Last night we had a gastronomical adventure. A night of cooking, nutrition, conversation and connection at Nourish By Nature, with hosts Sid and Angela.
Now I've mentioned before how well the Irish do things - driving, conversation, hospitality, entertainment...and now I will add dinner to the list. All aspects of dinner. From the prep to the conversation, the presentation to the dessert - it was a stellar night.
Let's clear up the nomenclature first. Our usual American adjectives, used to describe things we really like, "outrageous!" or "awesome", may mean something entirely different here. So our ever patient new friends gave us a crash course in Irish compliments. The highest forms of praise would be to call something "class" or "mad", or to be "mad" for something. We are MAD for Sid's cooking. It's CLASS!
We also learned that "pibs" are seeds, and "streaky rashers" are bacon. We never really learned what blood pudding is, probably because we truly didn't want to know. :)
Sid is a powerhouse of information. A nutritional expert and chef, he teaches how to cook food that nourishes your body while completely satisfying your tastebuds. We requested a dairy-free night, and could hardly believe the incredible creamy, rich foods he created. Gluten-free paleo breads with protein-rich dips, fresh and easy vegetable soup, potato and smoked salmon cakes with pickled vegetables on rocket (arugula). Those were just for starters.
We were sprinkled with cooking tips and nutritional tidbits like toasted nuts on fresh pea soup. By the time the main course was ready (stuffed pork fillet rolled in bacon and drizzled with bone broth gravy and rhubarb compote) we were committed to pursuing healthy, delicious cooking at home.
Now the night wasn't all serious instruction and fancy silverware. The jokes were flying amongst the students (99.9% of which cannot be repeated here!), the dog and cats frolicking outside the kitchen near the chickens, and a gorgeous sunset sent us all scurrying outside just before the rain arrived.
By the time the gluten-free almond cake drizzled in dark chocolate was served, we were all purring like the kittens outside. When we anticipated a food coma for the rest of the evening, Sid assured us that would not be the case. The type of food served, in the order it was served, insured no bloating or excessive fullness. To our delight, he was absolutely right.
Now if this blog post has made you hungry for decadent food, craving the ability to eat rich, deeply satisfying flavors while making your body stronger and healthier - check out Sid and Angela's website here: Nourish By Nature. And when you're in lovely Listowel (which you must be at some point - you know you want to!) book a night with Sid for yourself and your five best friends. It will forever change the way you view your food, and your tastebuds (and your friends) will thank you!