Monday, March 17, 2008

Céad Míle Fáilte

One hundred thousand welcomes

("Happy St. Patrick's Day!")

Fun Beer Facts

  • About 4000 years ago, it was the accepted practice in Babylonia that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calender was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month" or what we know to day as the "Honey moon"

  • Before invention of the thermometer, brewers used to check the temperature by dipping their thumb, to find whether appropriate for adding Yeast. Too hot, the yeast would die. This is where we get the phrase " The Rule of the Thumb"

  • In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender used to yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. From where we get "mind your own P's and Q's".

  • After consuming a vibrant brew called Aul or Ale, the Vikings would go fearlessly to the battlefield, without their armour, or even their shirts. The "Berserk" means "bear shirt" in norse, and eventually to the meaning of wild battles.

  • Way down in 1740, the Admiral Veron of the British fleet decided to water down the navy's rum, which naturally, the sailors weren't pleased with. They nicknamed the Admiral Old Grog, after the still stiff grogram coats he used to wear. The term grog soon began to mean the watered down drink itself. When you are drunk on this this grog, you are "groggy", a word still in use.

  • Long ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim of their beer mugs or ceremic/glass cups. The whistle was used to order services. Thus we get the phrase, "wet your whistle".

Traditional irish Recipe's

Irish Roast Pork with Potato Stuffing

Serves 6 Preparation Time: 20 minutesCooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients : 2 pounds pork tenderloin, or 6 to 8 boneless lean pork chops2 tablespoons butter2 tablespoons hard cider (apple wine) or waterstuffing (see below)salt and pepper
Preparation :
Make stuffing. Rub meat with salt, pepper and butter. Pour cider or water into 3 -quart casserole dish. Place meat along edges of dish. Place stuffing in center of pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Ingredients : 4 1/2 cups Gold Potatoes or Butter Red Potatoes, coarsely mashed1/4 cup butter1 onion2 large cooking apples, chopped1 handful chopped fresh sage and thyme Salt and pepper
Preparation :
To potatoes, add butter, onion, apples, herbs, salt and pepper.Mix well.

Corned-Beef Dinner, Irish Style Ingredients :

3-4 lbs corned beef brisket 2 onions, sliced 2 garlic cloves,minced, 2 bay leaves, 6 whole cloves, 6 medium potatoes, pared 5 small carrots, pared 1 medium head of cabbage cut in 6 wedges.

Preparation :

Place corned beef in Dutch oven, and barely cover with hot water; add onion, garlic, cloves, and bay leaves. Cover and simmer (do not let boil) 1 hour per pound of meat, or till fork tender. Remove meat from liquid; add potatoes and carrots. . Cover; bring to boiling and cook 10 minutes. Then add cabbage wedges; continue cooking 20 minutes longer or till vegetables are done.

Spice Glaze: If you like, glaze the corned beef while vegetables cook. Spread fat side of meat lightly with prepared mustard. Then sprinkle with mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Place in shallow pan. Bake in moderate oven 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes or till nicely glazed.

Irish Coffee
1 shot Irish Whiskey 1 tbsp Sugar 6 oz. Coffee Whipped Cream for garnish
Pre-warm a stemmed glass. Add the whiskey.Add the sugar and stir in the coffee.Float the whipped cream on top.Drink the coffee through the cream. Do not stir after adding the cream.


The Jig's Up

The leprechauns are laughing For their day is finally here
The legends and the folklore Seep through the atmosphere
The dancers are all ready An Irish jig is in the air
The walls of the pubs are bursting
There is not an empty chair
As the night becomes the morning,
The barman leads the song From Danny Boy to Irish Eyes The serenade goes on.
Then a husky voice is heard to sayMake this your final stein
For St. Patrick's day is over
At it's time Gentlemen it's time.

The Leprechaun

By Robert Dwyer Joyce (1830-83)

In a shady nook one moonlit night,A leprahaun I spied In scarlet coat and cap of green, A cruiskeen by his side.'Twas tick, tack, tick, his hammer went,

Upon a weeny shoe,And I laughed to think of a purse of gold, But the fairy was laughing too.With tip-toe step and beating heart, Quite softly I drew night.There was mischief in his merry face, A twinkle in his eye;He hammered and sang with tiny voice,And sipped the mountain dew; Oh! I laughed to think he was caught at last,

But the fairy was laughing, too.As quick as thought I grasped the elf,"Your fairy purse," I cried,"My purse?" said he, "'tis in her hand,That lady by your side."I turned to look, the elf was off, And what was I to do? Oh! I laughed to think what a fool I'd been, And, the fairy was laughing too.

What is a -->Leprechaun

Leprechauns are little make-believe fairies from Ireland.They are the little old men who are shoemakers for the fairies. They usually stand about 2 feet tall. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer. The legend is that if you catch one you can force him to tell you where he hides his gold.