Dec 31, 2011


I haven't been able to find pockets of down computer-time this month with all the working, shopping, wrapping, cleaning, cooking, eating, drinking, socializing, and recovering I've been doing. If I had, you'd have heard tales like "When Bad Potatoes Happen to Good People," "When Good Curtains Happen to Bad Hardware," "Namaste Belly" (finding the zen in throwing up after yoga), "3am in a Brooklyn Backyard," "What to Expect When You're Expecting a Puppy" (going straight to DVD), "A Tree Glows in Brooklyn," "A Test from Above" (Away in a Manger in key of High C), and other peppermint-heavy ponderings.
Just as well.

It's been a whirlwind end of the year and I'm looking forward to downer January to clear my mind, fridge, and slate. I have a few resolutions itching to be resolved but I will let them simmer (under the fog of champagne) for a few days. I hope this finds you well and good, happy and healthy, and completely worn out from a valiant effort at 2011. Thank you for visiting—and bringing a little sunshine to—this little patch of half-watered grass in the blog hills my friends, and my very warmest wishes for a happy New Year!
On to a new day,
xo Jac

Dec 14, 2011

I've Got Mail


I made small talk with the new mailman this morning. He doesn't know what happened to his predecessor. I imagine him recharging his batteries somewhere exotic. Still wearing his neatly pressed uniform and custom orthotics. I was planning to tip him for the Holidays this year but now he's in Tahiti. Or the back office. New mailman is all business. I'm not sure if I should tip him. I guess we'll see if he brings me good mail.

Eight catalogs. 

Rolling Stone magazine's "2011 in Review" issue. I love round-ups.

New York magazine's "Reasons to Love New York Right Now" issue. The "right now" bothers me. Feels gimmicky. Maybe I'll write my own list.

My life insurance premium reminder. Shite, is it next quarter already?

A coupon for 70% off select items at "Onofrio's." I wonder what they sell at Onofrio's... I guess it doesn't matter at that price. 

A menu from Chiquitita Mexican Grill. I want a shrimp burrito for dinner. I wonder how much they paid to make me want a burrito for dinner before I've even had lunch.

A big red envelope with five Australian stamps announcing a Christmas card from my mother. My mother never writes the letters 'a' or 'r' in loweRcAse. A handwriting expert might say she is hiding something. The card is not the generic 99c variety; it has weight to it, a tailored message, glitter, and embossing. I wonder if she made a special trip into town to buy her cards. I hope she took the scenic route by the beach. Sigh, the beach. She probably stopped at McDonald's on the way home for coffee, but only if it was before 4. After 4 she runs into (and over) kangaroos.

A Christmas card from a relative who can't spell my name. She's probably dyslexic or maybe it's her weak ankles. Either way, I look forward to being christened anew in her cards each year. This year I'm "Jantica"—I try it on and decide it makes me feel like a bone-rattling Ocean Liner or a Sci-Fi series that won't last beyond the pilot.

A Christmas card and letter from my grandmother. A handwritten letter is a treat any day but it feels like such a luxury in the clutter of catalogs this time of year. I read it fast at the door before I take off my hat and coat and then slowly at the table, once I've made a cup of tea. Nana's letters have grown shorter and less frequent in the last year so I read them over and over until the ink, or my eyes, give. She has all the news about everyone but herself. The weather—miserable, showers of sleet and hail. The latest on her longtime neighbor Tess, struggling with liver cancer. The rundown on Tess's grandkids, and how they are getting on in their jobs and studies. The rundown on each of my cousins and their health, jobs, leases on their houses, travel plans for the next year. There is always a gem, a precious little something that makes me ten again, and in this letter it was news of the 89-year-old neighbor across the road, Mammie.
"Mammie is still the same Mammie. She came in to me the other morning and she said I didn't sleep a wink all night the fairies were tormenting me. They were all around the bed talking and singing and then they got the paper and cut it all up. The following morning she said to Gerard [her son] to sweep up all the papers after the fairies. He said good luck I am going to work."

I think that deserves a tip.

Dec 7, 2011

Liam Neeson Improv with Ricky Gervais






My friend Katie had this video on her FB wall this morning and I just had to share. Warning: Do not watch while drinking tea ... unless you like to snort it up your nose (each to her own!)
I heart Liam Neeson.

