Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

July 14, 2008

on my way to the fair city

Filed under: on the road — admin @ 1:54 pm

I left Lisdoon in a misty, foggy blur. The weather that is, not me.  I”m excited about being out on the road again, on my way to Dublin and points beyond. I’ll be away for a week of book selling and some down time in the sunny southeast and I’m commited to writing in this blog every day.    First stop today was Neenagh, in County Tipperary. I shouldn’t be happy about this, as Tip beat Clare in the Munster finals match yesterday but here I am (oh,oh, I’m really Irish now!)  Neenagh is a big town with lots of nice shops. I stopped in at Healthy Me on Pearse St.  for shopping  online.  This is the kind of health food store I like, lots of homemade breads brimming with nuts and seeds on the counter, many gluten free. A little cafe in the back is where you can sit and have some good veggie food, fresh squeezed juices and coffee. Anne was delighted with the book and suggested it be placed on the front counter. Here we go again…this is what I hear everywhere…which is why the book is selling so well, the shop keepers are promoting it, it’s not just sitting on the shelf!                   John and Katherine Ryan own The Neenagh Bookshop on Friar St.,  a good size Independent bookshop with a nice selection of local and Irish history books. Katherine was impressed with the book, was sure it would find an audience in Tip and is going to display it in the front window.                                                       It’s a beautiful drive from  Tipperary into Laoise. I was now in the midlands, the sun was coming out and it was actually getting hot and humid. Maybe we will have a summer, after all. I stopped in Portlaoise, another big town with a lot of road construction going on and crowds of shoppers packing the streets.  I made my way to G&B Books at 4 Peppers Lane. Mary McManus owns a great old bookshop filled with new and used books. We had a good laugh about the million Mary’s that there must be in Ireland over the age of 40! Once again, book on the front counter.                                                                                                          The highlight of the day was my stop to Jim Tynan’s The Kitchen and Foodhall.  Jim owns a big full service cafe facing the courtyard and a beautiful gourmet take out shop around the side.  He writes a weekly food column for the Leinster Express. It’s a full color page with his writings about life and food with recipes. We talked about how much fun it is to write about food and how it touches people in different ways. (Yesterday I visited a really sweet woman I know from the Burren who spoke very thoughtfully about the memories of my mother I wrote about in the desserts section.)  Jim asked if he could use the book for the next column.  It’s a great acknowledgement from someone who has a solid reputation in the good food movement in Ireland. I’ll post it here when it comes out, friday week. And, he took 20 books and placed them on the front counter. Yeah! check out Jim’s website                                                    From Laois to Kildare the landscape opens up to rolling green fields. This is horse country. The world famous Irish Stud Farm is here and the horses are gorgeous! Many songs have been written about this area and it’s easy to see why, it’s absolutely beautiful. I stopped at Farrell’s Bookshop on Main St. in Newbridge, another big, bustling town.  Dermod and Anne were good craic and they are putting the book in the window of their very lovely book and gift shop.  My last stop of the day was Barker and Jones in Naas.  It’s a big Barnes and Noble like bookshop with a cafe upstairs that buys self published books. Jason, the manager,  was lovely and suggested I go to their other stores in Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny.  Ill be down in those counties late in the week, but right now I’m heading into Dublin.

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