The phrase “fill up on bread” is used in my family as a way to say “fill up on life”.
My mother was raised in a fairly poor family in a small town in County Dublin, but there was always just enough to eat. Vegetables grew in the back garden, there was lots of floury potatoes, fish on Fridays and maybe some Hafner’s sausages as a treat on Saturdays.
In our family food and love are interchangeable. Most of what we eat, and who serves it, is laden with symbolism.
Christmas dinners were rushed to make sure we had enough time to sit down again at six o’clock for tea. But even when the food being served was more modest than a Christmas dinner, there was always the exhortion to “fill up on bread”.
Over the years, I’ve travelled the world, sharing fish curry recipes with Indian ladies on trains, seeking out the best pizza in New York City, eating fruit straight from the tree and fish straight out of the ocean. I have the biggest affinity for those cultures who put good bread, good cheese and good wine at the centre of everything they serve.
I live for my next airplane ticket, and the buzz of arriving in a new city or country to learn something new.
This blog is an attempt to pull together all the tales of travel, food and friendship from my lifetime, experiences I have shared with family, friends and strangers.