A Church with Colorful Pavements – Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral


There are two main churches in Dublin: Christ Church Cathedral and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Of course the second is the most important as Saint Patrick is the patron of Ireland. We saw both the cathedrals in one afternoon in Dublin.


Christ Church is located in the heart of the city and not far away from St. Patrick’s Church. It is called also The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. This church is even older than the main cathedral and is the only one that can be seen from the River Liffey.

It is not sure but thought that the church was founded around 1028. It was overlooking the Viking settlement as it was built on high ground, but also outside the city walls. It was founded after the pilgrimage of King Sitric Silkenbeard, the Hibernian-Norse king of that time, and king of the Danes.

It was initially a wooden structure and only around 1180 Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Leinster. The design was inspired by the Western architecture of Gothic.


Curious the fact that here in 1487 Lambert Simnel was coronated as King Edward VI. He was an imposter to the throne of England of humble origin but educated to be a king at 10 years old only.

1493 the choir school was founded.

From 1539 the church was converted into a cathedral by king Henry VIII. Many kings and queens gave credit to the cathedral and improving the religious house from time to time. In 1551 the service was given the very first time in English instead of the formal Latin. Only 9 years later the bible was read in English, too.

Between 1871 and 1878 the cathedral was extensively renovated, such as the baptistery was built in place of the north porch and the 14th century choir was demolished. The cost would have been today around 26 million €.

Further renovations were made recently between 1980 and 1982.


We found Christ Church in the heart of the Medieval center of Dublin. We walked inside the church, sitting and admiring the simple beauty of the architecture and I wondered how many people are walking here just looking at the church and how many once came here hoping for divine help.

I was particularly impressed by the colorful tiles of the pavement. Normally the pavement is more ‘decent’, appropriate. The tiles have bright colors with very vivid designs.

The high, narrow Gothic vaults make the church appear even higher than it is already.

Beautiful, colorful windows let in a lot of light.

We didn’t walk over to the Synod Hall which would be possible through a bridged path. Here is housed the Dublinia exhibition about Medieval Dublin.

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Christ Church, Dublin, Co. Leinster/Ireland:

For further information:
Dublin Webside
Website of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin


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Aunty Silvia’s Chocolate Nut Cake


Some days ago I was looking for some books I have in boxes and I found an old recipe notebook of my mother. She didn’t enjoy too much cooking or baking and so I was super curious what this is. In fact it has just 10 recipes, most of them easy cakes and some in addition have a side note ‘very fast’.

I don’t remember all of them but one I do very much: aunt Silvia’s chocolate nut cake. My mom prepared it once in a while. It is an easy peasy one, just all ingredients in a bowl, stir well, then into the loaf pan and in the oven. So easy and fast. I think I remember she covered the cake with a chocolate coating, but I am not really sure. I can’t ask no one as both passed away long time ago.

It’s her first recipe I tried out, others will follow. But I made the chocolate nut cake already several times. It’s really simple, easy and fast. Especially when you need something quick to bring to friends. I prepared the cake in a loaf pan and also as muffins.

Maybe some of you know this cake and have it already like a family recipe for centuries? Let me know!


Paleo chocolate nut cake
Chocolate Nut Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 small slices 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
24 small slices 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Paleo chocolate nut cake
Chocolate Nut Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 small slices 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
24 small slices 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: small slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. In a big bowl whisk chocolate, butter, vanilla and sugar until creamy.
  3. Add one after the other the eggs, always whisking. Then add the almond meal and stir well until it is a smooth, homogeneous batter.
  4. Put the batter into three small loaf pans and bake for one hour. It depends of your oven, control already after 50 minutes with a toothpick. The cake should be dry in the middle.
  5. Take the cakes out and let them cool out.
Recipe Notes

Rum gives the cake a special taste even though you can't really taste it. Omit in case you prepare the cake for children.

A good idea is to give the cake a chocolate cover. Melt more chocolate (use always at least 85%) and cover the already cold cake. You can also sprinkle some more almond meal on the top for decoration.

I tried them also as muffins. Then bake only 20 - 25 minutes.

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About Jonathan Swift and To Chance your Arm


Living in Ireland for so many years and never been to Saint Patrick’s Church in Dublin is really ignominy. Sometimes I ask myself why I am not going more out to explore the nearest sights where I live instead of going far away and to see (nearly) everything. But we all have this problem I think: you now every little street in your vacation location but ignore the name of the street on the other side of your backyard.

So finally this spring I had a day in Dublin exploring two churches. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church. I will talk about the first here which is called also The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.


The Church of Ireland is after the Catholic Church the second-largest Christian church of the country and is an Anglican church.

