Molly’s Memories of Ireland

Inspired by The Cooking Cottage’s dreamy trips to Ireland, I took a semester off from college in fall 2008 and traveled to Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. Once the shock of all the dishwashing I had to do wore off, I had a wonderful time living amidst the farm and gardens and other food enthusiasts. When I wasn’t earning my keep cooking for and working at the local farmers market, I spent plenty of time in Darina Allen’s own kitchen and enjoyed many cooking classes at the world renowned school.

Here is Darina hosting a school group… no doubt telling them about the importance of local foods and cooking from scratch.


The views and drama of the Irish landscape are not easily forgotten. I loved exploring the coastlines, looking out at the Atlantic Ocean.


Kinsale is a charming coastal town. I remember strolling along the docks, full of bobbing sailboats. I also remember a delicious seafood lunch! Most of all, I remember the beautiful, colorful buildings.


The photo is a bit hazy but the memories are surprisingly clear. I hadn’t yet turned 21 when I traveled to Ireland so it was such a treat to be admitted and served (!) at the local pub. I drank my first hard cider at this friendly, cozy pub a couple miles from my apartment. If we’re lucky, there will be some live music while we’re there… but no matter what expect the perfect Irish pub atmosphere and friendly folks.


The produce in Ireland was gorgeous and I can’t wait to enjoy it again! Here is a photo of the produce boxes I used to pack up each week for lucky local subscribers.


And lastly… the herb garden at Ballymaloe. Absolutely legendary, the stuff of gardening dreams. I can’t wait to explore all of this again (and so much more), and hope you’ll join me! View the Enchanting Isle tour information and itinerary here.


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