Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy St Patty's Day!

Hope everyone had a wonderful St Patrick's Day! I know I love this particular holiday. Not because of the green beer, but because of the wonderful food and fun activities associated with this day.
I remember when I was a little girl, not familiar with the meaning or the traditions of St Patrick's, waking up one morning to find the family kitchen empty. I looked outside to see my parents and two brothers all running around trying to pinch each other. Wanting to join in the fun, I went outside only to have all four of them bearing down on me with the intention of getting in enough pinching to last them the whole year! After I screamed and they realized I had no idea what day it was, they explained that on St Patrick's Day, one must wear green or else be subject to excruciating pain all day long. I was also told that if you wear red, you were supposed to get kissed; but I'm not sure if they just told me that because I was wearing red and they wanted to make me feel better. From that moment on, I was a firm believer in the traditions of St Patty's Day and followed them strictly... To the dismay of my classmates in later years who didn't have my lovely childhood.
Anyways, for our first married St Patrick's Day, Hubby and I decided that we would follow the traditions we loved the most and make some new ones of our own. Since we had a funeral to attend on Saturday, we decided to forgo the green-wearing practice, at least for a while, but did not skimp on anything else.
I have found that my best friend in the kitchen... is the slow cooker. I received a beautiful one at my bridal shower from my aunt, along with a recipe book, and it has definitely been put to good use! Since both Hubby and I had to work Saturday morning, and had the funeral in the early afternoon, I didn't want to have to rush home and try to put together the delicious Corned Beef and Cabbage meal that I had dreamed about for a year! Instead I found a recipe on allrecipes.com...

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ready In:
9 Hrs 15 Min

 
Original Recipe Yield 8 servings
 

Ingredients

  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
  • 10 baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • 6 ounces beer
  • 1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Place the carrots, potatoes, and onion into the bottom of a slow cooker, pour in the water, and place the brisket on top of the vegetables. Pour the beer over the brisket. Sprinkle on the spices from the packet, cover, and set the cooker on High.
  2. Cook the brisket for about 8 hours. An hour before serving, stir in the cabbage and cook for 1 more hour. 
 
I put the ingredients in before I went to work at 8:30 and they were ready around 5:30. Perfect timing! Hubby and I enjoyed a delicious meal while we started our other traditions. We decided to listen to Irish music while making the meal or getting ready during the day, mostly Flogging Molly, Celtic Woman, and Celtic Thunder. We then wanted to honor the day with a few viewings of select St Patrick's Day episodes from a couple of our favorite shows, such as 'How I Met Your Mother' and 'The Simpsons'! We were then set on watching 'The Quiet Man.' An old John Wayne film about Sean Thornton, a retired American boxer who returns to his Irish hometown to settle down and fall in love. It has great music, beautiful scenery, and a lot of laughs! But sadly, we thought the show could be found on Netflix, and it wasn't. So we watched 'PS I Love You.' Same beautiful scenery, wonderful music, and (after an Irish Car Bomb) a lot of laughs as well! We took a walk down to Main Street and checked out what was happening at the local Irish pub, where we had a drink and dessert. We found a lot of noisy, but very friendly people and had a wonderful time! 

The Monday afterwards a made cupcakes for my coworkers, made with stout beer and covered in green frosting, everyone was in the spirit! I tried to make the Pinterest Beer Mug Cupcakes but alas, my fondant is not up to snuff just yet and did not look cute at all! 
So, to wrap it all up, I decided on a little Irish blessing that is well known, and well deserved.
May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, may the rains fall softly upon your fields...
Thank you and God bless!

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