Friday, March 18, 2011

Celtic Fare

The weather outside was very cooperative and set the mood with the gale winds a blowin'.
Inside, lively Celtic tunes were playin' and hearts were merry.

Little Farmgirl and I made oatcakes from a cookbook my cousin, Martha gave me years ago. It's called Company's Coming: Cookies. It's well worn now. This is another rolling pin Dad made me, pretty too, huh? We tried the first batch on the silpat and that was a mistake. They do better on just a lightly greased sheet, get more crispy and tasty. They are a very bland, not sweet cookie that goes sooooo good with a nice strong cup of Irish Tea. I made Grand Central Bakery's Irish Soda Bread. The silpat worked nice for them, but soaking our homegrown currants before using them to soften them a bit....huge mistake. The teensie seeds worked all through the dough, and I hated that texture. Thank goodness my chickens love it when I make kitchen flops. Thinking about currants, I remember back in the early 80's in Colorado, I needed currants for a Tasha Tudor Christmas recipe. There wasn't a single market in the city that carried them. Bless Jim's heart, he took me way out of town to a hotsy totsy shopping mini mall to get some.
Beginning the first year we were married, I started doing a corned beef and cabbage dinner every year for St. Patrick's day. I'm not sure why exactly, as I don't remember that being a tradition at our house growing up. But we have always enjoyed it. Last year with just the 2 of us, we just had reubens. This year, I made Beef and Irish Stout Stew and mashed potatoes. We LOVED it.
I used this recipe, but added 3/4 cup well chopped pitted prunes during the last 1/2 hr. of cooking. I read in a different recipe for the stew that they help the stew to not be bitter from the Guiness, and it's true. Also true: "you don't even know they're there."
What do you do with a leftover cup of Guiness if you don't want to drink it? Our local morning news showed a famous local restaurant that was serving dessert of Guiness chocolate cupcakes with Bailey's Icing. I made the cupcakes and thought I would serve them unfrosted with a spot of Baileys' icecream. I had just came across a little Haagen-Dazs container of it when I cleaned the freezer. Talk about a rude surprise! New Orleans Shrimp Gumbo??!! May 2009, when Dot and I went to the coast, we wanted to bring home leftover gumbo. The only containers we had to put it in was a washed out water bottle, and a washed out icecream container! I guess i just tossed it in the freezer when we got home.
Good gravy, is this place a comedy of errors or what?!


Sarah said...

Haagen-Dazs gumbo=hilarious! Would've loved to have seen your face!

kate said...

I know, that cracked me up!
And that stew- yummy! don't forget to send me the recipe, one wee bite was not enough. ;)


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