Saint Patricks Day
An Irish Blessing
Near a misty stream in Ireland
in the hallow of a tree,
Live mystical, magical leprechauns,
who are clever as can be,
With their pointed ears,
and turned up toes and little coats of green,
The Leprechauns busily make their shoes,
and try hard not to be seen,
Only those who really believe,
have seen these little elves,
And if we are all believers,
we can surely see for ourselves.
The History of the Shamrock
As a symbol of Ireland, it has long been integrated into the symbol of the United Kingdom, along with the Rose, the Thistle and the Leek for England, Scotland and Wales. Today on St. Patrick's Day, a memeber of the British Royal Family presents a Shamrock to the Irish Guards regiment of the British Army.
Three is Ireland's magic number. Therefore the shamrock as a symbol because of the three petals, or leaves. Virgin, Mother and Crone. Valour Wit and Love. These are just a few of the threesomes that play an important part in Celtic symbolism. Three is considered a magical and sacred number, and mutiplies to nine which is sacred to Brigit. It is believed that everything good in Ireland comes in threes. Telling a story, in Irish Tradition, means following the rhythm of threefold. As this acihieves both exaggeration and intensification of the story being told.
Leprechaun's are considered to be an Irish fairy, who appears as a small old man, usually dressed as a shoemaker. Legend holds that Leprechauns are unfriendly, live alone and spend their time making shoes. It has also been told that they possess a hidden pot of gold. If caught, they must reveal where the gold is, that is if he isnt able to trick the caputre into looking away, giving him time to vanish taking the secret of his gold with him.
The Blarney Stone
The Blarney Stone is a stone thought to bring eloquence to anyone who kisses it. The stone is located in the wall of the Blarney Castle Tower, built in 1446 by Corman Laidhiv McCarthy. Legend holds that an old woman cast the spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
1 large corned beef brisket
2 - 3 cans of beer
2 Bay leaves
1 teaspoon of coriander seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
4 large potatoes cut into quarters
6 carrots sliced
3 turnips sliced
1 large head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, quartered
In a large stock pot, place the corned beef brisket, the beer, the bay leaves, coriander seed and mustard seed. As well as the juice from the package that the brisket came in. Add water to the pot so that the level of the liquid is just even with the middle height of the brisket.
Cover the pot and cook over medium heat, and cook for several hours. To make this easier you may also place the above listed ingredients into a roasting pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 4 hours. Continue checking the brisket and its liquid level, being sure to not let it go dry. When the meat is done, it will be tender and juicy. Remove from heat, removing the meat from the pand and add the vegetables to the liquid Cook the vegetables to your own desired doneness. When the vegetables are done, you are ready to serve your meal.
Ingredients (6 servings)
2 tablespoons Oil
4 large Onion cut in wedges
5 large Carrots cut in thick slices
2 Ribs celery sliced
1 1/2 lb Round steak or lamb
6 large Potatoes
1 cup Water
Salt and pepper to taste Heat oil in large saucepan or skillet. Sauté onions in oil. Add carrots and celery and cook for a few minutes. Cut steak into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes and adds to onions, carrots and celery. Wash, peel and slice potatoes and add to pot. Pour in water, season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Skim of any foam, reduce heat and simmer over low heat until meat and vegetables are tender.
NOTE: Can also cook in crock-pot on low overnight, 7-8 hours, or on high for 3 4 hours. If desired, mixing 2-tablespoon flour with a little water and adding it to the stew can thicken stew. Heat through until thickened and serve piping hot.
Ingredients (12 servings)
2 cups Flour
3 tablespoons Brown sugar
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/2 teaspoons Baking soda
1/4 cup Margarine or butter
8 oz Carton sour cream
1 Beaten egg yolk
1 slightly beaten egg white
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, soda, salt and powder. Use only 1/2-tsp salt at this time. Using a pastry blender cut in margarine or butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center.
2. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and egg yolk; add all at once to flour mixture. With a fork, stir till combined (note, this mixture may seem a little dry).
3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly knead the dough, by gently folding and pressing for 10-12 strokes or till nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough into a 7-inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges.
4. Arrange wedges on an ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Brush with egg white. Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes or till lightly brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Dried Cherry Scones: In a small bowl, pour enough water over 1/2 cup snipped dried sweet cherries or raisins to cover. Let stand for 5 minutes, drain well. Prepare scones as directed, except toss the drained cherries and 1 tsp. finely shredded orange peel into the margarine-flour mixture before adding the sour cream mixture. Continue as directed, except omit the egg white for brushing. To glaze the baked scones, in a small mixing bowl, stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 T orange juice, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla. Stir in more orange juice, 1 tsp at a time, till of a drizzling consistency.
Irish Soda Bread
To make one 8 inch round loaf, you need: 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk Instructions Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Sift the flour, soda and salt together, into a deep mixing bowl. (Just for the record here, my Grandmother taught me most of my cooking knowledge, and yes to this day, we both still sift our flour. You can choose not to, but if chosen not to sift, there is no way for me to tell you how your end result will be as I sift mine always.) Gradually add 1 cup of buttermilk, mixing with a large spoon until the dough is firm enough to be gathered into a ball. If your dough is still crumbly, add more buttermilk 1-Tablespoon at a time, until you are able to gather it in a large ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and shape into a flat, 8 inch in diameter, circular loaf, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Set the loaf on a floured baking sheet. With the tip of a small knife, cut 1/2 inch deep cross into the dough, dividing the loaf into quarters. Do not cut all the way through. Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove promptly from the oven, and wrap the bread in a clean cloth and let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Serve warm.