I finally caved in and bought real food. Milk, eggs (which they don't refrigerate and are currently living in my cupboard), soda bread, chicken, dried apricots, REFRIED BEANS! and a tiny and expensive bottle of Old El Paso salsa. I made 2 delicious chicken breasts by breading them with bread crumbs (obvs), some cheese and garlic. I also whipped up some boiled potatoes and carrots. YUMMO! I even planned ahead and made extra for tonight!
My host family experience was just grand. We arrived in Tuam, a little town outside of the city, and met our host dad, Michael. He was quiet, but I got him to chat a bit. When we arrived, our host mom, Pat, served us up some chicken nugs, chips (french fries) and beans. As long as it was hot and delicious and I didn't have to make it, it was just fine by me. We also had a delicious cheesecake and brack, a fruitcake sort of loaf. AND SO MUCH TEA. With milk and sugar..delicious. We just hung around chatting, and she told us about family parties that had "mighty craic." She was very gracious and sweet. Then we watched some telly and snacked on delicious mint chocolate sweets. The next morning we woke up to an empty house. She had work until noon and he had to go into the city (Galway) to take a test of some sort for his work. My roommate and I hung around and read, ate breakfast, and tried to get outside but found ourselves locked in. Oops! Pat later dropped us into town and we took pictures and visited the beautiful cathedral and then headed to a coffee shop that every other person in our group ended up coming to. I wrote some postcards while enjoying my lunch and then we headed home. Not before seeing a lovely rainbow, though!
We had a fabulous home cooked meal of beef stew and mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. AND she made a chocolate cake, though the chocolate tasted a little strange to me. I think they just make chocolate differently than back in the States..even the Twixes and Snickers taste different. Anyway, we watched more telly and I've discovered a new hilarious comedian, Michael McIntyre. Look him up! We chatted more about how she and her sisters will bring their own airplane sized bottles of Bacardi to parties with them to cut back on drink costs, it was hilarious! She was such a riot..what craic! Anyway, we had a full Irish breakfast the next morning, and all I could think of when she put the plate in front of me was Oh...my...god. Two sausages, 2 slices of Irish bacon (it's like canadian bacon), 2 black puddings, 2 white puddings, toast and an egg. The bacon was delish, the egg was fab (from their own chickens in the backyard) and the toast was good. The sausage was a little strange, but I ate it anyway. The puddings, on the other hand...Black pudding is essentially congealed pig's blood held together by fillers. It didn't taste bad, it was more of a texture issue. It was grainy and dry and I couldn't help but think about how I was Dracula. I ate a full white pudding and half of the black and just left the rest on the plate. But then my roommate and I took a walk down the lane and discovered an amazing old abandoned stone house covered in ivy. It was old and spooky and falling apart--so cool! We saw lots of other beautiful scenery, too. Sheep, horses, cows, dogs, rolling hills, farmlands, rivers, etc. It was really beautiful and a perfect thing to do after that massive breakfast. Even my clothes and hair smelled like sausage haha.
For lunch we had butter, ham and tomato sandwiches (slightly odd) and an AMAZING cake. It was just a yellow cake but instead of using vanilla extract she used almond and it was FANTASTIC. I highly recommend it.
And now I'm home! Off to class, Slán go fóill!