Potato Farls


52 weeks of baking – Irish

I love unique museums; I seek them out every where I go. The surgical history museum in Chicago, cat art in Amsterdam, shoe museum in Toronto and the butter museum in Cork, Ireland.

Who knew there was enough information and history on butter for there to be a whole museum dedicated to it. Well the museum is on the small side but it used to be the location of a butter market and at one point it was the biggest butter market in the world. It now houses everything buttered related from an old butter bucket dug up from a bog, different styles of churns, butter wrapper collection and the day we were there a guy was giving a butter demonstration of different churns. They also have a collection of stories dedicated to the folklore of butter, lots of tales of witches stealing butter and magical dashers from fairy trees helping to produce a fortunes worth of butter. The thing that makes Irish butter so beloved is its flavor; that flavor comes from the cows and those cows are grass fed unlike cows from other regions that are fed on pellets.

So now what are you going to put your butter on? How about something very classic to the Irish Isle, potato farls. They are a cross between soda bread and mashed potatoes, thin little bread pancakes grilled in butter till golden brown on both sides. Their texture is the thing I find so unique, crispy on the outside while the middle is tender and creamy from the potatoes. Other than butter these potato cakes go beautifully with a classic Irish breakfast or at the very least eggs and bacon.


Potato Farls



  • 1 1/2 lb russet potatoes
  • 1/4 c butter, plus more for frying
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Peel and boil the potatoes till they are very soft, drain, return to the pot and place back on the heat turned off. This allows the potatoes to steam, drawing out more moisture so you don’t have to add more flour.
  2. Add the butter to the potatoes and mash thoroughly, you don’t want any lumps, if you have a ricer or food mill, use it.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir till everything comes together, tip out onto a floured work surface and knead for a few minutes till everything is well combined. The dough is very soft at this point, don’t be afraid to continue to dust with flour as you work or it will stick to everything.
  4. Divide the dough into four pieces and pat each one into a ball. Roll each ball into a circle about ½ an inch thick and cut the circle into quarters.
  5. Fry in butter over medium heat for 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and crisp all over. Traditionally this is served with a full Irish breakfast, fried eggs, mushroom, sausage, roasted tomatoes and baked beans. Don’t forget the butter!

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The Path to Glory Is Covered in Blue-Blood

There’s been a lot of grousing about preseason rankings and critics. When did Ducks fans develop such a thin skin? Rather than pound the table, I say bring it on. To the national pundits we’re known as the Blur or...

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Celtic Women Concert – Hult Center


I spent an enjoyable evening photographing and listening to the Celtic Women in concert at the Hult Center for Performing Arts. It was a last minute request for me to be the photographer for Sandy Harris. I am glad I accepted because it was quite an experience for me. I have never photographed a concert and I was a bit nervous especially since Sandy was relying on my photographs for her article. Shooting the concert is a bit different than shooting a sporting event which is where I’ve grown comfortable.

I wasn’t sure what camera settings I would need and what kind of lighting there would be on stage. One must get the settings in a hurry as photographers have a limited number of songs to shoot before you’re done for the evening. While photographing a concert like this one, I focus on what I’m shooting and not so much the performance itself.

The stage settings were very nice and the lighting really added to the overall presentation. The musicians are all very talented. There were two drum setups – one on each side of the stage. The equipment they had in each drum setup was totally impressive. The drummers were very busy all night and did an excellent job.

I hope I was successful in capturing the essence of the concert and that you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed shooting them.

Here’s the full story from Sandy Harris

Sheldon Irish Crush South Medford with 49-14 Win


Yadie Dunmore‘s career night led Sheldon to a 21-point lead by the second quarter and a 49-14 win over the South Medford Panthers (1-4, 1-2 league). The Irish (3-2, 2-1) halfback scored thrice in the first half, finishing the night with more than 300 total yards.

“It was really good, I think our team really needed it,” Dunmore said.

Yadie Dunmore
Joseph Kuehn (left) and Yadie Dunmore (right) | (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

Dunmore, a senior and brother of UO defensive back Oshay Dunmore, is now at seven touchdowns on the year and put it all together in this one. Two of his touchdowns in 2013 have come on special teams where he attacked all game on Friday. His third touchdown Friday was a 71-yard punt return that put the Irish up by a near-insurmountable 35-0 lead.

“We spend a ton of time on special teams, it’s just kids working together,” head coach Lane Johnson said. “We play our best players all the time.”

He added a 40-yard punt return on the next Panther punt that looked like he’d return to the end zone.