Liam Neeson Improv 

Dec 1, 2011

Where There's A Wool, There's A Gift


I have been neglecting my Holiday-gift knitting (as well as this blog, and—if you must know—my unibrow) the past few weeks and this morning I found myself frantically skipping through the internet in search of tea-cozy patterns. Actually, it's been so long since I picked up my needles that my first search was for tea-cozy recipes because I couldn't remember the word pattern. "Maybe you've been neglecting to take your Alzheimer's meds, too" says you. Maybe.

I had wanted to knit gifts this year because a. I have a drawer-full of wool that I stockpiled in a panic after New York's minor earthquake a few months ago; b. I imagine that if I rub my knitting needles together for long enough, sparks will fly, and I will be knitting fireside with a bucket of turf at my feet and a pot of tea and packet of Gingernut biscuits at my side; and c. a homemade gift feels thoughtful, (even if those thoughts were of earthquakes and fires), and it's otherwise very expensive to be thoughtful.

I figured I'd bang out a few gifty tea-cozies this coming weekend and then pair them with pretty little teapots, but Where There's A Wool's cozies—knit with Donegal Tweed Wool by Angela Carr—are just so simple and stylish that I'm thinking I should skip to Plan B: Buy cozies and make teapots!

Love the fresh colors, the cute little ribbons, and the fact that the cozies can roll up or down to accommodate all teapots great and small ( Aside: I want to open a tea shop with that name). Also love that Dublin-based knitter and poet Angela Carr "overcame the lingering mental scars of childhood school-induced knitting traumas" and took up knitting to keep herself from spending every waking hour in front of a computer. As well as nifty gifty tea cozies, you can also find cute little felt bowls and aran-cashmere blend cushion covers.

Now to Google tea-pot making recipes ...

Stalk WTAWool on FB

Nov 11, 2011

Love is Blindness

Eager to get my paws on the 20th birthday reissue of U2's electro-pop, Achtung Baby, which features covers by artists like Patti Smith, Damien Rice, Nine Inch Nails, and Depeche Mode. In the meantime, I'm listening to, and loving, Jack White's howling version of "Love is Blindness." Thought you might enjoy it, too. Happy Friday!

Jack White Love is Blindness

Nov 10, 2011

Irish Farmers Calendar 2012


It's about that time again. That time when you start talking, and thinking, about next year. I was trying to coordinate schedules with a friend recently and was horrified when we settled on a date in January. January! It feels like it should be ages away, but it's a month-and-a-half (and we all know December really doesn't count as a month).

That means holiday gift time is like five minutes away (and gift shopping time was five weeks ago). Sigh, I can't even wrap my head—never mind snowflake-painted paper—around the big gifts on my list yet, so I'm focusing on the straggler gifts for friends and coworkers—the itty-bitty things that drive me batty because I always leave them 'til the last minute. I'm delighted to see that the Irish Farmers Calendar is back to save the gift-giving day with another calendar filled with shirtless and sexy, pasty-white Irish farmers. I can't think of a better gift for a friend than the gift of a half-dressed Irishman in wellies; it's also the gift of a little giggle and a smile every day next year (as well as a donation to Bóthar).


If you'd like to get to know the farmers a little better, you might enjoy this clip of a few of the lads (and some of their mammies) on The Late Late Show.



 
Order a copy at FarmerCalendar.com and start looking forward to plans in January!

Nov 7, 2011

Fog


I had my head(ache) checked last week. I have a new doctor so we had to start with the basics. How old are you? she asked. Thirty-five, I said. Okay, she said. No you're not, said my youngest, annoyed he'd have to sit through chit chat before we got to the this-is-going-to-pinch part. Oh wait, I said, I'm thirty-six ...  I think. Or am I turning thirty-six in February? ...  wow, maybe I haven't been asked since my last birthday? ... or maybe I'm in denial? ... uhm, let me see ... I was born in 1975. I proceeded to do the math on my fingers while the doctor looked on unsmiling like a bouncer at a club I shouldn't be trying to get into. I wondered if the receptionist would tell her that I had hesitated when writing the date (2011 or 2012?) on my paperwork at the front desk. Okay, I told her, I can now confirm that I am indeed thirty-six. Hey, happy birthday to me!
If she had smiled I might have told her that if I'd wanted to lie about my age, I would have lied myself older for a cheap wow-you-really-don't-look-your-age compliment, like I do when I go to hairdressers and I need all the help I can get in the harsh light. But she didn't smile. 
Where are you from? she asked through her nose, her voice pinched by the serious glasses resting there. Trick question even when you do know your age. Where am I from or where do I live? She stopped scribbling (words like 'psychotic' and 'neurotic') in my file and took a hard look at me. I looked back at her and wondered if there's a hotline to report runaway nuns.


