After a lifetime of teaching home economics, with a few forays to the continent for advanced cooking schools, Rita retired in 1994 to the sometimes exhausting job of running this five-bedroom B & B, a short walk from the sea. Lahinch’s Old Course, one of Ireland’s most celebrated golf courses, snakes along the sea a couple of miles from here, and the Cliffs of Moher, that draw millions of tourists each year, plunge into the sea a little farther down the road.
- Steamed Mussels in Coconut Milk with Lime and Coriander
- Oysters in Tempura Batter with Sesame Seeds and Lime
- Carrot and Dillisk Bread
On those Saturday nights when there is no cooking class to clean up after, Rita serves dinner in the homey dining room, where she and her four siblings gathered around the long wooden table.
But on this particular night, cooking students laugh, clink glasses and congratulate one another as they enjoy devouring their day’s lessons. The sound of mingled voices wells up in the happy sound known in Ireland as craic, friendly conversation. The dishes keep appearing out of the industrial-size kitchen.
- Roasted Salmon Trout with Cucumber Butter Sauce
- Finnan Haddock Cream
- Pickled Sea Bream
Rita tries in her classes and in the dinners she serves, to educate people to the new Irish cooking. Her blue eyes smile as she talks about the bounty of the sea food in the waters less than a mile away and the organic fruits and vegetables now available in Ireland. “We used to be inclined to cook things too much,” she says, adding, “The nice thing about the classes is that they are all things you can do yourself.” Other classes she schedules feature methods like roasting or grilling. Her favorites include Cooking from the Farmer’s Market, and using seasonal foods. Don’t forget dessert.
- Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote
- Tarte au Citron
The menu does not include mud and gravel scones mixed with goose eggs.
The writer received a complimentary stay at Berry Lodge.