Pull Up a Chair: St. Patrick’s Day Version

4:55 am in Uncategorized by eCAHNomics

Corned Beef and Cabbage (photo: Jonathunder/wikimedia)

How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (if you are)?

I am for the first time this year, postponed until tomorrow owing to schedule conflict for today.

All the while I lived in Manhattan, I did not attend the parade. I’m not a parade fan. But it is the highlight of the day for the thousands who revel. A major segment of the population of NYC is of Irish descent, stemming from the Potato Famine. Of course, on St. Patrick’s Day, all New Yorkers are Irish.

My participation in this year’s celebration came together by happenstance. Last autumn, my neighbor Noa and I went to pick up the quarter steer we bought to share with a third participant. The couple we bought the organic, grass fed, grain finished beef from, Kim and Charlie, seem to do nothing but husbandry, cook and eat. Over a glass of wine, we discussed how to prepare the various cuts of beef. They gave elaborate instructions for making corned beef out of brisket, which Noa took in her share, while I kibitzed, including mentioning that I expected to be invited for St. Pat’s dinner. Neither Noa nor I had ever prepared corned beef.

As February turned to March, I asked Noa if she still wanted to do it. Yes, and the planning began. She thawed the brisket about 10 days ago, and prepared the brine. I got a phone call. Did I have juniper berries, whole allspice, ground ginger, cinnamon stick? Yes to all. When she arrived to pick up what she needed, I asked: “Whatever happened to borrowing a simple cup of sugar from your neighbor?

I’ll be making the cabbage, new potatoes, and carrots cooked in the braising liquid.

Spinach vichyssoise to start. You can make any color vichyssoise by adding a vegetable of that color.

Surveying the dessert suggestions on the menu page at Food Network, Noa chose bread pudding which I’ll make for the first time. Irish soda bread comes from the bakery.

We’ll serve the dinner with beer. There is a store in town that has beers from breweries all over the U.S. and the world. I enjoy beer, but don’t drink it a lot, and prefer a kind of German lager flavor. Most of the Irish brews the store had were somewhat on the sweet side, so I wimped out with Harps, with a St. Pat’s label for the day.

Irish whiskey and Baileys after dinner, though some might prefer it in coffee instead of straight.

There will be 7 people. My neighbors, an 18 year old young man living with them, parents of one of them (my age!), me and another friend. It is a joint project and will be served at my house. One guest contributed a green table cloth, I bought green napkins and candles.

Some Irish among the guests but it took another friend to inform me that the Irish don’t traditionally eat CB&C. Can’t say that I believed her, but when I got to the Internet, sure enough, she is right. Matters not. Everyone is looking forward to enjoying our meal.

If you don’t have any St. Patrick’s related plans for today or tomorrow, how are you going to spend your weekend? Must be getting spring fever by now. Particularly warm in the east and everything is starting to grow.

Pull up a chair.