Oct 27, 2011

Stork Visit!

I just had a baby. 
I didn't even know I was pregnant. 
It's been quite the upset really. 

I woke up Sunday morning feeling a bit hungover from the Octoberfest party I went to Saturday night, and by Sunday evening I was waiting for TLC to add my just-thought-I-had-a-beer-belly story to their I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant series. 

Thankfully, despite my lack of self-awareness/vitamins, the baby is healthy and fine. He's quite hairy, won't take the boob in the middle of the night, and struggling a little with potty training (he loves to pee in the garden), but all in all he's a little sweetheart and proof that the best things come in unexpected packages.

We didn't have nine months to battle out names so his name has changed three times in three days. Today, he is Charlie M. (for Miles) Finnegan.
He's got my ears.


Oct 18, 2011

"Knots" Video by Lisa Hannigan


I'm going to see Lisa Hannigan (with Gavin Glass) on Friday night at Hiro Ballroom so I've been crash-listening to her new album, Passenger, all day. Had to share this song and video directed by Myles O'Reilly. Makes me want to get all Pollock in my kitchen!


Download Passenger from Amazon
LisaHannigan.ie
Read NPR interview (with Hannigan and O'Reilly) about this song

Oct 13, 2011

Falling into Good Books


It's that time of year again. Neighbors blow away real leaves and decorate their doorways with fake leaves. Schoolkids are yellow-bused off to pristine pumpkin patches, while I check the expiration date on a tin of pumpkin puree I bought a few years ago. Squirrels prepare for fall by hoarding acorns while I hoard books ...

The Devil is an Irishman
I hate scary movies. I'm chicken. I don't mind blood and gore in action movies that involve men in gladiator or Spartan costumes, but I hate horrors. So while everyone else turns to Freddie Krueger, Chucky, Leatherface, and Hannibal Lecter for kicks, I turn to Irish folklorist Eddie Lenihan. The Devil is an Irishman is a collection of four stories about the devil—tales of whom far outnumber tales of God in Irish tradition, according to folklorist/seanchaí Eddie Lenihan. I love how the Devil in old Irish stories is a bit of a rogue, or character, willing to give you a second chance if you show wit or courage. Love the spilling of wit and words (not blood!)
The Devil is an Irishman at Amazon.com


On Canaan's Side
A few pages into Irish writer Sebastian Barry's On Canaan's Side and I added three more books by him to my hibernation list: The Secret Scripture, The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty, and A Long Long Way. I had ordered On Canaan's Side after reading The Guardian's review which described Barry's prose as "overwhelmingly poetic, its lyricism yielding a seemingly endless series of potent and moving images: Lilly's shoreline home, engulfed by "those long-limbed creaturely fogs that walk in against the Hamptons like armies"; her brother Willie Dunne home on leave from France, "disguised by the thin dust of terror he carried on him"; Lilly's mind careering through her past like "an unbroken pony"."
Lilly is an 89-year-old woman who is preparing to take her own life. Her grandson Bill has committed suicide, and she does not want to linger in a world without her Bill. Lilly spends seventeen days reeling out her life story in what she calls a 'confession.' She tells of her girlhood in Ireland, and then the rest of her life as an immigrant in America. I won't say anymore. It was an beautiful read and I was sorry to close the book and walk away from Lilly and her dreamlike narrative.
Can't wait to read The Secret Scripture next. ...
 On Canaan's Side: A Novel at Amazon.com

The Forgotten Waltz
I'm starting Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz today and I'm confident it's the right book to take along with me while I come and go to appointments this afternoon and tomorrow. I'll feel better knowing that if I have to sit and wait anywhere, I'll have good company. It's described as a "haunting story of desire: a recollection of the bewildering speed of attraction, the irreparable slip into longing." Ooooh ..
The Forgotten Waltz at Amazon.com





The Help
I'm a little behind the ball with The Help; my friend Mary had recommended it as a beach read for my Puerto Rico trip a little while back, but Skippy Dies arrived first and The Help sat helpless... until last week. I read it fast, ignoring the hyped criticisms that followed this hyped book ( i.e., a white woman pandering to black stereotypes and that it's the chick-lit version of To Kill a Mockingbird.) I can't pretend I didn't love it or that I wasn't entirely impressed that this is Kathryn Stockett's first novel, and I would have no qualms recommending it to friends (who have, no doubt, already read it and seen the movie, too). I loved the characters and loved how it held me captive for three days. It does leave me wanting to read more about Jim Crow's south; awareness or guilt? Maybe a good book inspires a little bit of both.