Dunmore’s backfield companion Joseph Kuehn was nearly perfect in this one, tossing just one interception early in the second half, but throwing for 339 yards and four touchdowns. Kuehn’s aerial assault started early and he got three of his touchdowns in the first quarter, utilizing the tunnel screen for large gains and scoring in bunches. Two of his TDs were tossed to Kellen Strahm, who picked up 92 yards through the air, all from Kuehn.

“Kellen’s been in his brother’s (Montana linebacker Connor Strahm) shadow his whole life, and he’s been a great player,” Johnson said. “He was great tonight on both sides of the ball.”

But fellow senior Mitchell Herbert was again Kuehn’s primary target and Sheldon’s other do-everything, and he pulled in 148 receiving yards and 23 rushing. Herbert pulled in Kuehn’s first touchdown pass, running the majority of it between South Medford guys who couldn’t bring him down.

Mitchell Herbert
Mitchell Herbert | (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

For the first 12 minutes, that Herbert run was actually a succinct microcosm for the rest of the game: Sheldon lowered their shoulders, churned their legs and drove. They were all alone and left South Medford in their wake. After a loss last week to North Medford gave them their first two-loss regular season in years, coach Johnson said a win like Friday’s kept their sideline spirits up.

“Everybody plays with more confidence when you’re up by three touchdowns,” Johnson said. “You can just feel it with our kids.”

And sometimes, you don’t need to see the kids jumping around and shouting to get their feelings about the game.

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With a large lead going into the last frame, the Irish turned to their reserves to put a little tap on the breaks. Sophomore Justin Herbert, Mitchell’s brother, took over at quarterback late, and junior Logan Comer joined him at halfback. Justin Herbert got to score one more for the Irish to set the final score.

With the win in hand, Sheldon is once again over .500 with three wins to two losses. They take to the road next Friday to meet with the Crater Comets, another league foe. Coach Johnson says they take any opponent south of Eugene especially seriously.

“We talk about taking one game at a time. Crater will give us their best shot.”

First quarter

Joseph Kuehn 30 yard touchdown to Mitchell Herbert  –  (7-0 Irish)
Kuehn 20 yard touchdown to Yadie Dunmore  –  (14-0 Irish)
Kuehn 11 yard touchdown to Kellen Strahm  –  (21-0 Irish)

Second quarter

Dunmore 1 yard rushing touchdown  –  (28-0 Irish)
Dunmore 70 yd punt return touchdown  –  (35-0 Irish)

Third quarter

South Medford fumble recovery for a touchdown  –  (35-7 Irish)
Kuehn 14 yard touchdown to Strahm  –  (42-7 Irish

Fourth quarter

Justin Herbert two-yard rushing touchdown  –  (49-7 Irish)
South Medford six-yard rushing touchdown  –  (49-14 Irish)

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Photos: South Eugene Axemen at Sheldon Irish Football


The Sheldon Irish football team (2-1) didn’t have a hangover after a tough loss last week, bouncing back and taking their frustrations out on the South Eugene Axemen (2-1).

Prints from this game are available upon request  – contact [email protected] for more information.


Sheldon Irish Drop Late Game to Portland’s Central Catholic, 59-49

Sheldon Irish Football
(Craig Strobeck/Eugene Daily News)

Sheldon Irish (1-1) senior quarterback Joseph Kuehn threw for three touchdowns, senior wideout Yadie Dunmore had a trio of his own and do-it-all wideout Mitchell Herbert (also a senior) pitched in a pair of scores, but four Irish fumbles — five total Irish turnovers — let the Central Catholic Rams (2-0) take all the early momentum and run away with a 59-49 track meet.

At times, it seemed not unlike a track meet as Dunmore ran in a second-quarter kickoff to bring the Irish within 10 and the Rams’ Cameron Scarlett answering on the very next kickoff.

The first half was sloppy all over as Sheldon dropped the ball on two straight drives to open the game. Central Catholic took full advantage of these miscues and quieted the crowd at Dennis Ludwig Stadium with 10 straight points. The Irish faithful’s pregame chant of “I believe that we will win” disappeared, but Sheldon stayed in it throughout.

As much as Kuehn’s arm tried to keep them in striking distance, though, it was a tall task for any quarterback — Central Catholic put points up on the board to answer every turnover, amounting to 31 points off turnovers.

“You get beat by 10 by that team, you just can’t do that against a good team,” Sheldon coach Lane Johnson said. “I just told ’em, we’re not good enough to turn the ball over that many times and think we can beat a team like Central Catholic because they’re outstanding.”

