The festive season on the island is one of great joy. And the void of the anti climatic feeling one may find in larger communities. It was also good to see many people coming home for the holidays. There is a sense that the island is totally ours for 2 days as there is no ferry or airplane from mid afternoon on Christmas eve until the day after St Stephens day.
Our celebrations were tinged with a bit of sadness as we mourn of passing of Malachy Beatty one of the last older fisherman who ritually prepared the salted rock fish mentioned in my last post. Malachy was one of the true characters of his generation. Industrious and witty in his own way. I fondly remember asking him about the sea rods that they used to collect and dry on the walls of their cottage to ship to the mainland that was used in making of iodine.
With the passing of Malachy we have lost some of our heritage and lore.
Peace is something we all hope for in the new year. And for those of you planning to come to the islands and those of you that have been we wish you all a happy new year.
A tradition kept alive on the islands is Óiche Nollag na mBan (little Christmas or Ladies Christmas).
Traditionally it is the night after Epiphany when the men do all the cooking and the women can put their feet up after the preparation that they have been doing for many months. Here are few ideas that you can use to enhance the staples for an non pulsed evening’s supper.
Enjoy, and we wish you all some of the peace and quiet of Aran for 2015.
Preheat oven to gas mark 2 or 150 degree’s in a casserole dish. Add a bit of oil over a medium or high heat, add the pheasant and brown on all sides. Once browned add all the remaining ingredients, cover casserole dish, place in the oven, and let it cook slowly for 2 hours. Serve with a nice creamy mash.
Peal and slice thickly the potatoes, power boil for five minutes, drain, and refrigerate for 1 hour or more. Mix oil, lemon juice, rind, Salt and pepper together, In an oven proof pan add the potatoes and pour mixture over. Bake in a medium heated oven for 20 minutes. Serve as a side dish or part of a main.