Friday, September 28, 2012

On the Brain: Ballymaloe, Heather, Whisky, and Whiskey

Yes.  I said Whisky and Whiskey.  Do you know the difference?  Because after spending a week touring distilleries in Ireland and Scotland, I can say with confidence that I do.  But it's no secret.  And it's nothing complex.  The Scots spell it without an 'e', the Irish spell it with an 'e'.

Ta-da!

And while I had an amazing time getting very familiar with Whisk(e)y, I was also fortunate enough to get a visit to Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland.  And not only did I get to visit, I actually met and spoke with both Darina Allen and Rachel Allen.
Ballymaloe is a magical place.  Welcoming, inviting, and beautiful.  That's all my brain can transfer to my fingers right now, but I have so much to tell.

Oh yeah, and another life-long dream realized - I (Heather) saw Heather (the plant) in Scotland.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Unless you count sitting in a bar on an island in the most Southern of the Hebridean Islands of the west coast of Scotland listening to a live rendition of Loch Lomond.  Yeah.  That was pretty stellar all in and of itself.
Also, seafood.  Seafood caught mere hours...maybe even moments...before making its way into my mouth and into my waiting belly.  It was glorious.  So tell me, have you ever drizzled a little smoky, peaty Scotch Whisky into your oyster before throwing it back?  If you haven't, you should remedy that.  Soon.

Okay all, I just wanted to put up a little update...a little how-dee-doo...to let you know that even though I haven't posted anything in close to a week and a half (that's a long time for me), I'm still here.  My brain and my body are just otherwise occupies.  With thoughts of Ireland and Scotland.  Of Whisk(e)y and barley and pot stills.  Of oysters and lobster and crab and fish and mussels and salmon.  Of brown bread.  Of Heather and Highland Cattle.

And of how in the heck I'm going to wrangle all of those things up and make them into cohesive thoughts and sentences.  Because while it may sound like a vacation, I was working.  More updates to come...