17 March 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sitting here, eating my leftover corned beef and cabbage from my triumphant batch last night, and wondering... what should I do to commemorate this, the only holiday that makes people immediately think of Ireland?

Etsy's blog, The Storque, put out a wonderful post of green items - green as in, wear it and you won't get pinched.  I thought about it, and I'm trying a different tack: I hit the "Shop Local" section, typed in "Ireland," hit "enter," and this is what I found.

Handmade Necklace green Silver Foil Beads by lindsaycrafts.
lindsaycrafts has a great selection of both jewelry and handspun yarn.
Eoin the Bear by TheIrishBearCo.
Complete with handknit Donegal wool sweater and handmade Donegal tweed pants!
French Vanilla Bridal Wrap by bonzie.
Leave it to Waterford to have a resident create something that exquisite.
An Irish Heart. Set of 5 Paper Baubles. by TanyaMac.
Too green to pass up here!
Owl on a stick mobile by ememem.
Her Galway shop just about melted my heart with all of its woollen critters!
Paddy the rat drinking Guinness in a quiet pub - 5x7 print of an original drawing by Tanya Bond from tanyabond's shop.
He looks like a regular - like he's there every night, and that's his usual.  Maybe it's women troubles...
Gran Canarian Heartsong by Lysulka.
Handknit and hand painted. If there's anything else Ireland is known for besides drinking, fighting, and not having snakes, please, please let it be lace making.
Want to give it a try yourself? Check out Shop Local - Ireland!

Did you know?
Corned beef, as we know it today in the US, is primarily our own doing as Irish Americans. Beef in Ireland was traditionally corned and shipped to the US as an export due to the prevalance of rented land by cattle farmers. Here in the US, beef was less expensive than the real Irish darling, bacon, and Irish immigrants salted the meat to preserve it and ate it instead.
In the UK, "corned beef" is known as "pickled beef," and is more like SPAM than the briskets we buy and eat for St. Paddy's.

As an added bonus, here's a quick recipe for corned beef, cabbage and stewed veggies.  Also known as "what I made last night that rocked my socks off."
In your pasta pot, put in:
about 2 lbs corned beef
1 large white onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 white russet potatoes, diced (or 5 red potatoes, diced)
...and cover with water.  Spice to your liking - I used "pickling spices," which includes mustard seed, coriander and thyme, and added sea salt, parsley and peppercorns.
Bring to a boil, and simmer for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, slice up and add one half cabbage, remembering to take out the bitter core (learn from my mistake!), and simmer for another hour or two, or until cabbage is tender.  Take the brisket out and slice it.

Then eat, papa, eat!  Delicious and filling, as long as your watch out for peppercorns.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. Hmm, I've made corned beef and cabbage with potatoes, and I always use carrots, but I'll have to try celery. I never add spices, or remove the core of the cabbage, though. I really like the way it comes out. So good (guess what I had for lunch today.)

  2. Celery was an easy choice because it was next to the carrots, and it cooks into stewed veggies so wonderfully. It's very versatile.
    And I think my mistake last time was that the bitter core reacted badly with my choice of broth: Guinness. Next time I'll try Harp!