Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

And, why is that?

Well, it's Friday. And school is done. Including Friday fun school. Though I probably should listen to the boys play the piano at some point in time today. We studied are fattest president in history for history (Taft), embarked on our study of Brazil in geography, and continued with our mold experiment. Our bread and water jar now has a blanket of mold over the entire surface of the bread. The vinegar and salt water bread are both mold free still. The dry bread has little mold dots on the bottom. Today we started a new observation experiment. We placed an egg in a glass and then covered it with white vinegar. It is supposed to soften within the next few days. So those jars of pickled eggs that you see at the grocery store, could be eggs still with their shells on-just soft. I wouldn't know. They look too disgusting to try. We also did an experiment with warm milk and a dropper full of vinegar. Did you know that the milk will curdle into a pretty solid plastic like compound called casein? Learn something new every day...

I'm also smiling because I am putting an end to my chocolate-lessness. I have had no chocolate in my house since last Saturday. No cookies, or brownies, or pie, or cake, or even ice-cream. This is a very long time! I was feeling so desperate the other day, that I actually resorted to eating a spoonful (or two) of fudge ice-cream topping from the fridge. But, now, I have a cookie jar full of chocolate chip cookies, and I have a box for the freezer. And everything is all right in my world.=)

I get to go the the symphony tonight. With Brian. First date in a while. I'll tell you about the show after I've seen it.

It is warm and finally sunny-today. There was an immense layer of fog this morning that didn't burn off until after noon.

I swam this morning. I didn't talk myself out of it. I got up and went, and did better than I had all week.
My kids are playing nicely. And Meredith is down for a nap. Bread is baking. Chores are done. Chicken Marsala is on the menu. And, I'm remembering last night's dinner.

Wow! No one took me up on my offer. Your loss. We ate good.=) I told Brian that this is probably one time of year that he is grateful he has an Irish wife.

I am Irish from my maternal side. With a wee bit in the paternal family tree. But, since my mom is Irish, we grew up having corned beef and cabbage (aka-boiled dinner) every St. Patrick's Day. Several of us sibs have continued the tradition. (We are going to be gone tomorrow evening, so I made ours early.)

I don't like boiled cabbage, or boiled potatoes for that matter. But soon after I got married, I stumbled across a recipe for colcannon-mashed potatoes combined with sautéed bacon, cabbage and onion, and topped with melted butter. How can that NOT be good? It isn't good for you, but who cares? Once a year isn't going to kill you. I have also added Irish Soda Bread to our menu. Soda bread is especially delicious about 10 minutes out of the oven, smothered with jam. And corned beef really is outstanding and simple. You open the package, plop it in a pan of water, add the seasoning packet and boil it for 50 minutes per pound. You can't screw it up. Well, unless you don't cut it the right way. Which I still can't remember which direction is right. But Mr. Hippie carved beautiful slices last night-the wrong direction. It doesn't change the taste at all. It does change the texture. Anyway, if you are looking for a new St. Patrick's Day tradition to add to your corned beef and green beer, here is the recipe for colcannon. Btw, I'd love to hear your family's ethnic holiday traditions. Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo, or St. Lucia Day, or Oktoberfest or...? How do you make your holiday special? 
Bettin' you're wishing you were Irish too.


2-1/2 pounds potatoes-peeled and cubed

4 slices bacon

1/2 head cabbage

1 onion-chopped

1/2 c milk

salt and pepper

1/4 c. butter, melted

-cook potatoes until tender

-fry bacon, crumble, reserve drippings

-saute cabbage and onion in dripping until soft, about 10 minutes

-drain potatoes, mash w/milk, salt and pepper

-add bacon, cabbage and onion

-transfer to a serving bowl, make a well and pour butter on top

Soda Bread


Corned Beef

To all my Irish friends and family, and to all my friends and family who are green with envy wishing they were Irish...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!