This is a diary kept my my good friend on his first visit to goatsbridge this October. Lets hope we do not lose the magic we have here in Ireland. I think we will always have a lot to offer.
Charles has kindly allowed me to publish his first day here.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010
Day 1: International Local Food Tour
Arrived in Dublin, Ireland at 8:30 AM. Passports stamped we are ready to take on the Day. All 7 of us were collected at the Airport by our Gracious Host, Mag Kirwen of Goatsbridge Trout Farm, and her trusted associate Billy. After trying to get into the driver’s side of her van, we make our way towards Thomastown down the N9 Motorway. On our one and half hour Journey to Goatsbridge, the similarities between Sal and Mag are uncanny. Her phone is constantly ringing: she is talking business, taking orders, relaying trout orders to her Husband Ger, making final adjustments for Savour Kilkenny, arranging child care for their four beautiful children and in between she is planning our itinerary.
We arrive at Goatsbridge famished and tired. Mag immediately turns me loose in her kitchen, as this is a Monday, one of her busiest days. I am totally excited about the prospect of cooking some true Irish goodies. I put together a breakfast of Rashers, Sausages, White Pudding, scrambled eggs, bread, tea and coffee. I managed to fill the entire house up with smoke. I’ll blame it on Jet Lag.
Energized we headed to take a tour of Jerpoint Abbey. The Abbey is within walking distance of Goatsbridge, but I do not recommend walking. It is beautiful country with Sheep, Cattle, and wild blackberries on the way. But it is also a very busy, narrow two lane road with no sidewalk.
Once we arrive at the Abbey we are saddened to learn that admission is cash only. We have yet to convert anything to cold hard Euros. We are not discouraged because walking around the outside we are in awe of the centuries old stone. We marveled at the engineering of this beautiful structure and took many photographs, and had a little fun too. On the walk back we decided to explore a dirt road and discovered a railroad Bridge that made a nice photo opportunity.
Once back at Goatsbridge, I try unsuccessfully to stay awake. I am enjoying the warm Irish Sunshine that is abundant in Mag and Ger’s House. When I awake I learn that I am missing a tour of the farm. I arise with a new found vigor and join the group as they are visiting the new processing facility that is being constructed. Once completed, the new processing facility will provide them the much needed space to meet the increased demand for their Premium Irish Trout.
After the tour, we are treated to a homemade lasagna, good bread and wine. The lasagna was a meatier less saucy version than what I am used too, but it was delicious. 3 plates delicious. With a full belly and content spirit, I head to bed for some much needed sleep.
This is just Day One and I am already in love with the country, the people and the food!