Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Luck of the Irish

St. Patrick's Day is Tuesday March 17th and will you be wearing your green? We'll be having a wee bit of a sale on St. Patrick's Day to help you keep a little green in your pocket. How does free shipping on all products sound to you? Good, cuz that's what St. Paddy wants and that's what St. Paddy gets!

Even though my maiden name is Campbell, which sounds pretty Irish to me, my heritage is actually Scottish and German, with a dash of Irish and French to round us off. Here is a little history of St. Patrick's Day:

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years.

On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

To help you celebrate the occasion, here are a few Irish toasts:

May your fire be as warm as the weather is cold.


Health, and long life to you
Land without rent to you
The partner of your heart to you
and when you die, may your bones rest in Ireland!


As you slide down the banisters of life may the splinters never point the wrong way.


May you get all your wishes but one,
So you always have something to strive for.


May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.


Here's to your coffin...
May it be built of 100 year old oaks which I will plant tomorrow.


May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.


May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.


An old Irish recipe for longevity:
Leave the table hungry.
Leave the bed sleepy.
Leave the bar thirsty.

Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

Irish soda bread

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk. Gradually stir dry ingredients into milk to blend. Mix in raisins.

Using floured hands, shape dough into ball. Transfer to prepared pan and flatten slightly (dough will not come to edges of pan). Sprinkle dough with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake bread until brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Transfer to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

corned beef and cabbage

5 pounds corned brisket of beef
6 peppercorns, or packaged pickling spices
3 carrots, peeled and quartered
3 onions, peeled and quartered
1 medium-sized green cabbage, quartered or cut in wedges
Melted butter (about 4 tablespoons)

Place the corned beef in water to cover with the peppercorns or mixed pickling spices (in supermarkets, these often come packaged with the corned beef). Cover the pot or kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 hours or until tender, skimming occasionally. During the last hour, add the carrots and onions and cover again. During the last 15 minutes, add the cabbage. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter and brush the vegetables with the melted butter. Serve with boiled parsley potatoes, cooked separately. (The stock can be saved to add to a pot roast or stew instead of other liquid.

And what could be better than a good ol' Irish drinking song:


(Warning: May be a little risque to some...but very funny)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

1 comment:

Preppy Mama said...

I love Irish Soda Bread with raisins.
Thanks for the recipe and thanks for stopping by and entering my giveaway!!