An Irish Prayer
May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.
Having a bit of the Irish in me, St. Patrick’s Day has always been about food and drink, family and the wearing of the green!
Some of my family’s favorite recipes:
Irish Beef Stew Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (NOT extra-lean)
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
- 1 cup of Guinness beer
- 1 cup of fine red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over. Continue to cook in this manner until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.
3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)
Yield: Serves 4 to 6. *Simply Recipes
Irish Hot Chocolate
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup cold water
2 ¼ cups milk , scalded
¾ cup half-and-half cream , scalded
½ cup baileys original irish cream , to taste
shaved bittersweet chocolate (to garnish)
- In a large heavy saucepan combine the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, water and a dash of salt.
- Heat mixture over low heat, whisking, until the cocoa powder is dissolved and the mixture is a smooth paste.
- Gradually add the milk and half&half and simmer whisking for 2 minutes.
- Stir in Baileys.
- Divide hot chocolate into warmed mugs and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
And of course we have to wear green!
“The Wearing of the Green” is an anonymously-penned Irish street ballad dating to 1798.The context of the song is the repression around the time of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Wearing a shamrock in the “caubeen” (hat) was a sign of rebellionand green was the colour of the Society of the United Irishmen, a republican revolutionary organisation. During the period, displaying revolutionary insignia was made punishable by hanging.
O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?
The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!
No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his color can’t be seen
For there’s a cruel law ag’in the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”
I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand
And he said, “How’s poor oldIreland, and how does she stand?”
“She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen
For they’re hanging men and women there for the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”
“So if the color we must wear beEngland’s cruel red
Let it remind us of the blood that Irishmen have shed
And pull the shamrock from your hat, and throw it on the sod
But never fear, ’twill take root there, though underfoot ’tis trod.
When laws can stop the blades of grass from growin’ as they grow
And when the leaves in summer-time their color dare not show
Then I will change the color too I wear in my caubeen
But till that day, please God, I’ll stick to the Wearin’ o’ the Green.
Prize time! Have you ever found a four leaf clover? Tell me in a comment, yes or no, for a chance to win a PDF copy of my new m/m erotic fantasy Nathaniel.
Etopia Press: http://etopiapressblog.wordpress.com/
The prisoner lifts his head and Taden is caught in the gaze of the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen; amazing eyes that hold him confused and thrilling. From the moment Taden rescues Nathaniel from the Sutherlin soldiers’ torture, he feels responsible for the youth. The Sutherlins have invaded the beautiful Tahon Valley, and as Taden secrets Nathaniel from their reach, he finds himself drawn inexplicably to the young man. He protects Nathaniel not only from the Sutherlins but from his own mistrustful people, who don’t understand Nathaniel’s powers and believe him to be a witch. Will Taden convince Nathaniel to stay with him and live under his protection, or will the youth sail home and leave Taden in loneliness?