Cúpla  focail

I'm also attempting to regain my long-lost grasp of Irish (something I resolved to do back in January!) by forcing myself to read a little Irish everyday. I have a copy of Padraic O'Conaire's Scothscealta dating back to my school days and I'm slowly feeling my way through it (and getting a great kick out of my older brother's notes littering the margins!)

On the bookshelf horizon are Claire Keegan's new novel and a couple of short story collections from Nuala Ní Chonchúir. I need more shelves!
Hope you are cozied up with a good read. 
xj



Oct 6, 2011

Thursday

I read Mary Costello's three-part New York Diary on Stinging Fly's blog the other day and really enjoyed her visitor's impressions of New York. I will be working on a New York City travel guide in the coming weeks so I'm especially open to a visitor's relationship with this city. Mary was working from a desk at the Centre for Fiction in midtown Manhattan for a few weeks, and in the process, tentatively acknowledging herself as a writer. I sometimes forget how Manhattan allows you do that ... define yourself. It's packed and stacked with stuff and people, and while there's little space, there's so much room. And nobody's watching. Try yourself on. Nobody's watching. Fart on the street. Nobody knows.

I live in a residential neighborhood in Brooklyn, so sometimes when I work from home, I forget about the energy and freedom of the city over the bridge. As I sit here now, I can hear a woman talking loudly on her phone out front, whingeing about the shoddy work her dentist did. I wonder if her phone is even on. Her voice is nasal and grating. A bus screeches on the small incline from the corner, and releases its breath as it passes my house; I guess there was no one waiting for it this time because I didn't hear it grimace and stop at the next corner. Squirrels toss acorns at my back window trying to get my attention. If I look out the window, I might find a squirrel in a trenchcoat holding a boombox over his head ...
"In your eyes
the light the heat
in your eyes
I am complete"
Sing it with me!
"In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
in your eyes
the resolution of all the fruitless searches
in your eyes
I see the light and the heat
in your eyes
oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
the heat I see in your eyes
"

I won't go to the window in case he's not there. I'll look for Peter Gabriel on my i-Pod instead.

I had morning tea with a friend in Bryant Park yesterday, and I caught Mary Costello's spark. Bryant Park is one of my favorite spots in the city; it's the New York Public Library's backyard, a lovely long lawn (fenced in by 40th and 42nd Streets, Fifth and Sixth Avenues) with seating, coffee kiosks, pigeons, free wifi, and free people-watching.



 I arrived a half hour early for my date so I could soak in the sun and the quietly vibrating hum of this yoga mat in midtown Manhattan. I thought about Mary Costello coming here to write and sent her some anonymous warm wishes and sunshine on an autumn breeze heading over the Atlantic.

I've decided to work from the library for a few days next week for a little change of scenery (and a breather from my stalker squirrel). I can't wait for the tea breaks in the park. Can't wait to carve a little room in the middle of it all. Can't wait to fart on the street.

Oct 4, 2011

Hello!

Your kettle sings, so why not your teapot?

I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
You're all I've ever wanted, my arms are open wide
'Cause you know just what to say
And you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much ...
Put the kettle on!
Lionel Richie teapot from LennyMud.etsy (currently sold out but available for pre-order next week).

Sep 27, 2011

Shoe Up On My Week

I have a soft spot for shoes + I have shoes on the brain this week = I am soft in the head.
I wrote about shoes over on Found It Loved It today and I thought I'd elaborate here because I've had a shoe-and-tell kind of week.

As I mentioned in my column, I bought myself sparkly silver shoes.

 
When the package arrived, I couldn't have been more surprised to find these shoes in the box than if someone else had bought them for me. I needed flats—practical run-twelve-blocks-because-I'm-running-late flats—but I ordered sparkly silver heels. I haven't surprised myself that much in a long time. Less surprisingly, I tried to convince myself that the crossover elastic top was so comfortable that they might just do the job. I'd be the bee's knees picking my son up from the schoolyard. The cat's pajamas sitting at my desk here at home. The bee's pajamas and the cat's knees if I got hit by a bus on my way to the Post Office. "But they'd be handy to have" I argued with myself. Handy for those days where I need a little sparkle. Handy for those nights when I need my sparkle to be elastic. 
I just returned them ... but I think I should go get them back.

My mother sent me sheepskin slippers from Australia. 
 
