Whiskey and Jammie Biscuits
Woke up to Winter. Cold, rainy and wet, wet, wet on Wednesday. Started a fire in the stove and headed out into the fierce wind to go for my breakie at Mehal and Anna Mae’s…Corn Flakes and two cuts of bread with Marmalade and the grandest cuppa.
Anna Mae has a knack in the production of tea department. I think she could serve it in an old boot it would still be great! Of course, if I mentioned that to Mehal, he might just try it that way…serving it TO ME, of course. I think I ‘ll keep my mouth shut!
I was also invited down for the dinner at 1:00…bacon and cabbage…my first serving of the year. It was the best. The Irish take a collar of bacon or what we would call a chunk of ham…probably with extra, extra salt, and boil the hell out it. Then they slice it up, drown the spuds and cabbage in butter and enjoy. Always, of course, followed up with something sweet.
My Irish-American father always used to say to my Mother…”Well, mother, what are we topping this off with?” Her stern reply was always, “I not your Mother, and it will be what ever I can find.” Then she would give us kids a grin and a wink before turning toward the fridge in a huff (you can’t blame her for pretending to be a bit cross — my dad was 24 years older than her).
The next morning, I was again invited down for breakie (I must be doing something right). My neighbor and cottage caretaker, Tom, was there waiting for me. He has been a dear friend and the best caretaker I could ever ask for. I’m helping make arrangements to bring him back to American with me when I return….and Tom is extremely excited about the event.
His excitement, however, also makes him a target for what Irish call “slaggin’” or old-fashioned teasing. I guess you could say Tom is “old Ireland” – even though he’s handy with a cell phone and enjoys all the modern conveniences. Everyone on the mountain celebrates his good nature with some fun.
They are all jumping in and giving Tom “advice” for his journey. Recurring themes include mentions of a visit to the dentist to pick up some big, white, American-style teeth for the trip and a visit to the shops to inquire about adult diapers for the long flight. They have him convinced I ALWAYS wear my adult nappies on the plane… which by the way, I DO NOT, but must admit I have considered it on occassion. Oh dear!
Our neighbor Mikey has even asked if he’s taking a gun with him; Mikey claims to Tom that all Americans carry guns… for hunting and protection, but Tom is not convinced.
Well, the moment I walked in the door, Tom wanted to know if I had tended to his ticket yet. I told him I had not, but it was in process……”JEZUS, LIAM, WHAT TAKING YOU SO LONG!” he said in a very high pitch….That’s his technique to really get his point across.
Now, the point is Tom is not the most travel savvy and thinks I should be able to get on one of those yokes (yokes = THINGS, and in this case, a computer) and just produce the necessary documents, hand it too him and head to the airport.
Even though I knew all his papers were in order, I mentioned there is this little issue of a passport. Up out of his seat he went, and he demanded Mehal take him back to his cottage. A few minutes later he returned with passport in hand. He waved the little burgundy book in my face, “HERE ‘TIS. HERE ‘TIS.” I inspected the booklet and explained it was going to take a bit more time.
Off to the Garden and Then a Party
Satisfied that I was working on his ticket, Tom agreed to take advantage of a much nicer day and come back and help me weed my little garden and plant a few flowers…which, by the way, he constantly tells me is a total waste of time and money. We worked all afternoon and got a lot done. I had very little in the house but cooked up a couple of fried egg sandwiches. Then it was back out to work.
Mehal stopped in about an hour later as did the neighbor lad Mark and his cousin Eileen. With that, we had a small, impromptu party. Which meant a couple whiskeys and some jammie biscuits (cookies). It’s funny but I would never think of serving my American friends whiskey and cookies, but I will tell you, sitting in my cottage with this wonderful collection of kind people, drinking whiskey, eating jammie biscuits and enjoying the craic is one of the best things about Ireland.