Cucina Italiana, Killarney

Cucina Italiana, Killarney It’s not always easy to eat well in Killarney, but my sister and I were quite impressed by Cucina Italiana, a tiny restaurant hidden away at 17 St. Anthonys Place, a tiny lane off College Street. I had heard very positive reviews here and there from various people, and I would go a step further and say that there are few places in town where you could eat better. My main dish of grilled tuna was the best I have had in a long while. Especially don’t miss it if you like Italian food…

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Dingle Corn Maze

Dingle Corn Maze Bridge You know it’s summer, rain or shine, when the Dingle Corn Maze is open again for business.

Dingle Corn MazePlanted across five acres by the farmer who supplies us with Kerry Cow Milk, the maze has a Harry Potter theme this year. It’s located right in the centre of town and was laid out with computers and lasars, although the plucking of weeds and trimming is very much done by hand.

There are also picnic tables, a brand new bridge (see photo above) and other bits of entertainment.

At the end of the season, the majority of the corn will go to feed the cows, but for now, especially in this wet summer when the beach is so rarely appealing, the maze is a very attractive option for humans of all sizes.

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The Princess, the Pea, the Ice Cream

Green Pea and Mint Ice Cream We here in the world of ice cream have done our little bit for the much-publicised McManus-Foley wedding by sending up 300 litres of ice cream. We were contracted by Masterchefs Hospitality, who are doing the food and wanted green pea and mint ice cream (above) as well as a bloody mary ice cream. I hope the family and guests enjoy it!

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Cajeta with spoon I made one of the tastiest things I have in a while – Cajeta. Similar to Dulce de Leche, this Mexican treat is made by reducing goat’s milk with cinnamon and sugar until it caramelises.

The recipe I used was out of Rick Bayless‘ excellent book, Mexican Kitchen. The result was thick, creamy, and utterly delicious.

Cajeta with Vanilla Ice Cream

In fact, I have never made anything from that cookbook that wasn’t fantastic (as long as I could get my hands on the ingredients, which isn’t easy in Ireland!)

If you want to try it, there is a recipe here or here.

We ate it mostly over vanilla ice cream (see right), and it disappeared pretty quickly, I can tell you. Ausra, from our Dingle shop found an excellent use for it – a Cajeta Latte – a Mexican twist on a caramel latte. Yum!

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Hawaiian Day in Dingle

Hawaiian Day in Dingle Cian (far left), our shop manager for the summer in Dingle, decided a good way to beat back the rain that’s been afflicting us in these parts (and to cheer everyone up) was to throw a Hawaiian day in the Dingle shop. So on Saturday, the whole staff dressed up, and we put decorations about the place.

It really worked. Yesterday the sun shone brightly, so we kept it going today. Still no rain! Maybe it will have to become permanent…

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Charity Cycle, Killarney

Anyone going to Killarney on Saturday the 7th, might run into the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle. The event started on Friday evening, with a local celebrity cycle around town, followed with a race with some of the cyclists. Since winning isn't everything, we offered the prize of a free ice cream and coffee to the cyclist who came in last. It's all good, healthy fun, and they have raised 2.5 million to date for various charities...

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Summer, what summer?

Inch Beach in the Rain Driving home from our Killarney shop, I heard on the radio that Cork had 10 times the amount of rainfall in June this year compared to last year. Ireland as a whole has had double the average rainfall. I’m not surprised. It’s getting pretty soggy here in the world of Irish ice cream.

It’s July 4th, and one might think of barbeques in the sun, but instead, the rain has been incessant, and it’s been cold and windy as well. I saw a single family walking on the beach at Inch and took the photo above. Normally at this time of year, the beach would be chock full of sun-worshipers and surfers, but it was deserted. I took the shot at mid-afternoon, so you can see how murky things have been!

In Killarney, it was judging day for the Entente Florale, with street entertainment and a parade planned to impress the judges. Instead, there was a lot of rain. The town did make a huge effort, though. There are beautiful flower arrangements everywhere, and I do hope the judges look past the weather!

Deirdre Dancing

My sister, Deirdre, is over from Germany, and she did her bit to cheer up our customers by painting a huge sun on the shop window and then going even further by dancing with the drummers who took refuge under our awning during the worst downpours (and then were reluctant to move on from their safe haven).

I think my sister has the right idea. We’ll put up lots of painted suns in both shops. Maybe there will be dancing. We will have a summer one way or the other!

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