Saturday, March 19, 2011

Green kids, Cabbage and Corned Beef

St. Patrick’s Day!

My kids insisted we get up early on Thursday morning so they could pick out green clothes, get ready for school, and eat breakfast in plenty of time to allow me to decorate them for St Patrick’s Day fun at school. I am not sure when or why we started this little tradition. I’m thinking that it had to do with lack of a green outfit for one of them, I do not remember… but we’ve been doing it for years now.

Brian wanted just one drawing, his favorite, a dragon guarding a pot of gold
Honor drew sketches on a paper towel of her idea, a leprechaun on one hand, trying to chase gold on the other! Clever girl!
She also wanted a shamrock across her whole face. I didn’t want to do that much marker all over her! We compromised. I did shamrocks on one side, and when she complained that the other was ‘empty’, we added another pot of gold and a rainbow. She was still trying to suggest more as we were putting on jackets to head to the bus!
DSC09347 DSC09348
No pinching these two!

Another bit of good luck for the day, actually came about the day prior. After dropping Brad off to work Wednesday morning, I stopped at the produce stand on the way home. All the veggies were looking very nice that day, including the cabbages. I usually do not buy cabbage as they grow them HUGE here and I can only use so much. I looked at them wistfully and couldn’t help but think of the many, many years that has passed since I’d last had a corned beef to cook with cabbage. I couldn’t resist.. I bought the smallest cabbage they had and figured I’d come up with something to do with it.

Well, I went home, started my errands, etc, then at lunch, headed off to the Embassy to run some errands, including updating my mobile plan with Zain… they are awesome! Always great customer service!… anyway, I also had lunch with Brad, and some friends, one of whom tipped me off that the Co-op had just received a shipment of frozen goods and there was CORNED BEEF! I stopped by and picked up two briskets! Mmm!

Now, I know that corned beef is more of an Irish-American tradition than an Irish tradition, but my ancestors go way back in America, so I’ll follow whatever tradition I feel like, and every so often, corned beef with cabbage, for luck and prosperity, is a GOOD thing.

After getting my colorful children off to school, I popped the still mostly frozen brisket into my slow cooker, covered it in water and made sure to toss in the spices that came with the meat. I chopped up half of the beautiful cabbage and filled the pot  to over-flowing. (seriously, half the cabbage barely fit, even when I squished it down). I set the cooker on ‘low’ and let it cook all day.

Did you know that cats like cabbage too?
(They also liked the corned beef scraps they got after dinner!)

One thing to note is, when I popped the brisket in the cooker, I had totally forgot that there were other events going on that evening that we might have attended. When I had my coffee and I began to reconsider my schedule for the day a bit closer, I realized that I *could* just save the cabbage and brisket for later in the weekend, but honestly, I was tired! It had been a long busy week, I’d already had a late dinner out earlier in the week with my hubby for our 19th wedding anniversary, and really, all I wanted to do was stay with my family and have dinner in our home. I’m sorry we missed the other things, but glad we stayed in.

To round out our holiday meal, I made mashed potatoes, and Brian’s absolute FAVORITE bread of all time, Guiness Molasses Bread, which is truly easy to make, and Brian is right, it’s amazingly delicious! I didn’t actually have Guiness :(  but I had one can of another Irish Stout and it turned out very good. For dessert, I made vanilla ice cream, dyed green, of course, served with fresh strawberries on top.

For a completely unexpected and unplanned meal, it all came together beautifully. Because she’d been helping me through it all, and had been in the kitchen smelling all the lovely smells all evening(!), I invited our maid to stay for dinner. Normally she’s happy to get home in the evening and have her down time, but she accepted and we had a lovely little impromptu dinner party.

Hope you all had Jolly St Patrick Day celebrations too!


Daniela Swider said...

Sounds like a fun feast! Love the idea of "decorating" the children. I might just try it next year.

Nomads By Nature said...

What a wonderful evening! It sounds like everything came together for a lovely, fun and memorable meal. I love it when that happens!

Sadie said...

very cute tradition! you're an amazing artist to be able to decorate the kids so well! and way to go on the corned beef and cabbage :-).

Just US said...

What a great tradition!! That is awesome that you scored corned beef and cabbage!