So, as some of you know… I volunteer for ReachOut.com, and a few days ago we had a little picnic out in St. Stephen’s green with some burritos. While there, we were talking a little bit about cultural differences. It was me, one of the girls who works at ReachOut who grew up in Australia, and then other guy who grew up in Cork, Ireland. We were talking about politics because here in Ireland they are about to have a HUGE vote (which by the way is causing quite a bit controversy between the two political parties here) about the “Fiscal Treaty Referendum“. From what I understand, and granted, my understanding is probably not anywhere close to encompassing the intricacies of this treaty, they are voting as to whether or not to keep/implement rules that would require stricter rules in balancing the budget to avoid further national debt. The reason it’s being suggested is because the Euro is currently is crisis of going under because of the PIIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain)… so from what I gather Ireland is trying to make their economy better and prevent the euro from going under with this vote. Again, I do not know much about it, only that it’s happening, because obviously we can’t vote on it. So, it’s been interesting times here… and a lot of people have been debating it… There’s signs everywhere… I feel like presidential elections are happening, ha ha!
Also, I learned that the president here doesn’t actually make the decisions… the person who does is called the taoiseach (Pronounced “Tea-sheck” – I think, ha ha… things in Ireland are pronounced really strangely…). They are like the prime minister from what I understand. Also, there are two main politcal parties in Ireland, one is Fianna Fáil and the other is Fine Gael, and the are BOTH right-wing… neither is liberal.
So anyway, that’s my slight political education I’ve received so far here in Ireland.
Now onto things I DO know about… weather!!! So, the past 3 days it’s been like 70 degrees Fahrenheit… but because it’s been so cold here lately, it’s felt like 80… ha ha. I’ve been trying to take keeley to the park to play, but everyone wants to enjoy the weather so much that there is NO space to throw the ball around for her!
People were laying out in the park… IN THEIR SWIMSUITS working on their tan, it was hilarious! Also, do you remember me telling you back in December how LITTLE light there was? Well, we definitely have light now! As of today, sunrise was 5:12 am, and sunset was 9:33pm. By the middle of June, the sunrise is about 4:45 am (but I’ve been told it STARTS rising at like 3am), and sunset is at 10:00 pm (but it’s not pitch black until at least after 11pm). So… I took this following photo at 9:15 pm the other night…
I’m not used to it being bright so late, and it’s been messing with my sleep schedule, ha ha. Thank god we have semi-black-out curtains in our bedroom… the second anything wakes me up, I am up for the morning because it’s so bright.
This weekend, we are going to a pizza place called Paulie’s Pizza – how fitting, right? Ha ha. We’re also going to try to go to the beach together this weekend as long as the weather holds up. We may even go out to Howth on Sunday to go to the Farmer’s Market and walk around the peninsula!
And of course, because I’ve been doing so much cooking lately, there is a recipe below… BUT FIRST!
Congrats to my little sister who graduated from elementary school this week! It’s so hard to believe she’s going to be going to middle school next year!!!
Also – Today is Toby’s Grandmother’s 80th birthday!! Happy Birthday Mary!!!
And now for some food!
Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter
See original recipe at EatingWell.com
- 1 pound fresh or frozen gnocchi
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 medium shallots, chopped
- 1 pound zucchini, (about 3 small), very thinly sliced lengthwise (see Tip)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t have this, so I put a little bit of basil)
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook gnocchi until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add shallots and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, salt, nutmeg and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the tomatoes are just starting to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and parsley. Add the gnocchi and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Per serving (each recipe makes 4 servings): 424 calories; 10 g fat ( 6 g sat , 0 g mono ); 25 mg cholesterol; 66 g carbohydrates; 17 gprotein; 5 g fiber; 753 mg sodium; 539 mg potassium.
Anyway – hope you enjoyed the random Irish semi-politics lesson and the recipe! Happy Friday tomorrow everyone!!!