10 minutes, until cauliflower is almost done. Add pumpkin, and cook until everything is done.
  4. Add the rest of the teriyaki, and enjoy!

Pumpkin Stirfry with Teriyaki

Pumpkin Stirfry with Teriyaki

Hot, fresh, and full of flavor.

Hot, fresh, and full of flavor.

From the fork.... to my belly. :)

From the fork.... to my belly. :)

This post is getting ridiculously long, so I won’t bother with detailing another recipe. You all know how to make oats. I used porridge oats, water, soymilk, banana, roasted pumpkin, raisins (with Katie ’s trick) and tons of spices.

Yum yum yum

Yum yum yum

Mmmkay… off to do some research on the Oct 8, 2005 Kashmir earthquake. I’m excited. :)

Don’t forget about Julie’s SWEET giveaway. :)

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