Sunday, March 14, 2010

St Paddy's Day plans

Today is another Jib Jab first.  I'm actually planning a post, before I've cooked it.  I am feeling a bit under the weather, so I am thinking about St Paddy's day.  I am thinking lamb stew, Irish soda bread, and not sure from there.  Yes, of course some Guinness.  And I haven't figured out the potato and cabbage recipes yet.  I am watching a Bobby Flay show on the food channel as we speak - he's full blooded Irish, and the show is on the food history of Ireland...let's see what we come up with. 

So, 92% of beer in Ireland is consumed in the Pubs.  Pub food is only 25 years old!- since the 70s... wait, the math seems to be not too robust there... Ireland is more relaxed than America.  Guinness has 70% of the beer market in Ireland.  The largest brewery in Europe. Irish Literature; Yates, Joyce, Beckett - drinkers with writing problems... gotta understand the pub culture...  Sir Walter Raleigh brought potatoes to Ireland in the 1600s, from America.  Then, they ate 10-12 pounds of potato per person per day before the blight.    Potatoes col-cannon.  Today, 300 pounds per person per year.  Red rooster potatoes are Irish.  Rice the potatoes.  York cabbage....deep fried potato bacon cabbage...brown bread...smoked salmon...the salt goes on the fillet to kill any bacteria, and draw the moisture to the surface before smoking...smoking takes a day or two or three.    Dorina Allen, Ballyboe Irish house cooking.  Bacon and cabbage is the Irish national food.  sliced cabbage, butter, cook with herbs.  scallion champ?  bacon, cabbage.    Ester Barron, Baron's bakery.  Waterford countyCrystalTeaJameson.  Irish are more like Mediterraneans than Europeans.  10,000 pubs are in Ireland. Tullamore Dew, Ireland

One last note.  What's the difference between Scotch and Irish whiskey?  A couple things.  Some I remember:  Irish uses some non-malted barley, and Scotch is all malted.  Irish malted barley is dried in kilns, whereas scotch is malted over peat bog fires.  Also, scotch is typically distilled twice.  Irish whiskey 3 times minimum.  So, to the single malt story.  There is no such version of Irish whiskey.  By definition, it has different types of barley used.  Malted barley, and raw.

I am thinking about Ireland again, from my mutt ancestry, I am mostly Irish, from my dad's side and 25% on mom's side.  My dad has a bit of a secret family history, which he really hasn't shared much of (hence the secrets).  There is definitely some severe mental illness involved, and probably other secret things as well.   I have heard bits and pieces.  It brings up strong emotions, and in general, has been dealt with by ignoring it, or at least not talking about it.   Well, my dad doesn't talk much all together.  Not sure if that's all part of the plan or just him.  All that said, I am curious about my Irish heritage.  I would love to go there, some day soon.

Okay, just thinking out loud on the menu, grocery store wise-
lamb - safeway or a better butcher
do i need oatmeal, wheat flour for the bread?
potatoes, carrots, ruddebeggas, turnips, barley, parsley for the stew, beef stock
potatoes and cabbage for the potatoes and cabbage
lamb chop appetizers?
Anyways, that's it for now.

It was a totally beautifully sunny warm day, and I was gonna go riding, but felt too achy, headache, bla bla bla.  Oh well, hopefully I will be better soon.

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