[dropcap1]I[/dropcap1] was born in the Irish Midlands in the early 1980s.
There is extensive photographic evidence of my first years of life as my parents went a little camera-crazy documenting their happy baby.
My Irish Heritage
My parents were both born in the United States. They moved to Ireland the year before I was born.
My family saw it as a return to our ancestral home.
My father’s side of the family came to the United States via Maryland in 1851 at the end of the Great Famine. The photo above is me with my paternal grandfather who came to visit us in Ireland.
He fits right in, doesn’t he?
We lived happily in a drafty, mold-infested bungalow on a quiet road outside of a rural Irish town. My mother tells me that the walls were so badly insulated that your hair would blow from the wind when you walked down the hallway.
We heated our house with turf. We had cow-grates on our drive so that when the farmers drove their stock back from the fields at night, the cows didn’t turn in and make themselves comfortable for the night.
Every house on our street had a name that was included in your street address. When we finally moved from our bungalow to a properly built house across the road, there was a huge tree that grew at the back of our property. It showed on our deed as “Tullin Tree”. So, our house came to be named Tullin House.
The name lives on in my family as the name my brother gave to his business, Tullin Concepts. If you’re looking for after-market Audi parts, you should give him a call. Tell him his sister sent you. He’ll take good care of you.
Friends, Family and Food
Our lives revolved around a tight group of friends who quickly became like family. My godparents lived two houses up the road. My school was just around the corner, past a field that became a lake when it rained. One particularly rainy summer a pair of swans made it their home.
My exposure to Irish food and drink came at the dinner tables of my friends and at the pub with my father. I ate homemade buns and scones at the Mulligan’s and stew at the Moran’s. After Sunday church, we’d go to the pub to sit with my dad and he’s let us try the foam from his Guinness.
Irish food is my comfort food. Buttery, rich and simple, it abandons all pretension and focuses on filling up your stomach to get you through your day.
Meant to be Homemade
There is a flavor that is missing from restaurant-style Irish food. Because, you’re meant to eat bowlfuls of stew with a basket of brown bread to soak up the juices in your own kitchen surrounded by family and friends.
I hope you enjoy the family recipes I have on Working Out the Details. I’m proud of my recipes.
Remember this. Irish butter is an effective tool of cross-cultural culinary communication.
Be sure to tweet me @shauna_little if you have any questions.