Saint Patrick’s Chathedral in Dublin is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. It’s also the tallest and largest church in the country. Its 43 meters high spire is visible far away.

John Comun was the first Archibishop of Dublin and an Anglo-Norman. He elevated the little Celtic parish church dedicated to Saint Patrick to a collegiate church, devoted to learning and worship. At that time the church was outside the city center. Over the time new buildings were built around the church and it had the first Dean in 1220. The church itself, like we see it today, was constructed in the early English Gothic style around 1191 until 1270. The Lady Chapel was the last addition.

One of the most known Deans of the cathedral was Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s travels, do you remember?), who was in charge from 1713 to 1745. His grave can be found here. The church has a famous choir school since 1432. Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

Because of the nearby River Poddle there is still until today the danger of flooding within the church and so there is no basement or crypt to find here.

The door of Reconciliation is interesting. Curious is the hole in the middle of the door. At a fight between two knights they flet into the church and one of them was hiding behind the door. Gerald Mòr FitzGerald, Earl of Kildare, cut a hole with his axe into the door and thrust his arm through it to shake hands in friendship with his enemy. This way he finished an old dispute.The expression “to chance your arm” derives from this episode.

Incredibely beautiful are the tiles of the pavement. I have rarely seen such bright colors as a church floor.

We attended evening mass, the only way to visit the church that day and giving us enough time to have a look around. The only bad thing: photos were not allowed. So this time I can’t show too much unfortunately.


St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Co. Leinster/Ireland:

For further information:
Dublin Webside
Website of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift


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Peperonata – Italian Bell Pepper Antipasto


Coming from Italy I love Italian food. And there are so many dishes that are paleo friendly. Like this typical antipasto: peperonata.

The peperonata is a typical South Italian dish and can be served warm as a side dish for fish, like baccalà, with homemade hamburger or meat balls. If cold it is great on old, toasted bread slices as bruschetta for example.


I oftentimes prepare the peperonata or bell pepper antipasto and add olives. But this time I prepared the dish without because I served it to someone who doesn’t like olives.

I love the peperonata also on polenta, a kind of porridge made of cornmeal. Not really paleo but OK for Celiacs. I sometimes have corn or rice, amaranth or quinoa.

You will enjoy it, it’s easy and very tasty.


Peperonata
Peperonata
Print Recipe
Peperonata
Peperonata
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Wash, clean and cut the bell peppers into strips or pieces.
  2. Wash, clean and dice the onion and garlic
  3. In a large pan heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Let them get translucent.
  4. Now add the bell pepper strips and the diced tomatoes. Who like to get out the light bitterness of the tomatoes can add half a tsp of honey.
  5. Stir all well that enough liquid is on the bottom of the pan and let it cook on medium until the bell peppers are soft.
  6. Just shortly before cooking is finished add salt and pepper to season the peperonata.
  7. Serve hot or store until next day and serve cold.
Recipe Notes

The peperonata is great also adding pitted and sliced olives. 

It can be served warm and cold. Warm it is great as a side dish with baccalà (dry salted cod fish), in a hamburger, with meat balls or also with polenta (porridge of cornmeal).

Cold it is great as antipasto or on a toasted slice of bread as bruschetta.

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Dancing with Fathers – My First Pow Wow


It was my very first Pow wow and I was excited. I am fascinated by the history and tradition of American Natives since I was a child and always thought that they are people of wisdom. Their colorful traditional clothes for festivities are another reason why I was looking forward to see a pow wow.


Last weekend finally I could live this experience I hoped for so long time. We went only in the evening and arrived just in time to see the Grand Entrance. So many different costumes, amazingly colorful, feathers and the tinkle-jingle of hundreds of little shells and bells sewed on the beautiful dresses.

They danced, they sung and walked through a parade – it was highly emotionally for me. They had different groups coming in, men, women and children as well. The costumes were often very different, some made of material, some of deer leather and with incredible beautiful designs made with little beads.


I wished I could have a pair of moccasins, handmade of soft leather and with some colorful design made of beads.. but no chance.

We walked along the many stands selling traditional clothes, mostly jewelery, some art crafts I found some simple moccasins and even a ‘kit’ to do them by myself, beads strings in countless colors for a personal design… Why didn’t I buy that? Instead I got a pair of earrings, long and made of brown and golden beads.

I loved to be here and we spent nearly 3 hours at this event. I didn’t see much traditional food, more the typical Mexican and American fast food. But, well, that is, I guess, exactly what also Indian people eat now 🙁

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Barona Indian Reservation, California/USA:

For further information:
Barona Indian Reservation
The Barona PowWow on Facebook


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