Ireland Day 6.

We couldn’t tear ourselves away from Dingle’s First Cottage. The conversation was as amazing as the breakfast. When we finally stopped drinking tea to depart, we decided to drive around the Ring of Dingle before the famous Ring of Kerry. If I had one thing to tell future tourists, it would be to spend more time in Dingle and skip the Ring of Kerry.

This is Brandon Beach.

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I don’t think that there are any fish there.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.17.55 PMNot that I was looking for fish or thinking about fly fishing.
Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.17.48 PMBut the views were incredible all around the Dingle area.
Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.17.24 PMThe wildlife was ferocious.
Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.17.36 PMWe continued on to this enormous and empty beach which I can only imagine is packed in the summer.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.32.09 PMJust more beautiful views. We didn’t expect blue skies and big empty beaches on this trip.Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.31.54 PMOver a few semi-sketchy mountain passes. The two lane roads are what we would call bike paths.Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.31.22 PMThis was definitely not a fishing trip.Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.31.47 PMWhich is a good thing because I don’t know if I could find a place to give it a go.Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.31.40 PMThere may have been one or two spots we could have fished. We stopped and looked at this place for probably a bit too long.

The upper Caragh River is famous for it’s salmon/trout fishing and is one of Europe’s cleanest rivers. It is nestled at the foot of the McGillicuddy Reeks. It flows through Ireland’s most beautiful nature reserves in the heart of County Kerry. Permits can be arranged. Boat hire is available for free fishing on Caragh Lake. Michael O’Shea, fishery manager (+353 87 2213835) or visit www.safiex.com” Unfortunately, we did not stay here. We stopped, watched people fish, and drove away with small tears in my eyes.
Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 6.37.41 PMThen we ended our day (like most days) with an amazing pub dinner. This one courtesy of the Ring of Kerry Hotel.Dinner

Spring is here.

Just another reason why the northwest is great. I got to hang out at a farm during lambing season and then pick mussels to make for dinner that night.Screen shot 2014-03-08 at 10.10.11 AMSure the fishing isn’t so great out here, but this is making explore other outdoor options. At least I got to be on the water.Screen shot 2014-03-08 at 10.10.27 AMSomeone was happy with the result. I hear that they were delicious.Screen shot 2014-03-08 at 10.10.39 AM

Cheap food, not fast food.

I am constantly hearing that it is cheaper to eat from a fast food value menu than it is to eat food from a grocery store. I don’t believe it. This is a fantastic article from Reddit.

HOW TO EAT WHEN TIMES ARE VERY TIGHT

Q: I need to eat very cheaply until I can find more work. So I need your help. Should I just eat crappy cheap noodles every meal? Or can I eat better and a bit healthier for not much more cost?

A: The trick to mundane food that is purely for cheap nourishment is to make it different every time, and eat it at a pretty place.

first: eat it at a pretty place. even if it’s crap. take it somewhere. a park, a lake, a river or pond. take it to the roof. eat it in your back yard.

noodles: pesto. chicken and pesto. chicken and a milk/flour/butter sauce. lemon pepper with mayonaise (it sounds weird, but tastes great. this is a macaroni type dish)

rice: rice with milk, sugar and cinnamon. rice with vegetables. rice with butter and salt and an egg. rice with cheese and butter.

use ground beef when you cook with meat that isn’t chicken, and never spend more than 3 dollars per pound on it. actually, if you can find any other meat that is 2 per pound, have them grind it at the counter. then you can put small amounts of meat in food and make it seem hearty.

chicken should be the thing you eat most of as meat is concerned. it’s the cheapest. look for it for a dollar fifty per pound. don’t buy it for much more than that.

potatoes. mashed potatoes, baked potatoes. cut potatoes up and put them in your soups. hash browns in the morning, or chunks with spices and eggs. fries for lunch. cook it with cheese. put it in your rice (hint… throw EVERYTHING in rice… together)

eggs. throw eggs in your ramen. put eggs in your rice. put eggs in your soups.

water. drink a lot of it at every meal.

oatmeal. for every breakfast, and every snack. make sure you splurge on brown sugar, it makes it worth it.

bread. make it yourself. one cup warm water. two tablespoons sugar, two teaspoons yeast (or one package) a quarter cup oil, some salt, and three cups flour. bake it at 350 for a half hour. Flavor it with cinnamon and sugar, or chocolate chips. put dill in it with pepper and garlic powder (I fucking hate garlic, but other people seem to like it) substitute a half cup flour with oatmeal.

eggs with onions, green beans, and chili powder. eat it with tortillas. tortillas: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/homemade-flour-tortillas/ this recipe is alright. instead of lard I use a quarter cup oil, and a little less water. tweak it as you go if you want, or follow it exactly. not just green beans and eggs…. but also re-fried beans with eggs in a tortilla.

yogurt. just buy the one thing. make sure it’s active. put it in any gallon of milk that is going bad. the next day you’ll have yogurt. keep the culture alive and put it in milk. that’s like…2 dollars for a GALLON of yogurt.

make your own laundry detergent. look up recipes online. super cheap. does a reasonable job.

use margarine instead of butter. better yet… just use vegetable oil and salt in your recipes instead.

Bananas. they’re super cheap for fruit. you can get bananas for like… fifty cents per pound. think about that for a second. you can fill yourself on fruit. eat five pounds of it…… two dollars, fifty cents.

when water is hard to drink because everything is tasteless from being miserable and poor…. make kool-aide. cherry kool-aide goes well with rice.

tuck your chin. toughen up. go out every day and do your damnedest to get yourself a job. come home tired, boil up a big plate of pasta, mix in tomato sauce and cheese… and go out to your pretty place to eat it and cry. remember these feelings. remember what foods got you through. remember how cheaply you lived, and how easy it was. when you have a job again…. .this is pretty much how you should eat anyway. with a few adjustments. this diet fed my family of four for a long time. it cost me about a hundred dollars per month. that included shopping for discounts, and sometimes trying to treat ourselves to butter. or cheese that wasn’t “economy muenster”

remember your meals though, remember who ate them with you. remember who got you by the best. hold on to that person. they will know more about you than anyone you happen to tell your story to.

oh, and don’t be ashamed if you need a little help from a food pantry or anything… just be sure to donate back to it when you’re back on your feet. that’s what it’s there for, and people like you, who use it when they’re down are always loyal donators.

November 25th – Tea.

I could never give up sugar or dairy. They both go in my tea. Maybe it is the Irish roots. Maybe it is the family tradition of putting on the kettle. Maybe I am OCD. When I walk through my front door, my first instinct is to put the kettle on. Even if I end up not making a cup of tea.

Yes, my fellow Americans, there is a difference between a kettle and a teapot.

And this is my tea of choice.

November 23rd – My Job.

As much as we all like to complain about our jobs, mine is pretty good. I have been waiting tables longer than I would like to admit and going to nursing school is definitely a way out of my current career.Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 9.19.58 AMI hear stories of unemployment, underemployment, and people hating their life because of their job. I don’t have those problems, and for that I am thankful. So if you are in the northwest and want the best sushi around. Come to Nishino.Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 9.20.13 AM