For two people with absolutely no Irish roots whatsoever, each year we approach St. Patrick’s Day with a culinary fervor that’s hard to match. It begins with the usual quest to find the perfect corned beef complete with brine packets and directions, even though we could master the process in our sleep.
Then, it’s off to buy the traditional cabbage and argue over what root vegetables belong in the mix. Potatoes are a must, although Jim likes the small yellow ones while Ann favors the strange shapes of fingerling potatoes. We both agree on turnips and small onions but have the same argument every year over the carrots.
While Ann loves to chomp on raw carrots, the minute they’re steamed, boiled, broiled or otherwise altered from their natural state of dwelling in the ground, she refuses to have anything to do with them. Jim, on the other hand, believes carrots add a certain sweetness to the overall combination of meat and veggies. And, unlike Ann, he’ll eat them microwaved, stewed, or heated over an open flame.
Once we’ve secured the ingredients, it’s into a pot of boiling water and off we go. Up until this year we’ve used an 8 quart pot that simmers nicely on the stove, but now, things have changed. We recently purchased our first crock-pot and have been debating whether or not to cook our traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage in it. So far, no verdict has been reached.
Then there’s the matter of Irish soda bread. When we lived in New York we were able to purchase freshly baked Irish soda bread from a wonderful bakery in downtown Geneva. Now, living in the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, the breads are packaged and pre-made. Not a great option for two foodies who want to have an authentic meal. Needless to say, we’ve learned to make our own bread. Continue reading “Eating Irish Style with J.C. Eaton By Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp, writing as J. C. Eaton”