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Posts Tagged ‘Authentic Ireland Travel’

The Wren Boys in Dingle, Ireland, Celebrating St. Stephen’s Day

From Your Dedicated Authentic Ireland Writers, Meredith and Win Blevins:

In Ireland, St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, is one of nine official public holidays.

In Irish, it is called Lá Fhéile Stiofán or Lá an Dreoilín, meaning the Day of the Wren or Wren’s Day. When used in this context, “wren” is often pronounced “ran”.

This name alludes to several Irish legends, some linking episodes in the life of Jesus to the wren. Although not practiced often anymore,  in certain parts of Ireland people carry either an effigy of a wren or an actual caged wren through the streets.  They travel from house to house playing music, singing and dancing.

Depending on which region of the country, they are called wrenboys and mummers. A Mummer’s Festival is held at this time every year in the village of New Inn, County Galway and Dingle in County Kerry. St. Stephen’s Day is also a popular day for visiting family members.  (Good-bye Christmas dinner leftovers!)

A popular rhyme is known to many Irish children and sung at each house visited by the mummers.  Here’s a very nice version of the song for you to enjoy, complete with chords and words!:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZI_PzRIqU0

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds…

Happy December 26th, St. Stephen’s Day, from the Crew at Authentic Ireland Travel

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 What Better Place is there to celebrate your Romance than in Ireland?

Romantic couple on Irish hillside

Imagine the welcoming fire of a 17th century Manor House  in Ireland inviting you into your suite. It’s the perfect atmosphere to reconnect, to unwind, and to enjoy each other.

If you can motivate yourselves to be around other people, take a side trip to the awesome Cliffs of Moher.  For your next stop we’d suggest an elegant castle built in 1590.  Just closeby, it’s the perfect retreat.  Cuddle up and explore the gardens, or amble over to legendary Killarney.  Wrap up your magnificent castle lodging at the library bar.  It is the ultimate kiss.

Dingle is one of Ireland’s best-loved towns, and we’re particularly fond of the Presidential Suite, one of the finest lodgings in Kerry. Dingle’s glorious bay, lovely shops and a world of music… Dingle’s hotel spa and gourmet restaurant are yours for the asking.   Finally, we’d suggest you indulge in each other’s company in charming Adare, and why not make it a Conde Nast Choice Manor House?  840 acres of rolling parkland and gardens will surround you with peace and beauty.

Sometimes the world spins so quickly, and we lose each other.  Our cure?  Surrender, and let Ireland stoke the flames.

featured writers, Meredith and Win Blevins.

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Did your mom ever tell you that Mrs. McGraw was positively beyond the pale?   Did you imagine a woman keeling over as she went from pale to white?   Nothing to worry about there.  Mrs. M. was simply acting Irish.

“Beyond the pale,” was an expression used to describe absolutely outrageous behavior.  It comes from 14th century Ireland. The Pale was the area of Ireland under heavy, and we do mean heavy, control by the British.   The Irish who lived in areas that weren’t under British control were considered wild and outrageous.   Thank countless Irish heroes with this recipe using Bushmill’s Whiskey, and then dare to be beyond the pale!

Bread and Butter Pudding Bushmills Whiskey Sauce

PUDDING

•6 tablespoons of golden raisins

•8 tablespoons butter, plus some left over for the pan

•1 pound sliced white bread (Once in a while, indulgence in just fine.)

•1 cup milk

•1 cup cream

•1 vanilla bean

•¾ cup sugar

•3 eggs, beaten

WHISKEY SAUCE

•1 cup cold milk

•3 tbsp. sugar

•2 egg yolks

•¼ cup Bushmills whiskey.  (And a shot, or two, on the side for the cook.)

DIRECTIONS:  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees  •Soak raisins in hot water for 10 minutes.  Drain.  •Butter the bread.  Remove crusts and cut into triangles.  Arrange in a buttered, deep dish (6x6x2)  •Bring milk, cream, vanilla bean, and sugar to just below a boil in a saucepan.  Remove vanilla bean.  Add milk mixture to the eggs.  •Pour the egg and milk mixture through a strainer onto the bread and leave to soak.  •Cover with aluminum foil and cook in a water bath in preheated oven, 55 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 5 minute more so top gets nice and crispy.

When the dish is finished we suggest another shot of Bushmills, a comfy chair, and a book for the chef!

Let us know how the recipe worked for you! Authentic Ireland gives it five stars.

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