FOOD !, From The Road, Spain, Uncategorized

Madrid Mini-break of Indulgences

With only three days in Spain, Madrid won two of them, and most was spent indulging as a foodie should.  Madrid is no doubt a bustling, modern day city filled with beauty, traditions and cultural experiences but it's also an ancient capital that has seen many changes.  A city whose last 2 centuries have left… Continue reading Madrid Mini-break of Indulgences

England, From The Road, Stops & Stays, Travel

Word On The Water

Out the northside of London's Paddington Station you'll find a floating oasis often unnoticed by usual visitors to the Big Smoke. Where conventional lines of existence are colorfully blurred, where one can calmly drift amid a turbulent urban sea and the slow bohemian lifestyle is holding on despite the new millennium of technology and convenience and… Continue reading Word On The Water

From The Road, Iceland, Stops & Stays, Traditions, Travel

Hot Pots In A Cold Land

Although Mother Nature wreaks occasional havoc over this land, she also extends an apology by providing Icelander's a special retreat in the form of hot pots. Bathing has become an important part of the Icelandic culture over the centuries, first in natural hots springs for basic health and hygiene and now in modern days for… Continue reading Hot Pots In A Cold Land

From The Road, History, Iceland, Traditions, Travel

Iceland’s Ancient Ways….. Sorcery For Survival

In a land of rumbling earth with dark winters and endless daylight summers, with hot steam rising from ginormous cracks in the ground and numerous mountains belching forth ash and destruction; 2000 years ago it would only make sense to believe that all natural oddities found on this remote northern most Iceland to be the… Continue reading Iceland’s Ancient Ways….. Sorcery For Survival

Extracurricular, From The Road, History, Iceland, Inspiration, Stops & Stays, Travel

Awe Inspiring Iceland

Dramatic: from the endless scenic landscapes, to the ancient tales of it's early Viking settler's, to the turbulent natural forces lying in wait... The first word of association when I think Iceland is dramatic. From the moment the plane entered the airspace above, i could tell this place was special. At midnight, the sun still… Continue reading Awe Inspiring Iceland

Extracurricular, From The Road, History, Ireland, Traditions, Travel

A Pedal Through Yesteryear

It was a gray, misty day which only made the fields look more green, as if that were even possible here. The air had a faint sweetness of spring blooms, and often the only sound to be heard was the click-clack of pedals turning vintage chains. Though there were near 200 people pedaling down a… Continue reading A Pedal Through Yesteryear

From The Road, History, Italy, Stops & Stays, Travel

Florence….The Drive-By Tour

Off the path, and i mean that on so many levels. After a few, exhausting days of solitary hiking along the Via Francigena ,I found myself in Florence Italy.  Arriving late into the city, I aimlessly strolled across the piazza and discovered  a fellow a American lone-wolf traveler. An interesting  character in a cocked LA… Continue reading Florence….The Drive-By Tour

FOOD !, From The Road, Inspiration, Libations, Travel, Via Francigena

A Sign Of Inspiration & Amazing Pork

Monday, 24 March Viterbo, an ancient city built some say by Hercules, definitely civilized by the Etruscans, and since seen centuries of Popes, politics, war and growth. But here i found inspiration and the most delicious pork! I arrived as usual, wandering in search of a church and hoping to find the actual Via Fracigena… Continue reading A Sign Of Inspiration & Amazing Pork

From The Road, Italy, People, Recipes, Travel, Via Francigena

No Via Francigena But Plenty of Angels & Artichokes

Sunday, 23 March From the start of this trip a stillness comes over my mind as I try and reason with myself on this odyssey ( I'm guessing this is a coping mechanism and really im just in shock). Though I'm struggling a bit due to my lack of italian, gaining my bearings with cultural… Continue reading No Via Francigena But Plenty of Angels & Artichokes

FOOD !, From The Road, History, Inspiration, Italy, Rome, Travel, Via Francigena

The Pilgrimage of the Not-Quite-For-Sure

And so it begins.... As I wrap up 3 overwhelming yet unimaginable days in Rome, today I begin the Via Francigena pilgrimage route (in reverse) from Rome to Canterbury England. For centuries, humans have followed this same route; for nomadic migration, for exotic trade, for war, for religion. I can not tell you for sure… Continue reading The Pilgrimage of the Not-Quite-For-Sure

