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
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
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
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
When the vikings first arrived in Iceland back in the 9th century, they discovered a coarse yet manageable new world ripe for the picking, uninhabited but for a few Gaelic monks on the southern coast. This strange, rugged land was worthy of conquering and survival over their scandinavian homeland stricken with civil strife and running… Continue reading Iceland’s Ancient Ways…. Shelter
The remote shores and dramatic environment of Iceland make for delicious but slim pickings in the way of culinary choices and on occasion brings a moral dilemma to the table: but OH! how delicious those choices are. I journeyed to Iceland hoping to enjoy a varied offering of traditional flavors despite my budget restraints from nightly… Continue reading A Taste of 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
In the Big Smoke (London), existing on the necessities performed in the " today" so that i may enjoy the "tomorrows". I find my sense of creative-self choked by the urban cloud. Though lovely to be with my dearest and oldest friend enjoying walks along the Thames, dinners in the garden and long talks over… Continue reading In The Big Smoke But Dreaming of Green
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
It's Easter Holy Week in Ireland, and being immersed among a deeper see of Catholics than almost anywhere besides Vatican City, i'm intrigued at the faith and traditions that move this country and make it rich and sincere. The place is full of beautiful sites, ancient history, interesting people and daily cultrual conundrums of curiosity… Continue reading A Dry Day In Ireland a.k.a “No Pints Friday”
Over the past year and a half i've never worried much where i would lay my head, sleep coming easy to me and fate always finding me in a safe spot. My mother used to say id be asleep before we crossed the tracks (we had a rail line running through town you had to… Continue reading Some of the best beds….
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
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
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
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
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
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
(This is my unedited version of an article i guest contributed for the hugely popular and hip Paris based site MessyNessyChic on Dec 10, 2013) In Missouri, the old timers say 'the roads were cut from following the path of a drunken Indian', curvy narrow ways winding over and around the rolling hills through dense hollows,… Continue reading Curvy Roads & Forgotten Treasures
For centuries, today January 6th marks a transitional moment in the winter spiritual and social calendar. Twelfth Night, Feast of the Epiphany, Yuletide end, Feast of Fools, even the Roman Compitalia to some extent; all marked the end of the winter and religious celebrations with the focus shifted to a fruitful and blessed year to… Continue reading Winter’s Finale & Spring’s Invitation
The two faced Roman God Janus, represented beginnings and change. The name sake for this month of January, the Romans looked to this god for inspiration as they reflected on the year past and optimistically looked forward to the year to come. It was, and should be even today, a day to show generosity and… Continue reading A Year Ahead of Opportunities & Goodness For All
The most asked question since i've been home is, "What was your most memorable moment this year?"....not an easy one to answer. Some of the best moments were only a blink of time and just never made it into one of my postings, so here are a few highlights (and less-than-highlights) of my first of… Continue reading 2013: Highlights Of An Amazing Year !
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
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!)
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“On a silver dish the Christmas pudding reposed in its glory. A large football of a pudding, a piece of holly stuck in it like a triumphant flag and glorious flames of blue and red rising round it. There was a cheer and cries of 'Ooh-ah.'" (The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding', by Agatha Christie)… Continue reading ….And To All A Christmas Pudding
I just experienced one of the most inspirational nights in many a moon at the St. Louis International Film Festival, viewing the Documentary Shorts of Artist Lives, and most especially the film by Kirkwood (St. Louis) Missouri native Virginia Lee Hunter titled "Tumbling From The Mountaintop of Truth: The Art of Anselm Spring" . Her ability… Continue reading Misfits Inspiring
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
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
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
The bulk of this journey I have found myself in Ireland. Perhaps it was the comfort I took in familiar views, Ireland reminding me of the hills of home. Perhaps it was the friendliness of strangers met in Ireland, the hospitality shared and the endless amounts of craic (good times) to be found. The ancient… Continue reading More than just Guinness & Cabbage….
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
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
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
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
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
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
I didn't have a definite plan of action when arriving in London last week. I had walked the streets before, a few years back hitting most of the tourist highlights on that visit. This time I just wanted to wander and see what surfaced. I usually started my day with some sort of goal in… Continue reading In Search of Eel Pie
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
I left the shores of Ireland, a notebook brimming with half scribbled stories of even more Irish tastes and delights to be completed upon my return, only to arrive in London and experience immediate sensory overload. The diversity of inhabitants and the offerings available are boundless here and there is so much to explore in… Continue reading First Taste In London Town
It's Easter Holy Week in Ireland, and being immersed among a deeper see of Catholics than almost anywhere besides Vatican City, i'm intrigued at the faith and traditions that move this country and make it rich and sincere. The place is full of beautiful sites, interesting people and daily cultrual conundrums of curiosity . One… Continue reading The Easter Flame or “No Pints” Friday In Ireland
Being in and out of Ireland over the past few months, I've really grown comfortable in this familiar but foreign land, due mostly in part to the warm folks that make up this ancient land of faith, passion, and pride. And on no other day of the year will you sense all that with an… Continue reading No Better Place To Be For St. Paddy’s Day!
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
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
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
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!
If ever you're wondering who the Rucksack Foodie "is" and what has motivated this tour of the unknown, interesting and delicious then here is a peek into the dark abyss of my wandering spirit, gracefully captured by Ellie S. of Boots n Burbs ! Today I had the honor of being interviewed by one of the… Continue reading ‘Boots n Burbs’ Getting To The Heart Of It All
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
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
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
Most all of you know i'm currently a hobo foodie wandering about Europe on a shoestring budget. But I'm also a P.M.G ... Proud Mother of a Geek!! (By the way, he hates it when I say that.) The word "geek" had many root origins out of early Europe from fool, to crazy, to even… Continue reading And now for something completely different…..
For a mainly rural area of quaint villages and hillside farms often referred to as the "poor man's Cotswolds", in the Gloucestershire/Herefordshire region in England, the range of artisan foods and the high quality of such is exciting. And that includes some of England's finest roasted coffee ! Peter James spent many years wielding a chefs… Continue reading Cupping Joe
16th century Danish nobleman and home-brewer of sorts, Eske Bille may have originally only had intentions of improving the herbal elixir left over from the Black Death but little did he know he was to be the forefather of the original snaps/schnapps otherwise known as Akvavit to the Danish. This smooth beverage gains it's name… Continue reading Feels Good & Tastes Heavenly! Akvavit !!!