Tuesday, 12 March 2013

St Patrick's Day Tribute

I always have a heavy heart on the 17th of March and not because it is St Patrick's Day but because a cousin of mine died very young and his birthday was 17th of March. But that aside, it is also a day of celebration especially if you are Irish or have any Irish blood in you.  Coming from the east coast of America you can bet there is some Irish blood in me, must be that which causes my feet to tap to a good old country beat!

St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland (or to be politically correct The Republic of Ireland) and great celebrations are made in his name on this date in March, especially the consumption of Guinness!! St Patrick became the patron saint when he was a Bishop and needing to convince some of his followers of the Holy Trinity he picked up a shamrock and pointed out it was also a living example of the Holy Trinity, one leaf for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit! What about the elusive four leaf clover you ask, well the fourth leaf is for 'luck' - You have heard of 'the luck of the Irish'!

Along with music and Guinness the Irish hospitality also includes food and I have been sent a selection of some of the best examples of this.  My surprise box includes:

My surprise box of Irish Goodies

Always love receiving products from Clonakilty, tasty and made the traditional way and this includes their bacon and sausages too.

Clonakilty White Pudding & Black Pudding
Flahavan's Irish porridge oats are one of the best ways to get some fibre and a healthy start to your day. Because these oats are less processed you get a creamy and delicious breakfast poridge but they are also used in recipes for flapjacks, oatmeal cookies and more.

A great way to start your morning and stay healthy

With my morning breakfast I always have a cup of coffee made for me by Mr R! That kick of caffeine first thing is what makes me tick. My packet of Bewley's coffee was a strength 3 which is a lovely middle of the road strength although they do a strength 4 and 5.

Lovely smooth coffee from Bewley's

One of the products I received was a pack of Truly Irish Roasting Back Bacon but rather than roast this piece of meat I wanted to make what I knew as I grew up as 'New England Boiled Dinner' but also sometimes was known as 'Irish Boiled Dinner'.

Bacon products from Truly Irish
It is hard to believe that something so simple can taste so good.  I put the bacon, an onion, two sticks of celery and three carrots in a large stock pot and covered with water.  I added pepper but waited to taste the borth nearer the finishing time to add salt - bacon can often be salty anyway and none is needed. This piece of bacon wasn't salty so I added a pinch.  I let this come to the boil and simmer away for about an hour then added some peeled chunks of potato and cooked till the knife went through easily.

When I turned the heat off I added some chopped spring greens and allowed them to cook in the hot stock. The bacon stayed really tender and tasty.

I served with a little of the cooking stock poured over. The remainder of stock will make a great start for another week's soup. Truly a Happy St Patrick's Day!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love the Black Puddings from Clonakilty!