Kuehn led the team all the way down the field down 10-0 to get within 3 on Dunmore’s rushing touchdown. Central quarterback Aidan Wilder answered right back on a throw to Scarlett. After forcing the Rams to punt, Kuehn threw a costly interception with about nine minutes left in the first half. That’s when Central back (Beavers recruit) Ryan Nall stepped his foot on the gas. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound fullback from Portland started power running that the Irish just couldn’t stop. A screen to Nall went 13 yards on 4th and 6 for the score that put Central Catholic up 24-7.

Sheldon Irish Football
(Craig Strobeck/Eugene Daily News)

“There’s been lots of teams that would’ve quit. They would’ve scored 80 or 90, they wouldn’t take their foot off the gas,” Johnson said. “We just gave them too many points. It’s not easier (to take in a loss), but it’s easier for us to build off of.”

Then the kickoffs went back and forth a couple of times and Sheldon got the ball back once more down 17. Kuehn converted two first downs on the ensuing drive before the Irish gave up their third fumble of the game. It took three plays for the Rams to punch in Zach Davis for a 24-point lead. Kuehn’s first touchdown through the air came shortly before halftime and a 38-21 score sent the players to the locker rooms.

“We needed to be more spunky, we needed to hold ’em and then score and we did that, we just couldn’t keep up with them,” Johnson said. “No. 22 (Scarlett), he’s as good as high school running backs as I’ve seen and 34 (Nall) probably had 200 yards. They did a great job.”

The Irish defense stood strong on the first drive of the second half and forced a punt. Dunmore scored and Sheldon was within 10. Sheldon recovered a fumble four plays later and looked back in business.

But the ball bounced in favor of Central on Friday, and the Irish were forced to punt before committing a drive-extending pass interference penalty. On 4th and 5 at the 50, the Rams elected to go for it and the Sheldon defensive player made early contact. Two plays later, it was 45-28.

“We scored 49 points against what I believe is the best team in the state. If we can shore up turnovers and tackle a little bit better, who knows what’s going to happen?” Johnson said.

One more fumble came late in the third quarter — giving way to a 52-28 Rams lead — and Central’s rushing game, led by Nall, flexed its muscles the rest of the way. It was 59-49 when Central Catholic’s travelling fans returned the “I believe” chant across the field as Wilder took a knee to cement the victory.

“We have kids that this is their second varsity game. I’m not making excuses, we got our butts beat, but I’m proud of the effort by our kids,” Johnson said.

The Irish continue their homestand next Friday, hosting the South Eugene Axemen. The Axemen come in 2-0 after a 14-9 nailbiter against Willamette. For a Sheldon team that’s played in two-straight state titles and won three of the last six, losing a regular-season contest — their first such loss since 2008 — is unexpected and sets up an interesting intercity matchup.

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Sheldon’s Wyatt Spears Finishes 6th in Junior National Wrestling Tournament

Wyatt Spears
Wyatt Spears (RIGHT) and brother Chet
(Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian)

Sheldon High School wrestling star Wyatt Spears has finished in sixth place and All-American honors in the Greco-Roman competition at the Junior National Wrestling Tournament. Spears was competing in the 285-pound weight class.

In his run to becoming an All-American, Spears started with four straight victories – one a 42-second pin – but ultimately fell short to five-time national champion Adam Coon by a score of 7-0. He then grabbed a 7-3 win over Michael Hobbs, was pinned by Newton Smercher and finished with a 7-0 loss to Nathan Butler for a sixth place finish.

Spears wasn’t the only local to compete in the tournament. Hayden Miles (170) of Siuslaw, Jacob Cytrynbaum (113) of South Eugene and Tyler Lehman (220) of Cottage Grove competed but did not earn All-American honors.

Spears will be a senior at Sheldon next year.

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Sheldon Takes Shot at 6A Baseball Championship

Mike Ralston and Sheldon’s baseball team hope to drive home a state championship in today’s 6A title game against Clackamas (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)
Mike Ralston and Sheldon’s baseball team hope to drive home a state championship in today’s 6A title game against Clackamas
(Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

Never mind the big stage. Playing for a state championship is nothing new to 16 of the 19 players on Sheldon’s baseball team. All but three players on the baseball team played on the Irish state championship football team this past season. So when baseball team hits the turf at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer to face Clackamas in the 6A state championship game at 5 p.m. today, the pressure and intensity of the moment will be quite familiar.

“The kids are going about their business really well,” Sheldon coach Stan Manley said. “They know how to prepare for a game.”

