As I type, there is 1 day, 15 hours and 46 minutes until my parents and Grandma arrive in Ireland! Pretty exciting considering they were supposed to be here a month ago and couldn't fly due to the giant plume of ash from Iceland. Now that plume of ash is being pushed far enough north and east that their flight will be able to touch down at Shannon Airport on Friday morning.
All excitement aside, it's time to get ready for their visit. The house is in order: beds are dressed, towels are hung, mementos made, bogs and floors are clean. This morning I layered Ice Cream with homemade apple jam, blackberry jam and honey - that's in the freezer. All that's left to do is bake Crackers, make an Apple and Blackberry Crumble, and prepare the Fish Pie. These things I won't prepare until tomorrow, so they'll be near enough to fresh for Friday.
Crackers are easy enough and great to have for snacks with crab or smoked fish and cheese. I stumbled upon a recipe this past winter and have adapted it to be my own. I make the recipe similar to Soda Crackers and usually add an extra teaspoon of soda, seasoning and a bit of bran. They're so tasty and I usually can't stop eating them when they're fresh from the oven. I have found, (maybe it's our oven) that the crackers take a bit longer to bake, which is usually no bother, so long as I don't forget and burn them. I'll bake these in the morning.
While the crackers are baking and since I'll have the oven on I'll prepare the Crumble, only thing is I don't have Bramley Apples which equates to less tart. No bother. Crumbles are a beautiful reminder of summer and they're handy enough to make. If there's any left, I'll have to take a bit down to our neighbour Eileen. She enjoys my baking nearly as much as Patrick and considering she gave us a bag of turf, it's the least I can do to show my gratitude for her kindness and friendship.
Last dish to prepare is the Fish Pie. I have to say, I'm not 100% on board with the idea of "Fish" in Pie. I have this phobia of fish in any "broth" or "sauce", something about the juices makes me cringe. Nevertheless, Patrick has ensured me it is very good and I will learn to love Fish Pie as much as I love him. We'll see!!! To ease me into this new dish, I'll be doing minimal prep work which entails slicing the veggies for the pie and making the mushroom sauce that everything will be mixed into. I'll get this all ready once I've finished the Crackers and Crumble. Once Patrick's home from fishing, he'll assemble the pie. To keep the meal light and easy on our visitor's stomachs we'll have a light salad with the Pie and save room for the Crumble and Ice Cream.
What I didn't mention is that Patrick will be making up a big dirty frying, traditional Irish Breakfast, when we arrive home from the airport. That' should be a wake up to the taste buds and will certainly require a bit of fresh air and exercise before we get to lunch or dinner. Sure hope grandma is up for the experience!
However it all turns out, we've got a great week to look forward to! Stay tuned for recipes, pictures and posts about my families time in Ireland.