St. Paddy’s day food fest

Today is St. Patrick’s day, and I cooked a “traditional” Irish dinner. OK, not really – I cooked traditional Americanized Irish food. Still, it was very good, and our dinner guests enjoyed it as much as we did.

It was actually a bit difficult to come up with a menu of Irish-esque food for a group of teetotalers, but here’s what we ended up having:

Corned Beef and Cabbage – not really traditional Irish, but traditional American-Irish, and I like it. The trick with this, as with most boil-in-the-pot-for-3-hours dishes, is in the spices. The perfect taste is just the right mix of black peppercorns, garlic powder, bay leaves, and salt. All this stuff just gets thrown into the water with the corned beef brisket and the oils from the herbs and spices permeate the meat as it cooks. Tres magnifique!
Colcannon – An authentic Irish dish, this is basically mashed potatoes mixed with garlic and steamed kale. As a tangential side note, the English variation of colcannon is called bubbles and squeak.
Irish soda bread – A really simple flatbread that uses baking soda (often referred to as bicarbonate of soda in the Irish recipes) instead of yeast for leavening.
And since we don’t drink alchohol, all traditional Irish drinks were out, so green kool-aid would just have to do.

Finally, for desert was a really cool looking St. Paddy’s day cake that Marcia made last night (and frosted this morning, with about 4 hours of sleep in between). You can see the amazing icing work in this picture, but what you can’t see is the cake itself, a green and white marbled cake baked to absolute perfection. I’m eating my third or fourth piece as I write this.

As far as I know, there’s no Irish blood in either of our families, but in my book, any holiday that presents itself as an excuse to cook good food is a holiday worth celebrating!

4 thoughts on “St. Paddy’s day food fest”

  1. I am 3/4 irish and really appreciate the effort of those who celebrate the holiday without the night ending in vomit. Haha! Hope you weren’t still eating the cake when I mentioned vomit. See you guys soon!

  2. Indeed my family is not Irish, though my grandfather would have you believe otherwise…. I think it is the idea of kissing. He even had a sign in his living room that said “Irish Parking Only.”
    Also, the holliday always reminds me of my childhood best-friend, Fiona. Her mom is from Ireland, and always called me “Lassie.” She had to explain that to me. 🙂

  3. Sorry, but pots of gold and four-leaf clovers have NOTHING to do with St. Patrick’s Day. What a shame that so many celebrate this Saint’s feast day with pagan imagery and parties.

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