St. Patrick’s Day: Another Cliche but Delicious Treat!

17 Mar

I’m not all about St. Patrick’s Day, although I have tried to be for as long as I can remember.  Every year, my mom would make a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal on that blustery March day–although we are not one ounce Irish, in my family, we lived in a town full of families who made up for it–shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, lamb stew.  And no matter what, the cookies.  Whether my mom made them or we bought them, I always remember having those green-iced shamrock cookies.  I guess everyone in our town wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day; even my friend, whose Lebanese family owned a bagel shop, would come to school with dozens of green bagels to share.  What a treat!

So why am I a St. Patrick’s Day skeptic?  It isn’t the lamb stew; I love the lamb stew: topped with flaky, puffy biscuits, how could the lamb stew betray my love?  It isn’t the shepherd’s pie, I love shepherd’s pie with its soft layer of mashed potatoes that blend strangely but nicely with meat juices and peas.  It isn’t the bagels, the cookies, or nowadays, the beer.  I love all that stuff.  It is the corned beef.  Sorry, Mom.  I love you, but that corned beef!  When I would see that scary, pink-ish piece of meat emerge from the pressure cooker or pot, like a wretched infant emerging from the womb, shreds of cabbage hanging off like bits of bodily fluid, I was scared.  But even worse was when I ate the salty, mushy vegetables and dry-ish beef, as I wondered what this world was coming to.  I supposed that the Irish must have been truly hungry when they came to  America after escaping the famine.  This was shoe-leather jerky on ‘roids, to be frank.

It wasn’t my mom’s fault.  I have finally come to the understanding that the only time I really like corned beef is sliced thin and piled high on a sandwich, with tons of Russian dressing and cheese.  It needs that fat.  Oh, fat.  How you are gone from the hotpot of Irish meats and vegetables.

Anyway, I am still planning for tonight’s St. Patrick’s Day menu, but as of now, I have made one Irish-y treat: Oatmeal Stout brownies!  I whipped up a batch of fudge-y brownie batter  the other day and added about 10 oz of oatmeal stout to the batter; 2 to the ganache I swirled in.  People in my dorm went crazy about “beer brownies,” and I thought they were especially rich and tasty.  At least appropriate for St. Patrick’s day!

Oatmeal Stout brownies

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