FOOD !, Friends, From The Road, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Travel

Stoney Hills, Thatched Roofs and Peat Fires

The west of Ireland possess a serene yet melancholy beauty that can engross every sense of ones self. A journey across this country's midland takes you from the rolling green fields of dairy cows and thoroughbreds, through knobby fields of fairy mounds and sheep, across the land of loughs and peat bogs, to a barren… Continue reading Stoney Hills, Thatched Roofs and Peat Fires

England, Extracurricular, FOOD !, From The Road, History, People, Traditions, Travel

Finding the Sacred Pancake

As i was making my way through London City to one of the most extensive collections of food and wine archives i happened upon a large and excited crowd gathered in Guildhall Square. On lookers spanning the perimeter of what appeared to be a race course of some sorts with a waiting horde of men… Continue reading Finding the Sacred Pancake

From The Road, Ireland, Uncategorized

Stoneing, Fox Hunting, & Hot Whisky Does a Holiday Make!

Master of the hunt and his riders and hounds gathering for the annual Fox Hunt in Kells Ireland, Dec 26 2013
Master of the hunt and his riders and hounds gathering for the annual Fox Hunt in Kells Ireland, Dec 26 2013

A glimpse back at last year’s day after Christmas for the Rucksack Foodie, and the Irish traditions the day holds.
“Stoneing, Fox Hunting, & Hot Whisky Does a Holiday Make! “http://wp.me/p2IvOS-4A

Rucksack Foodie

The day after Christmas back home in Missouri includes waking up to a house strewn about with new toys, spending the day indulging on Mom’s Christmas dinner leftovers, and 60% off sales at all major department stores.            In Ireland the day after Christmas is so much more!! December 26 is known as St Stephens Day  ( La Fheile Stiofan) or The Day of the Wren (La an Dreoilin). The day for many starts out in Catholic Mass, as did mine in hopes i’d find a bit of spiritual explanation for this holiday. A day of a observation for the first Christian martyr, based upon the story of St Stephen who in 35ad was stoned to death by an angry mob  for his faith in Jesus and then while be stoned prayed for his assailants souls to be forgiven by God (quite a guy!)

The story…

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Extracurricular, FOOD !, Friends, From The Road, Stops & Stays, Travel

A Taste of Home

A little over a month I've been "home", hugging my man-son, sharing too many bottles of wine and endless laughs with friends and rediscovering all the wonderful-ness that can be found in this often over looked state of Missouri. Returning in the autumn was my idea time, when the Ozark foothills become spectacular displays of… Continue reading A Taste of Home

FOOD !, Friends, From The Road, Stops & Stays, Travel

Foodie Making Moments

In one of the Soho Literary Festival Panels i attended the question was presented, "Have foodies taken the fun out of restaurants ?" ...Suddenly i found myself cringing a bit at my current persona, and contemplating what my role as a foodie / a chef / a community "ring-leader" has been and the example i… Continue reading Foodie Making Moments

England, FOOD !, Friends, From The Road, History, Libations, Travel

A Part of Something Delicious

Food and community are synonymous in my world. Where each alone is a moment in life,  the coupling together of food and community provide you memories to last. So volunteering to work at the Ludlow Food Festival, UKs original (and one of the largest) slow & local food featured Food Festivals, was a memorable weekend of… Continue reading A Part of Something Delicious

FOOD !, Friends, From The Road, Ireland, People, Travel

Tractor Pilates and Milking Maid Duties

Off  the grid and on the farm is where I can be found as of late. Exiting what turned out to be an unsavory work stay that had brought me back to Ireland from London, I found my way into a truly rewarding and educating experience thanks to some wonderful Irish friends and came to… Continue reading Tractor Pilates and Milking Maid Duties

FOOD !, France, From The Road, Libations, Recipes, Travel

Absorbing Alsace & Needing A Babel Fish

After a sensational whirlwind week in Paris with the best girlfriends from back home, the tranquil life of the Alsace region was a welcome respite. We all hopped a train on Thursday and headed east for a bit of country scenery, splendid food and wine traveling in Alsace. The eight of us shoved ourselves and… Continue reading Absorbing Alsace & Needing A Babel Fish