“(They) are playing real confident and a lot of the kids won a championship in football, so they know how to perform in this kind of situation. They don’t seem to be afraid of the big stage.”

While they may be accustomed to the stage, for Sheldon (26-5) it will be the school’s first state championship baseball game in 47 years. Back in 1966, the Irish lost 4-2 to Hillsboro. And though current Sheldon third base coach Jim Fryback played on that team, Manley says his players give little thought to that history.

What they are considering is their opponent. Clackamas (27-3) is making its third trip to the state championship game in six years. The Cavaliers won the title both seasons, one in 2008 and 2010. They’re coached by John Arntson, who was the 6A coach of the year during both championship seasons.

Sheldon Head Coach Stan Manley (Manley's Twitter Page)
Sheldon Head Coach Stan Manley
(Manley’s Twitter Page)

“Their strength is that they’re well coached,” Manley said. “…and they have a winning tradition.”

Manley anticipates his players will face Clackamas senior pitcher Austin Kelly. The 6-foot-5, right-handed thrower was just named Oregon’s 2012-13 Gatorade Player of the Year. According to the web site, Kelly’s fast ball has been clocked at 86 miles per hour. He held Thurston to one hit and no runs in a complete game during the playoff quarterfinals. According to, Kelly has a 9-1 record with a 1.27 earned run average.

“We’ve talked about being patient at the plate (when facing Kelly), not swing at balls in the dirt and trying to keep from swing at high pitches,” Manley said.

Hitting has hardly been an issue for Sheldon, particularly in the post-season. The Irish have scored 11 or more runs in three of their four playoff games, including a 22-2 win over McMinnville. Irish first baseman and pitcher Brett Nielsen leads the team with a .465 batting average, 46 hits, and 38 runs batted in. Manley said pitcher-outfielder Mike Ralston will be the designated hitter today. He’s hitting .427 and leads the team with 13 doubles and 13 stolen bases. Catcher Gaje McDaniel has been hot this post season, during which he’s hit three of his team leading four home runs.

This year, both Sheldon and Clackamas have held opponents to an average of three runs a game. Offensively, Sheldon has averaged eight runs a game, and Clackamas averaged six per game. The two teams have played five similar opponents. Clackamas is 7-0 and Sheldon is 6-1, with the lone loss to Thurston early in the season.

Sheldon will start right-handed pitcher Taylor Alie on the mound. Alie is 10-2 this season with a 1.76 ERA. If necessary, Manley said he will go to Ralston, a 6-foot-6, left-handed pitcher who is 7-1 with a 2.25 ERA.

“I wouldn’t expect a huge score in this game,” Manley said. “But I expect our guys are going to battle.”

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Sheldon Cruises Past Grant to Claim Southwest Conference Title


It didn’t result in another shutout victory, but the Sheldon Irish will likely be more than thrilled with their 12-2 victory over Grant on Wednesday. Not only were their bats in full force at Tom Bowen Field, the Irish locked up the Southwest Conference Title with their triumph, as the final two games remaining on their regular season schedule are non-league matchups against Springfield and North Medford.

Helping pace Sheldon at the plate on Wednesday were Cooper Stiles, Mike Ralston, Dylan Lewis, and Mitch Herbert. Racking up 13 hits as a team yesterday, Stiles led the way with three while Ralston, Lewis, and Herbert all contributed two hits in the game.

Getting the start and eventual win for Sheldon was Taylor Alie, who recorded his 6th win of the season after throwing five innings while giving up two unearned runs. His effort on Wednesday extended Sheldon’s streak of giving up no earned runs to 33 innings.

Sheldon won the SWC yesterday | (Gary Haliski/MWL Photos)
Sheldon won the SWC yesterday | (Gary Haliski/MWL Photos)

After Alie saw himself pitch an easy first inning, the Irish helped out their pitchers cause by tacking on an early run while establishing a 1-0 advantage. Ralston got things going at the plate, leading off the inning with a single and advanced all the way to third when Grant’s center fielder misplayed the ball and saw it zip passed him. David Bellamy then recorded the first RBI of the game, knocking home Ralston with an RBI groundout.

Grant quickly answered in the top of the second, however, capitalizing on a Sheldon throwing error to even the score. The draw wouldn’t last too long, though, as the Irish offense hit its stride and tacked on six runs in the bottom of the second.

