Friday, March 6, 2009

Sanibel and Ireland Both Wear the Green

Years ago on a trip through Ireland I was struck by four things.

It's an amazingly green place.

It's an amazingly friendly place.

It's an amazingly tidy place.

Though not known for its culinary achievements, there are some amazingly good meals to be had. Among them are the variety of Irish stews served up in local pubs in just about every little town throughout the country.

So, considering a trip down to Sanibel in March, I came across an advertisement for Celtic Stew at one of our favorite hang-outs, Doc Ford's. I started to salivate thinking of the steaming, flavorful stews enjoyed years ago on drizzly days in front of blazing fires.

Irish stew, "ballymaloe" or "stobhach gaelach" as it is called in Gaelic, is traditionally made of lamb or mutton (less tender sheep over two years of age), potatoes, onions, and parsley. Often, lamb or mutton neckbones, shanks, and other trimmings were the only basis for the stock. Yet, these would-be discards still held enough flavor after a long simmering process to do justice to a hearty bowl of stew.

Visions of this sumptuous mix were dashed, however, as I realized that the Celtic Stew being advertised at Doc Ford's was not something to feed the belly but to entertain the ears for St. Patrick's Day.

Billed as an Irish Pub Band, the musicians of Celtic Stew will be entertaining everyone lucky enough to be at Doc Ford's on March 17 from 7 to 10 p.m. If you like Irish pub music, I think you are going to like this lively band. Check out their sound on their MySpace page:

Certainly the music is a great way to celebrate this fun filled holiday while on fun filled Sanibel.

And other comparisons to be made between these two green islands are apparent.

Sanibel is an amazingly green place!

Sanibel is an amazingly friendly place!

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