Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Part 2, Croan Cottages

We stop for lunch in a very cute town whose name escapes me. It’s nobody’s lunchtime but mine, and the pubs and restaurants (such as there are in such a tiny place) aren’t really serving yet but one place does kindly rev up the kitchen and get some hot sausages going. Darrell and I would rather walk around than sit, rather see the sights than the inside of a pub, so we keep looking.

There’s a ruined « castle » (just a tower as far as I can see), an old arched stone bridge over a stream, and a pub on the far side with its door open and a couple of tables in the yard. The guy inside may be a customer, may be an employee, hard to tell, but he tells us there’s a gas station down the way that does sandwiches. He declares he just ate one, as proof of the existence of this glorious but thus far theoretical establishment. He directs us to this source of comestibles, but looks doubtful when we admit we are on foot. It’s far ! That worries us a minute, though it turns out to be less than a mile altogether. No problem.

I have chicken with brown sauce, and Darrell has ham, and we walk around seeing the town as we eat. We even have time to admire the chapel and mess around by the riverside and discover Murder Street before having to be back at the vans.

The view from inside the van.
Croan Cottages.
Round back of the big house there are five adorable cottages, 2 or 3 bedrooms each, and Hog Eye Navvy has them all for a whole week. We can do all the running back and forth we want, make music, etc, and nobody else will be bothered.

View from near Croan Cottages

It’s a great place, part of a working farm in the middle of county Kilkenny. The countryside spreads out around the place like a patchwork - green below, blue-white-grey above. There are fresh strawberries and lettuce we may pick as we please in the walled garden (no wasting, please !), and a small assortment of livestock. It’s peaceful and gorgeous and self-catering.

Ah, self-catering. There’s no place to eat for miles, so after settling in it’s off to a nearby town for a grocery run. The directions to the supermarket are quite simple, only the town is not laid out simply at all and we’re not used to this right-left thing. We drive a whole block the wrong way on a one-way street and none of the locals watching makes a sign.

Ah, here’s the store at last. Just an ordinary market, not very large. But it takes us ages. There are so many new and strange things to eat. Brands we have never heard of. We must look at it all. And decide ; we have to decide what to take back with us. It isn’t easy.

It’s funny what people bring back. Some stock up as if to eat in every day for the week we’ll be here. Others take only enough for tonight’s dinner and a few breakfasts, counting on eating while we’re away on our day trips. Darrell and I are staying in different cottages, and I peek into each of our fridges.
My fridge :
Salad, vegetables, milk, orange juice, yogurt, fruit yogurt, eggs, 1 Guinness, cheese. Plus apples, bread, muesli, wine, and olive oil on the counter.

D’s fridge :
6 apple ciders, 6 pear ciders, 2 berry ciders, 6 Guinness, jam, lemon curd, butter, ham, cream, milk, eggs. Plus Nutella, bread, coffee, muesli, and potato chips on the counter.
Guess who saw all those different kinds of cider at the store and didn’t know which one to try ! So we got them all, or most of them (some in several copies), and will be having a cider test.

On top of my cottage.
Tomorrow: Cork.


steven said...

my very best food in england, wales, and scotland were from little shops. it looks like it's true in ireland also!!! one place served cider in a jug from the cellar where it was tapped from a barrel. it was beyond belief good.steven

Titus said...

This is the coolest! I love that first foray into another country's supermarkets, you really do have to look at everything.

I think I like the cider fridge best.

Bagman and Butler said...

Thanks for sharing your ramble.