Party_Tips_By_Nona is a local girl who is a really good cook, adventurous and inventive. She has agreed to write for Irish Feast once a month and begins her luscious list with that most local of meals - the Ulster Fry!
Saturday wouldn't be Saturday without an Ulster Fry for breakfast or lunch. Of course, you can have a Fry every day of the week but we have ours at lunchtime now as I did growing up near Armoy, Co. Antrim.
The Ulster Fry will certainly set you up for day with its selection of crispy, fried traditional breads, meat, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes. You’ll probably not need to eat until Sunday unless you’ve a hard days work ahead of you.
My Granny made Granda a mini-Fry every morning which she brought to him in bed before he got up for work, served with a big mug of sweet tea. Usually just a piece of fried soda or fadge (potato bread if you’re not from North Antrim) with some crispy bacon but sustenance until the 10 o’clock tea! Granny made soda and fadge nearly every day, frying the bread a couple of days after it was made. Granny and Mum used lard to make their Ulster Fry but I tend to use vegetable oil. Either result in a great fried breakfast but one is slightly healthier than the other!
For me, a good Ulster Fry has to have soda, sometimes a fried pancake but always the fadge. There were fights in our house if you thought you weren’t going to get a bit! I don’t think the hash brown can ever compete with a bit of golden fried fadge dipped in egg!
The meats of course play a central part with these being cooked first and the breads fried in their fat. Bacon is an essential and for us it was usually back bacon. I worked in a small grocery shop as a teenager. I loved cutting the Sprotts Bacon on the slicer, beautiful strips of back and middle bacon.
Then there’s the sausages, pork or beef depending on what looks good in the Butchers. I’m a big black pudding fan but we would sometimes also have had white pudding at home. My mum loves vegetable roll (don’t know why it is called this as bar a bit of scallion there is nothing vaguely vegetable about it!) and would throw a wee bit in the pan for her fry. Vegetable roll is made from minced beef, spices, scallions and sometime a wee bit of leek. My mum would fry this up with cabbage and potatoes.
Now there’s the eggs and the yoke has to be runny to dip all the lovely meat and bread in. We would quite often have got free range eggs from a friend and hoped we get a double-yoker for extra dipping!
With all the carbs and meat there is a little healthier garnish with either a grilled or lightly fried tomato and some mushrooms and that’s it and definitely never any beans!
All you need to complete the perfect Ulster Fry is a big mug of strong tea!
Wondering what to these long, boring, winter days? I’ve an idea - gather a bunch of friends together and book the Bushmills Food and Craft Experience! Get out and about (vitamin D!), wander round Bushmills learning about its gorgeous food, its long history (fire up your curiosity! Get those taste buds purring!) and then get your creative juices flowing with a fab workshop with found treasures, with beautiful beads or in creating a mono printed work of art! What could be better for friendships, for life and for the sheer fun of it?
Irish Feast has collaborated with The Designerie to encourage more people to visit Bushmills and experience all that this arts and crafts orientated village now offers. The Designerie is a non-profit, social enterprise who have searched far and wide to find unique and hand-crafted home & gifts, with many gorgeous and unusual products inspired by our very own beautiful country and coastal area.
They offer workshops and provide an innovative space for individuals and groups, offering a chance for people to learn & develop new skills in contemporary crafts using re-purposed & locally available materials and textiles.
After a morning spent interacting with local food and drink fanatics, spend your afternoon creating masterpieces inspired by all you’ve seen, done, tasted, felt. A truly fabulous day!
Following on from the success of ‘Restaurant Week’ in previous years, Taste Causeway is now evolving into a bigger celebration of the local foodie offering. Restaurants, cafes, producers and tourism providers are all coming together to do fabulous, foodie things. Just think sea food chowder bursting with locally caught fish, grass fed beef steak, floury, tasty potatoes, locally grown and cured meats, bursting with flavour vegetables, breads, cakes and patisserie to die for and, of course, a wee glass of something from local brewers and distillers to wash it down.
Taken from the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council website:
Organised by the Council’s Tourism Team, the nine day event will run from November 10th – 18th.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Brenda Chivers said: “The Causeway Coast and Glens is Lonely Planet’s Number One place to visit this year and our fantastic tourism product is complemented by our range of locally produced food and drink. ‘Taste Causeway- A Celebration’ is built on the success of Restaurant Week and this year we are calling on even more local businesses to get involved, providing visitors with memorable experiences in our local restaurants, bars and cafes.”
Destination Manager Kerrie Mc Gonigle added: “Food Tourism is one of the fastest growing travel trends with destinations constantly improving their quality and range of dining experiences. I am delighted that the Causeway Coast and Glens has firmly established itself as a fabulous foodie scene and ‘Taste Causeway- A Celebration’ will only strengthen this.”
Irish Feast are hosting 3 tours in both Ballycastle and Bushmills - Saturday 10th, Friday 16th and Saturday 17th. Join us to get a really great Taste Causeway experience that only a whole town or village coming together can give you. In fact, book both tours! Ah, go on, go on, go on...!