Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category
I wish all a very happy, sweet and prosperous 2008 from Dingle, Ireland!
Here are a couple photos of the fireworks that they set off last night by the harbour in Dingle town…
Last year was far too stormy for the fireworks display, but this New Year’s Eve was still and warm here in Kerry.
The calm weather and lack of rain put everyone in an elevated mood and made the celebrations a little more special.
Let’s hope it’s a good omen for the New Year. We deserve one that’s warm and dry!
Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh.
This morning in Dingle, we had the Radio Kerry mobile broadcast unit in town to highlight Dingle’s Christmas shopping options.
Good as this was, it was amazing to go to Killarney this afternoon to visit our shop and see Christmas in Killarney in operation. That town operates on a totally different level, and it’s very impressive.
Not only are there numerous events including markets, dancing competitions and a skating rink, but I came across a fire juggler (photo above) and other entertainments. They know how to throw a party.
In the national park, the committee had set up a Santa’s grotto, with a twist. Kids could go in and visit Santa, but instead of receiving gifts from the man in red, they BROUGHT gifts for children less well off than themselves. There was a huge line of people waiting their turn to deliver presents – quite a heart-warming spectacle.
Following on from the Winter Hot Chocolate, here’s an idea for the holidays – you can create spiced sugar to serve with coffee to your guests and loved ones for the entire holidays.
This was Sean’s idea, and he was going for a variation on a gingerbread taste to create a Christmas Latte (photo above) for our shops. The dark brown sugar makes it really tasty. Of course, as I have said, it could work in any coffee, or could even simply be added to warm milk for those off caffeine.
I am going to suggest all ground spices (as opposed to fresh) so that it will still taste good on New Year’s if you make it in the next week!
Spiced Brown Sugar for Coffee
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 500 g dark brown sugar
What to do:
- Simply combine the spices and the sugar and mix very well.
- Add to coffee according to taste.
I spent today in Killarney, where “Christmas in Killarney” is in full swing. I really have to hand it to the South Kerry town – everyone pulls together on such events and the community spirit is immense.
They blocked off Main Street and had food markets and other traders (on again tomorrow and in two weeks time), and there was quite a buzz, in spite of the gales. The festival committee had also set up a charity kitchen/service area, and that’s where I was – giving away ice cream and hot chocolates for charity. And before you say anything – yes, people do eat ice cream in such cold conditions!
A day well spent, and I think I have a new dark hot chocolate (might appeal to Markham), and it certainly was a hit with the crowds, but more on that later…
Sorry I haven’t posted for the past few days, but this is our busiest time of the whole year.
The August Bank Holiday weekend is always madness, and my brother and I have been in the Dingle and Killarney shops from morning until night. It’s really the peak of the whole season, and from here, we slowly begin the return to quieter times and a more normal life.
However, it’s fun when the shops are so crowded. There’s a real buzz, and today the sun came out in earnest, and the Killarney shop was hopping. I snapped these photos in an attempt to show what we look like in high season!
Now I must go back and scoop some more ice cream!
We’ve been playing around with making ice cream Easter eggs. I had bought an egg mould some time ago, and we poured the ice cream into it. Then we wrapped it in chocolate (we tried both dipping and pouring, and both come out well) and added some caramalised hazelnut nibs. I don’t know if the customers will get any. We’re busy eating away!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a raspberry sorbet and strawberry ice cream sundae we’re making for Valentine’s day…
By the way, a handy little trick if you’re making a romantic dessert this evening is as follows:
Whip some cream and once it is firm mix in some crushed or pureed raspberries or strawberries until they are completely incorporated.
It gives you a dramatically pink cream for decoration. And even better, it tastes good too!
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