Treasures of Ireland:
Grazing on The 19th Green
Story and photos by Tom Weber
drivers, irons and putters, but ready to wield knives, forks and spoons,
the intrepid "band of merry media," 18 travel writers and
photographers invited by Insight
Vacations (Insight) to sample a portion of its Treasures
of Ireland itinerary, steps down off the motor coach, following
a scenic drive around the Ring
of Kerry, and heads straight up the path to a family-run B&B
that's just a lob wedge shot away from three of Killarney's championship
golf courses: The
19th Green Guesthouse.
"Céad míle fáilte!
One-hundred-thousand welcomes," a smiling Freda, the hostess, and
hubby John Sheehan, the chef, announce, while sons Dean, Ryan and Rocco
present us with plates of small bruschette drizzled in extra
virgin olive oil and topped with melted goat's cheese and sun-dried
tomatoes along with glasses of sparkling wine.
We're here at the 19th Green to be schooled
in the art of classic Irish cooking, and not to improve our putting
grips and stance.
Jovial John, a real cutup in the kitchen
he could do stand-up if he ever decides to hang up the apron
gets down to business straight away, entertaining this captive
audience clutching cameras.
"Irish cooking, authentic Irish cooking,"
John explains, "begins with the freshest of ingredients grown,
raised and harvested right here on the Emerald Isle." He adds,
"We call it farm-to-fork."
From the darne of salmon, the beef in the
homemade vegetable soup, the mushrooms in the béchamel, the toasted
barley oats in the cinnamon crumble and the creme fraiche are
all stamped: Products of Ireland. Take my word for it.
John demonstrates and narrates tonight's
dinner menu and when class is dismissed we "tuck in," as the
locals say, and enjoy the fruits of his labors. Care for a virtual nibble?
For complete information on Insight's 100+
premium and luxury-escorted journeys around Europe, including the Treasures
of Ireland, where there's always room at the table for food and
craic, just click HERE,
or call toll free 1-888-680-1241, or contact your travel agent.
With a relaxed start on the agenda for
tomorrow, I'll see you at nine bells on the motor coach when Eugene,
aka The Quiet Man, pilots our way through more of the scenic
Wild Atlantic Way, while Big Mike, our tour director/concierge/storyteller,
will, no doubt, narrate more tall tales as only an Irishman can.
Oíche mhaith (Good night).
Ring of Kerry; A
Jaunty-Good Ride Through Killarney National Park; Dinner
at Killarney; The
Rock of Cashel; The
Kilkenny Way; A
Donnybrook of a Feast