They're "Woolly Wonders." It's kind of a big deal to get a package from my mother. Actually, it's kind of a big deal to get a package from anyone in my family; we're great at gifting in person (expending great thought and money on each other) but a disaster when it comes to sending packages. We all lie to each other about having "popped" something in the mail last week, when in reality it could be another three (okay, five) weeks before we drag ourselves to the post office and shove something in the mail. 
My mother was telling me over the phone that she had sent a pair of Woolly Wonders to my grandmother and I suppose I said "oh they sound soooo amazing" more than a few times in response because she went back to the shop and bought a pair for me, too. (By the way, "went back to the shop" should not be skipped over here. Going back to the shop in New York means walking ten blocks—albeit in silver heels—and stopping in Starbucks on the way back. Going back to the shop in Western Australia means driving two hours, and hoping that you car and conscience—but mostly your car—won't get dented by jaywalking kangaroos. No Starbucks on the way.) My slippers/two sheep for my two feet arrived without a note, or wrapping paper, or fuss—but within a week of our phone call. The unwritten note spoke volumes. My feet have never been happier.

I cut the legs off a pair of boots.
I love boots. I love how easy it is to get dressed when you start an outfit with a pair of boots so I have a few different pairs of boots—vintage, flat, high-heeled, black, brown, dressy, casual (okay, I'm rounding down when I say "few"). Anyway, last year I added this pair of gorgeous reddish brown boots to my rotation. I got them on sale but they're Frye (the only brand I am loyal to) so they were still a pretty penny. I had read reviews that the shaft of the boot is a little slack, but I thought "not with my calves." 
Well, it turned out that after a few weeks of wearing them, they started to slip down. I loved the solid walkable heel and quality of the leather so much that I held on to them. [I realize I'm rambling here like an old lady who thinks you care about her lactose intolerance, but I might be going somewhere with this.] By mid-winter they were like socks without elastics. I took them to a cobbler-who-is-also-a-drycleaner and he added elastics to the top (sidestory: his wife yelled at me for not paying him enough and he yelled at her to shut up and she glared at me for making her husband yell at her); that did the job of keeping them up ... but completely ruined the look of the boots. 
Gutted. 
Fast forward to last week when the weatherman gave us a few teaser days of autumn and I found myself dusting off my collection of boots. I took out my boots, stroked the soft leather, and cut the legs—and all that bad bunched-up karma—off. Without thinking twice. 
 

Now I love them.

I also bought wellies this week ...

but they came a day after the rain stopped so right now they are just shiny new unwet-wellies in a box, without anything to say. Thank God for that.


Sep 21, 2011

Fracture


My grandmother broke her wrist last week. I shared this news with my husband's 94-year old grandmother the other night—because she never leans in to hug me hello and I was trying to remind her that I am some granny's grandchild—but when she asked how it happened, I stumbled, mumbled something about eggs, magpies, henshit, and haircurlers, and all notions of warm hugs and noodle-pudding recipes fell flat, like the look on her face. She had wanted a slipped-and-fell response. She's wanted that from me since we first met fifteen years ago and I was *pregnant with her first great-grandchild. 

My mother sent me a text message last week to say that Nana had "broken her wrist while she was out getting the eggs and the magpie was around." I immediately saw my grandmother in her headscarf and wellies, trying to duck into the hobbit-sized hen shed while saluting a solitary magpie who taunted her with his one-for-sorrow curse from a nearby fence. I wondered if she cursed the "blashted magpie" right back as she fell, and if she broke any eggs—precious fuel for her daily scones and barter for her monthly hair-do.
I rushed to write her a letter to distract from the fall, the way a parent of a toddler rushes to point out a dent in the ground to distract from a bloodied knee. I didn't want her to notice that her bones could break, that—despite being an amazing piece of natural engineering—eggshells are actually pretty fragile, that waving at a magpie doesn't guarantee joy. So I reminded her that it's a big deal that her small bone heals: An Post would collapse without her steady stream of letters to deliver to and from the United States and Australia, the hairdresser would go hungry without her monthly batch of eggs, and I would go daft if we had to communicate by phone ... so, she had better sort out that wrist and fast.
I just wish that I could slip and fall into the envelope along with my tears.

*And how did I get pregnant with her first great-grandchild? Well, it's a long story that involves eggs and magpies, henshit and haircurlers ...