Extracurricular, France, Friends, From The Road, History, Libations, Travel

Awesome Dead People, Their History & Fairy Tales

This post I'm sharing the page with fellow traveler, gourmand, and bestest friend Lisa Glenn who's special interest and bottomless well of  information lie in medieval history and all the drama, intrigue, and unbelievable acts one would find in a royal family tree. She and I broke away from the pack one day during our… Continue reading Awesome Dead People, Their History & Fairy Tales

FOOD !, France, From The Road, Libations, Travel

Needs become Desire..Alsatian Traditions, Gourmet Delights

Sometimes food and drink gracefully evolve into gastronomical wonders out of the depths of a master chef's kitchen and sometimes it's simplest of form continues as it has been for centuries to exist at our tables strictly for desire. Growing from it's original purpose of simple food supply for survival, food and drink can maintain… Continue reading Needs become Desire..Alsatian Traditions, Gourmet Delights

FOOD !, From The Road, Recipes, Travel

My Sunday In Alsace

A cold and rainy Sunday in Westhoffen France marks the first of a few weeks i'll spend in this tranquil and beautiful place. The Alsace region of France is the France less travel and the true gem of the Rhine River Valley. This 80 mile Route des Vins on the German border is a continuous… Continue reading My Sunday In Alsace

France, From The Road, Stops & Stays, Travel

Paris Overload – Getting Lost The Right Way

Granted my main focus for going to Paris was to meet up with 6 of the most wonderful friends ever for a proper week of girl chat, wine consumption & sight seeing but of course it was to include some of the best food on the planet. I had done plenty of studying up on… Continue reading Paris Overload – Getting Lost The Right Way

England, FOOD !, Friends, From The Road, People, Travel

London Night Out -Punjabi Style

The tastes and sites I've been introduced to because of a simple friendly exchange have been priceless. I met Avtar a second generation southeast Londoner who was traveling for work in a small village pub in Ireland a few weeks back. Everyone was chatting about the football lottery and our jovial exchange about splitting that weeks… Continue reading London Night Out -Punjabi Style

From The Road, History, Ireland, Libations, Stops & Stays, Traditions, Travel

A Sip Back In Time

Wandering the streets of Dingle Ireland, I happened upon a shop window reminiscent of an antique/junk shop in America, upon entry I was pleasantly surprised to find a pub. An almost magical pub called Dick Mac's. A space forgotten to time, known for its Guinness on tap on one side and leather goods and shoe… Continue reading A Sip Back In Time

Friends, From The Road, Ireland, Libations, People, Stops & Stays, Traditions, Travel

Visiting With A Master

You never know where one conversation might lead you. This one lead me to the beauty found and the legacy being built from the art of Irish Crystal. I arrived in Dingle Ireland on a late Monday afternoon and was conducting my initial wander about (as I do on any new stop along the way)… Continue reading Visiting With A Master

FOOD !, From The Road, Ireland, People, Stops & Stays, Travel

Dingle for a Day – Not Long Enough

The scenic beauty of Kerry Co. Ireland presented its lovely welcome just on the other side of Tralee,  where the wetlands stretched out into the bay and the Slieve Mish Mountains rose majestically, guiding my way out the peninsula to Dingle. Dingle is a remote part of Ireland and despite the hoards of tourists that… Continue reading Dingle for a Day – Not Long Enough

FOOD !, From The Road, Ireland, People, Recipes, Traditions

A Day At the Farm…Dinner Inspired!

A sunny day in Ireland, so I took full advantage and wandered a wee road trip out to the very small hill top village of Ardcath to see a man about a sheep. I had the pleasure of meeting Derek Brangan and his sons at a recent Wild Game Potluck Dinner. A country girl at… Continue reading A Day At the Farm…Dinner Inspired!

