It was great William Faulkner, who probably would have been very unhappy about the fact that his saying “ The past is not dead. It’s not even the past now, is ubiquitous quoted everywhere. But especially for Ireland it is inevitably true and this dear reader, I do not only say this out of the midst of a very small village, where the clocks tend to tick slower as elsewhere but with a very good reason. The Irish eat as if the 1970s and 1980s were still alive and in fact here they are. When you ever crave for a chicken Kiev, please book your next flight immediately, every pub on the country roads will serve this dish containing garlic for a lifetime with proud as well as you will find it served with piles of mashed potatoes even at Fallon and Byrne. And of course Chicken Kiev was the first dish introduced in Great Britain as a ready meal by Marks and Spencer and I swear to you, if you queue at Tesco or Supervalu you will see it in every second basket or if you make your way to my village, at the still existing grocer’s store you can have a try. And of course, dear reader you know your Faulkner much better than I did, when I came to Ireland, inviting neighbors and colleagues for a get together in my house, serving Risotto with mushrooms, a green salad containing dried tomatoes, naan- bread with hummus and lemon trifle, wondering more and more while everybody drank but nobody ate anything or even dared to try a bit of this or that. But then one of the gusts invited asked me shyly and not without blushing, if I did not have any Scotch eggs or cheese crackers? Scotch eggs, echoed I, wondering what this might be. And my vis- à vis gave me up as a totally hopeless case without any culinary understanding. In the village I live in, I am known since then as the women- who does- not- eat- pork- but- gave- us-salad- to-starve. Humm, you know what Scotch Eggs are, did I ask the grocer’s wife on the next morning, who knows everyone and everything and after a long minute of shocked silence, she told me the secret of eggs being wrapped in a sausage, coated in bread crumbs and baked. Oh dear, she said looking at me as I would be standing orphaned and alone in the world. But you dear reader, who secretly dreams of potatoes with baked- beans, waffles with bacon, sandwiches filled with tuna and corn or chicken, ham and egg- mayonnaise, grilled cheese toast and mushy peas, you will not be disappointed but warmly welcomed among us. No, you will not be starved here, tortured with couscous, carpaccio or yoghurt mousse on a variation of forest fruits, here you will be feed as if the good old times would have ever existed, parachute pants were ever stylish and Milli Vanilli could really sing. Be welcome and give my warm regards to the grocer’s wife.
A great book to leave Faulkner behind as quote deliverer and discover the great writer he has undoubtedly been, “ As I lay dying“ is a great start.