To my new lady-friend, St. Patty's is on par with Christmas. I plan on making up quite a little feast because her mother will be visiting us. As usual, I am perusing Martha as well as not martha. Of course, I want to create the standard fare of corned beef and soda bread. However, a criticism I have often heard is that Irish immigrants rarely ate beef because they could not afford it. I thought back to a conversation I had with my dad about what my grandfather used to eat when my grandmother went away to teacher training. I'm not about to seek out headcheese and turkey drumsticks but I think I am going to go in the turkey direction. Based on mine and Cassie's love of rosemary, I'm thinking of roasting a turkey breast with rosemary and thyme. That sounds vaguely Irish, right?
As for other dishes, there will, of course, be soda bread:
Though I think I will use currants instead of raisins. Hopefully, this summer I will pick some currants off our bush in my father's yard so that I can dehyrdate them for future soda bread endeavors. I imagine my own great grandmother plucking the little red berries from the same bush to create her own jellies and breads.
I'm also thinking of making salted new potatoes and brussel sprouts (cabbage if I can't find the sprouts). Another story my father often tells about my Irish ancestors is how my great grandmother would keep a pot on the back of the stove and all of the leftover from the week would go into the pot then be cooked down until you could drink them through a straw. For this reason, my father avoided going to his grandmother's house on Friday nights, when she usually served her gourmet leftover porridge. I think I'll stray from this tradition for my St. Patrick's day dinner and just boil the potatoes and greens until they're a little soft and salty.
For dessert, who could resist a black and tan in which the "tan" is actually ice cream? Bring on the stout float!
I cannot wait to begin cooking this... in nearly two weeks. Planning out dinner weeks in advance might be a sign that I could do with at least a part time job...