‘My brother is home from Australia this Christmas . . . all our catching up will be done around the table’

The Irish Times: We Love Food – Orla Ryan, advertising department

 Four of the five: Ryan siblings Sharon, Orla, Alan and Erin

Four of the five: Ryan siblings Sharon, Orla, Alan and Erin


Sometimes I wonder if there is something odd with me that I think about what I’m going to have for my breakfast just before I sleep, lunch the minute I wake up and dinner at lunch.

Food plays an integral part of my life; I probably think about food for the better part of the day. My colleague Ian said to me yesterday that every time he hears the fridge door open in the staff kitchen on our floor he expects to see me at it – I really don’t know whether this is a good or bad observation.

I’m not the most adventurous eater in the world and can be quite picky, I don’t like any form of seafood, cheese and I can be particularly fussy around meat, but I love spicy food. On average I eat homemade curry two to three times every week, Thai food once a week and fajitas another, anything that I can add chilies to makes me jump with delight.

But food to me really means sitting around the kitchen table at home in Galway having the banter with my family when they’re all home from various parts of the world, but this is a rare occasion unfortunately.

It brings me back to the many happy times all 5 of us Ryan children had when we were younger fighting over who was going to have the last spud. My brother Alan is home from Australia this Christmas. I know all our catching up will be done around the table surrounded by the gorgeous food we all helped to prepare. I know the true ingredients to a happy Christmas are the things I love – family and food.

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