Next week my cousin, who lives near Dublin, is coming to visit the States. I know what this means - he'll be bringing me a supply of Crunchie bars from Ireland. For those of you who have never tasted a Crunchie, find a way to get your hands on one. They are a literary treat - Crunchies are described in National Velvet.
My cousin deserves to be showered with praise for bringing me my Crunchies, and so he shall be. I wish he could bring me some other stuff, though, that's impossible to put in a suitcase: a loaf of Brennan's bread, a barm brack, a cup of Bewley's coffee with foamed milk, but above all - a dish of Irish potatoes, served with Kerry Gold butter.
Kerry Gold really is gold. The butter that I buy here is white in color, but Kerry Gold is a deep yellow with a unique flavor. When it's melting on top of boiled Irish potatoes, there's nothing better in the world. Heaven is going to plates of those spuds, and no calories to worry about. I have it all planned out.
Of course, there are things here that my cousin misses just as much in Dublin. When he comes to the US, we all have to go out for a root beer and potato skins (what is it about potatoes?) And I send him back with packs of Mint Milano cookies.
I just thought of something else I'd like him to bring me - the smell inside an Irish chemist's, or in the hallway of an Irish house. I don't know what it is - some combination of Fairy Liquid Soap and Kerry Gold, perhaps?
I don't suppose he can bring me those, either, nor the wind that blasts down the Dun Laoghoire pier, nor a Teddy's 99 ice cream at the end of the walk down that pier. I will enjoy those Crunchies, though.