Sep 19, 2011

Cecilia and her Selfhood


images from wearevillagers.com
Take a minute today to check out the new music video—or rather, spellbinding short film—for "Cecilia and her Selfhood" from Villagers. "The film charts the development of a young man as he navigates his way through an impressionistic landscape in search of an elusive monster which is intent on destroying his childhood home. Lost and confused for the most part, he nonetheless uncovers the beast; a creature whose origins are both terrifying and liberating." Animated by Adrien Merigeau. 
It's pretty special ... like the Villagers. 

Sep 14, 2011

Electronic Sheep AW 11/12


Some people have shoe fetishes, bag fetishes, or jewelry fetishes; I have a sheep fetish. It's the next best thing to having an actual sheep. Some people would be offended to hear "I saw a beautiful painting of a sheep and thought of you" from a friend; I'm touched. Some people have pictures of their kids on their walls; I have two photos of sheep and a photo of a nubian goat. Some people count sheep to get to sleep; I count sheep to wake up. Please don't call Dr. Phil. 

Anyway, you get the idea —I have a deep/slightly-disturbing grá for all things sheep. I guess it goes without saying that I was in love with Electronic Sheep's Autumn Winter 2011 collection before I even saw it. 




I remember how excited I was to discover the graphic style and bold patterns and colors of this Irish label way back in January, and I'm even more excited now to see that this Autumn Winter collection continues on the same insanely creative, eclectic, and cool (woolly) thread. Love that the collection is inspired by an "idle life of splendor" (aka my new life goal), and that designers Brenda Aherne and Helen Delany have added a hooded cape—the result of an inspired collaboration with DJ duo The Broken Hearts—to their offerings.

I'm especially hearting the black-and-white hooded scarf and the yellow cape (but I'd be happy to take the rusty cape, brown-and-grey oversize scarf, and a few hats off the back of the truck, too!). 

Some people might say I'm developing an Electronic Sheep fetish ...

Sep 7, 2011

Old Bag Lady


If shoes say a lot about a man, then surely handbags speak volumes about a woman. I wonder what this "P. O'Hara Registered Cow Doctor Tipperary" handbag would say about me.

It might offer more questions than answers ... A cow doctor on the NYC subway? I wonder what kind of tools she's got in there? Is that a knitting needle I see sticking out? I bet the 'P' stands for Persephone or Penelope—no, it's probably Patsy. Handy to know we have a cow doctor in our car if we need one. I wonder if she treats human cows, too—I have a few in my office. I bet she has some interesting stories to tell. We should invite her to our house in the Hamptons ...

I say would because it was already sold before I could speak volumes about my eccentric taste/delicate state of mind by spending too much money to look Dr.-Quinn-Medicine-Woman-meets-Irish-Mary-Poppins. Sigh, there's no denying that my P. O'Hara would have given Louis Vuitton a run for his money/"it" bag title.

Aug 25, 2011

Spuds, Glorious Spuds!


My mother was right. She always said—as she dragged on my ear lobe and scraped my inner ear with a hairpin—that spuds would take root in my head, and they have. I have spuds on the brain. Maybe it's my autumnal instinct for root vegetables kicking in, or maybe it's because today is National Potato Day. You heard me; there's a whole day dedicated to my favorite food! Hello potato pancakes for breakfast, potato croquettes for lunch, and potato gratin for dinner—all with a side of buttery mashed potatoes. Mashed, roasted, baked, twice-baked, fried ... with garlic, with butter, with leeks ... peppered, topped, souped, smothered ... wait, why stop at a Day? I'm thinking National Potato Weekend!

Actually, I'm away this weekend, so my 'spudselebrations' will have to be extended to a week!


Banking a few recipes to spruce up my spud sides and recipes, so I thought to share. I started with the obvious choice—Potato.ie, where I found smoked mackerel and new potato salad, Italian potato gnocchi with goat's cheese, and crispy potato cakes.
Now, what's for dinner? (says she as she sharpens her potato-peeler)

Ten spud-heavy recipes I want to try: 
Mustard-roasted potatoes via Smitten Kitchen
Tullamore Dew Whiskey Bacon Pie via A Village Pantry
Colcannon and champ via Married an Irish Farmer
Crispy hasseblack potatoes via Donal Skehan
Pomegranate, beet, potato, walnut, chevre salad at Being Cheap Never Tasted so Good
Spinach, potato, and coat's cheese tart via Rachel Allen
Boxie potato cake salad via Kevin Dundon
Potato tomato bread via The Daily Spud
Rhubarb potato gratin via The Daily Spud
Potato spinach sausage casserole, potato skins, and curried potato soup (all at once) via Simply Recipes

Happy Potato Week!