Typical Irish Breakfast

“Tell me I forget, show me I remember, involve me, I understand. Those words have served me well as an educator and on my recent journey to Ireland.” Wryly advised John Loy as he stepped away from the poster on his office wall and sat at his desk.

“Ireland is the country of my great,great,great,great grandfather John Irwin, who was part of The Royal Inniskilling Regiment,” Loy said proudly. ‘It was wonderful to learn that the country’s charms are in the beauty of its people.”

Loy, 48, assistant principal at Northshore Junior High, recently celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary in Ireland. 

Loy met his wife Annette, a district teacher at Kokanee, where they both attended Blanchett High School.  Their daughter, Colleen, a 9th-grade student at Northshore Junior High, a niece and Loy’s In-laws, traveled together to Ireland.

Loy stood up and moved forward- a newly trimmed- Loy dapper in his Irish tweed jacket purchased from the tailor in the town of Donegal. “The food in Ireland, especially the breakfasts, was very hard to pass up. I have had to work hard to get back in shape.” Laughs Loy.

A district employee for the last 13 years, Loy enthusiastically thumbed through the family photos of castles, bogs, an breathtaking scenery.  Even pictures of all the food. They attended medieval banquets where the meal was eaten with hands and a knife only.

“But the abundant Irish breakfast known for their quality of ingredients and the quantity of food was the most memorable,” Loy said. “A surprise was the wonderful teas so rich with flavor,” enthusiasm carried in his words, “They are very serious about their teas, and you have to make it just right.”

The Loy family will celebrate St Patrick’s day, the patron saint of Ireland, who died around 461 with fond recollection of the medieval history of Ireland.

Their stay at the Bunratty Castle was built around 1450 on the Shannon river bank. It is unique for its authentic 15th and 16th-century furnishing. And a folk park where they have a living reconstruction of their homes and their environment of medieval Ireland. It includes rural farmhouses, village shops, and streets with their lawns and peacocks.

Below is a recipe from the Bunratty Castle cookbook that the Loy family would like to share.


Start off with a freshly cut grapefruit dust one half of the grapefruit with sugar. It is followed by a bowl of smooth porridge of oatmeal gently cooked in milk and served with an individual jug of cream.

After that comes rashers (a term used to describe a portion of thinly sliced ham or bacon) sausages and eggs, served with scones and brown soda bread warm from the oven, honey, homemade preserves, fresh butter and a pot of tea.

A good cup of Irish tea is made with freshly drawn water brought to a brisk boil. Pour a little into a 4 cup earthenware teapot to warm it, then empty the water out.

Using good quality tea, put 3-5 teaspoons, according to taste into the warmed pot.  Bring the water back to the boil and pour it on immediately.  Cover the pot with a tea cozy. Allow to brew for 5 minutes; any shorter and the flavor will not have developed, any longer and the tannin will start to come out, making the tea taste bitter. This is why the water should be boiled and not the tea boiled in the water.

For each person, gently fry two sausages over a low heat until well cooked through and golden brown on the outside.

Also, fry a couple of slices each of black and white pudding. Remove from the pan and keep hot.  Drain off the fat, as it is somewhat indigestible, and fry two rashers of bacon having first cut off the rind.  Now fry a couple of eggs in the bacon fat, spooning the hot fat over the yolks to set them.

Fry a few mushrooms and half a tomato and a slice or two of potato cakes.  Add a knob of butter if there is not sufficient bacon fat, but do not cook in butter alone as it burns at too low a temperature.