Herbert got things going for Sheldon, leading off the inning with a single before moving to second on a nearly perfect sacrifice bunt by Justin Brabham. With a runner in scoring position and one down, the Irish saw Ralston walk and Bellamy record an infield single to load the bases. Stiles then came up with the first big hit of the inning, launching a double into right field that allowed both Herbert and Ralston to score, giving the lead back to Sheldon. Now with runners and second and third, Bellamy saw himself score on a balk by Grant’s starter while Stiles advanced to third. Brett Nielsen then notched his first hit of the game, recording an RBI single that plated Stiles to open a 5-1 advantage for Sheldon.

The Irish weren’t finished in the inning, either, as Nielsen would swipe second before advancing to third on a single by Connor Strahm, giving Sheldon runners on first and third with another opportunity to increase their lead. Dylan Lewis would do just that, too, as he tallied a 2 RBI single that saw Nielsen and Strahm cross the plate, giving the Irish a 7-1 advantage after two innings of play.

Though the Warriors would tack on their second unearned run of the game in the top of the third, Sheldon added five more runs in their half of the inning to establish a 10 run lead that would hold for the final two innings in a shortened contest due to the mercy rule. Herbert would be the initial spark in the inning once again, as he singled to give Sheldon a runner on first. Stealing second after his single, Herbert was driven in by Brabham, who would eventually score on an RBI single by Ralston, giving Sheldon a 9-2 advantage.

After a walk to Bellamy to give the Irish runners on first and second, Stiles launched his second double of the contest, scoring Ralston and giving Sheldon runners at second and third with one down. Extending their lead further, Bellamy scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Nielsen before Stiles was plated by way of an RBI single by Lewis, giving Sheldon their 12-2 lead.

Alie would wrap up the final two innings of the game while allowing no more runs to cross the plate, finishing his day on the hill after pitching five innings of four hit and four strikeout baseball.

The Southwest Conference Title wrapped up, the Irish will take today off before returning to action against Springfield on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 5pm.

Ralston and Big Fifth Inning Push Sheldon to Victory


Sheldon pitcher Mike Ralston keeps wowing those in attendance when he takes the hill. Pitching a two-hit shutout in the Irish’s 4-0 victory over Marist last week, Ralston saw himself record Sheldon’s fourth-straight shutout while surrendering just three hits in the process. Though it took awhile for the Irish offense to get going, they eventually hit their stride and cruised to an 8-0 win over the Thurston Colts.

Getting the start for the Colts was Kyle Watson, who was just as impressive as Ralston through the first four innings. That all changed, however, in the fifth.

Starting things off by way of a walk, Mitch Lewis saw himself advance all the way to third on a bunt for a base hit by Gaje McDaniel that resulted in an error and McDaniel at second. With runners on second and third and an out previously recorded in the inning, Ralston saw himself significantly contribute at the plate as well, helping out his own cause by launching a double that plated both Lewis and McDaniel while giving Sheldon a 2-0 edge. A subsequent walk to David Bellamy would set up Brett Nielsen‘s crushing blow.

Mike Ralston pitched Sheldon to victory on Monday | (Gary Haliski/MWL Photos)
Mike Ralston pitched Sheldon to victory on Monday | (Gary Haliski/MWL Photos)

With runners on first and second and two down, Nielsen gave Ralston a little more cushion by igniting Watson’s pitch for a three-run home run that gave the Irish a five run advantage. Their lead would continue to extend, too, as Connor Strahm single and Dylan Lewis followed Ralston’s shot with a double before being driven home by his brother, Mitch, on a two RBI single.

A 7-0 lead in his favor, Ralston was able to cruise through the final innings while Sheldon added another in the sixth to take the win by a score of 8-0. As impressive as Ralston’s efforts were on the hill on Monday, he was flirting with an accomplishment that would have made this game a historic moment for the program.

Surrendering no hits through the first four innings of play, Ralston couldn’t complete the no-no, as he saw Rocco Ferrari break it up with a single in the bottom of the fifth. Though Noah Thoreson laced a double that saw Ferrari attempting to score, a great relay by Cooper Stiles saw Ferrari out at home while keeping the shutout alive. Ralston surrendered just three hits, one walk, and tallied six strikeouts in a game against a Thurston team that had averaged 11.8 runs per game in their last six games.

Recording 12 hits in the contest, the Irish bats saw multi-hit efforts come off the bats of Strahm (3), Ralston (2), Bellamy (2), and D. Lewis (2).

The win propelled Sheldon into sole possession of first place in the OSAA Class 6A Southwest League while helping them notch their 19th win overall. They stand at 6-1 in league play and will have a chance to win the league title on Wednesday when they play host to Grant. First pitch is scheduled for 5pm.


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