I’m going to be completely honest and tell you that I read this book in one day. Never getting fully dressed. Never taking a shower. Eating over the sink to save time. And not feeling one bit guilty about it when all was said and done.
I’m not going to say this book was amazing only because, like most things in life, I feel there is always room for improvement. But was this book a page turner? Heck yeah!
The Accident Season is a fast-paced story about teenager Cara and her family during the month of October, or “The Accident Season” as they call it. During this one month time frame, the family experiences everything from bumps and bruises to broken bones to the death of loved ones. But this accident season, Cara’s family is taken to the edge of insanity as family secrets (and maybe ghosts) bring light to why they are cursed (!!!)
I’m no expert when it come to young adult books, but I will say that I get a kick out of reading through those awkward teen moments – falling in love with your best friend, sneaking a cigarette out behind the school, getting drunk at a Halloween party being hosted in what is probably a haunted house with some connection to crazy accidents that happen only to your family.
Well, maybe not that last one. But you get my drift.
The crazy kids in this novel spend some time getting drunk. And that got me thinking, “what is the best food for when you’ve maybe downed a bottle or two of Boone’s Farm Wine?”. This pondering (in my best Irish internal dialogue) naturally led me to NEEDING a Full Irish Breakfast.
I first heard of the Full Irish Breakfast while traveling through Ireland a few years back. I would see it on the menu and wonder what in sweet hell is black and white pudding. Then one day I just ordered it and fell madly in love with this golden platter of goodness. Traditionally it includes the following:
Pack of Irish bacon or rashers
Pack of Irish local Sausages
Black and white Pudding
Boxty (a wonderful mix of potatoes and various fillings – pancake heaven)
Now being that I live in The South I knew my options in buying Irish themed meats were not going to be many. So instead I took to the internet and found a local Irish bar that served a Full Irish on the weekends. In fact there were three options in the whole state. Thankfully, one of them was only six blocks from home.
After convincing a friend to join me and split the golden platter of goodness I can honestly see why this is a go to post night on the town. I didn’t eat for nearly 8 hours after. But knowing that many of you are adventurous in the kitchen below you will find a recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Rachel Allen.
Irish Weekend Fry Up
Recipe from Rachel’s Irish Family Food
Vegetable, sunflower, or olive oil, for frying
Butter, for frying and spreading on toast
2 medium-size pork sausages
2 slices (rashers) thick-cut, dry-cured, smoked or unsmoked, Canadian (back) or regular (streaky) bacon, rind removed
2 to 3 slices of black and/or white pudding
2 ounces button mushrooms, sliced, or 1 large flat mushroom, stem removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe tomato, halved
Boxty (recipe below)
For the eggs
1 to 2 eggs
½ tablespoon milk (for scrambled eggs)
1 to 1½ tablespoons butter (for scrambled eggs)
2 slices white or whole-grain (brown) bread
Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sausages and fry for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Add the bacon and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden, dabbing off any milky liquid with paper towels. Add the black and/or white pudding slices to the pan and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until beginning to crisp; the white pudding (if using) should turn golden. Remove the sausages, bacon, and pudding slices from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, add a dash of oil and pat of butter to another frying pan over medium heat. Add the button mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened and turning golden. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the pan and keep warm (adding to the dish with the sausages and bacon). If you are cooking a large flat mushroom, then add the oil and butter to the pan and fry the mushroom for 8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until softened and browned.
Season the cut side of the tomato halves with salt and pepper and drizzle over 1 tablespoon of oil. Gently fry them, cut side down first, for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn over and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes, until just softened.
To fry an egg, melt a pat of butter in a small, clean frying pan over low heat. Carefully crack the egg into the pan and allow to fry gently. For an over-easy egg, fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until it begins to set, then flip over and fry for another 1 to 2 minutes. If you prefer your egg sunny side up, then fry gently for 4 to 5 minutes, until the yolk has filmed over. Remove from the pan and serve immediately with the other cooked ingredients.
For scrambled eggs, crack the eggs into a bowl, add the milk, season with salt and pepper, and beat together. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to a small saucepan over low heat. Immediately pour in the eggs and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continuously (I find a wooden spatula best for this), until the butter has melted and the eggs are softly scrambled. Remove from the heat immediately so that the eggs don’t become overcooked. Serve with the other cooked ingredients.
While the egg is cooking, put the slices of bread in a toaster or toast under a preheated broiler (grill) for a few minutes (and on both sides, if using the broiler/grill) until golden. Butter the toast and cut the slices in half.
To serve, arrange everything on a warm serving plate, with the hot buttered toast on the side and with some tomato ketchup or relish.
Irish readers! Is there anything we missed?
P.S. A mini travel guide to Ireland if you want to eat this breakfast in a more authentic setting!