FOOD !, From The Road, Ireland, People, Recipes, Travel

A Taste of the Wild Side

One of the many reasons I decided to revisit Ireland this month was to attend the annual Game Night Dinner at Dolly Mitchell's Pub, and was it ever a night to remember ! Winding my way through the back hall of this century old roadside pub, crossing out the back door and into a barn… Continue reading A Taste of the Wild Side

Extracurricular, FOOD !, From The Road, History, Ireland, Recipes

Goatskins, A Martyr & Homemade Pizza… Ingredients For Love

Every conceivable cliche' of love known to civilization is at it's maximum use potential today, as love and admiration become a tangible commodity.  I could ramble on about the gross exploitation of emotion and contrived gestures of appreciation...but I won't (your welcome) I will however share a bit of history on the day (with an… Continue reading Goatskins, A Martyr & Homemade Pizza… Ingredients For Love

England, FOOD !, From The Road, History, Libations, Traditions, Travel

An Apple a Day… In A Pint of Cider Please

The Forest of Dean in west England holds many tasty discoveries; artisan cheeses, rolling green hillsides of plump lamb & mutton, farm after farm of fruit orchards, and most note worthy cider making. Cider is very basic - fermented apple juice. Simple as cider may be to make, it has an interesting and ancient history… Continue reading An Apple a Day… In A Pint of Cider Please

England, FOOD !, Friends, From The Road, Inspiration, People

Feast by Fire

"Fire is elemental and primitive; the most miserable situation clears up when somebody gets the fire going." - Dorothy Hartley, Food In England 1954 The Gloucestershire hillside fields were covered with a morning frost, reflecting beautiful colors only seen when the Sun is kissing the  Earth good morning and good night. The colors reminded me… Continue reading Feast by Fire

Extracurricular, From The Road, Inspiration, Ireland, Stops & Stays, Travel

Forgotten Hills of Mystery

I awoke yesterday morning to fog like none other I had seen and despite it was my second day of driving in Ireland, that even at noon roads could have spots of black ice (temps were only at 42 f) and that I had no map, I was going to explore Loughcrew Cairns. There is… Continue reading Forgotten Hills of Mystery

FOOD !, Friends, From The Road, Ireland, People, Traditions, Travel

For Meat Lovers Only

Being raised in a house full of hunters, dating a few riflemen and cowboys - I've eaten my fair share of woodland bounty. Never being a big fan of game meat, I did enjoy cooking it for those who did. Since being in Ireland my palate has been convinced otherwise! Thanks to artisan butcher Peter… Continue reading For Meat Lovers Only

Extracurricular, From The Road, History, Ireland, People, Traditions

Rugby a Short History …OR… You Did What?? (My Mother Is Not Gonna Like This One)

One of the most grueling pastimes around, Rugby; a sport of constant battle, skillful footing, strength, wit and endurance. Bruises, cuts, sprains and breaks are all part of this challenging sport of gentlemen, but at the end of 80 minutes of play, both teams walk off exhausted and meet up at the nearest pub ready… Continue reading Rugby a Short History …OR… You Did What?? (My Mother Is Not Gonna Like This One)

FOOD !, From The Road, History, Ireland, Recipes, Traditions

A Poor Man’s Dish, That Every Man Loves

The Shepard's Pie is a loved dish throughout Ireland and across the British Isle. It's origins stemming from the Middle Ages when minced meat pies were in favor.  Most likely the invention of a frugal housewife, the term "Shepard's Pie" is not seen in a written context until 1870, according to The Oxford Companion To… Continue reading A Poor Man’s Dish, That Every Man Loves

FOOD !, From The Road

Cooking according to Aga

The Aga is not a stove, nor a range , nor an oven. It is a household tool, a domestic servant that is a wonderful and useful jack of all trades yet ill equipped to be a master of any - an Aga is a part of daily life. Patricia says " We've learned to… Continue reading Cooking according to Aga

FOOD !, Friends, From The Road, Ireland, Traditions

Peter & The Whole Hogg Farm

Sourcing tradition and quality when it comes to food is a very easy task when in Meath County Ireland! Meet Peter Whelan, of The Whole Hogg Farm, located near Slane Ireland. Peter and his wife Susan began raising the ancient breed of Irish Grazer pigs, aka Tamworth pigs seven years ago and has since brought… Continue reading Peter & The Whole Hogg Farm

From The Road, Inspiration, Ireland, Stops & Stays, Travel

Hill of Slane

Here, pilgrim, stop; rest on yonder monumental slab, beneath the shadow of that tall, ivy-mantled tower, the belfry of the cathedral....it once was gorgeous with the shrines of Fathers, and illumed by many a flickering taper, though now the hemlock fills its aisles, and the purple foxglove waves it's lonely banneret. The ground whereon we… Continue reading Hill of Slane