Monday, March 23, 2009

Slainte! Happy St. Patty's Day!

A certain festive holiday was recently celebrated by many. This holiday is mainly an excuse for anyone of the Caucasian persuasion to adopt a foreign heritage, drink a bunch of beer and then vomitously pass out. I think I have some Irish in me somewhere (my surname is actually really common in present-day Ireland) but count myself among the people who find it really annoying when people say "Oh sure! I'm [insert nationality with which one may be loosely associated]" when it's convenient. So, really, I'm an American mutt with distant ties to the land o' green, along with several other countries in the vicinity whose descendants have no need whatsoever for any melanin in their skin. Seriously, I am freakin' white.

But that sure doesn't mean I don't like to join in the Americanized bastardization of said holiday. So bring on the beer! This is Guinness (what else?) but in a Carlsberg glass that is actually from Ireland.

Seriously. I stole it from a pub in Galway. Sadly, my beloved Bulmer's, one of the Best Drinking Substances in the History of the World, is not sold in the state of Oregon, so I had to do without. Woe is me.

Here is my special St. Patrick's Day shirt that I made myself about six years ago. Awww... ... So... sweet?
Into my Crock pot went about 2.5 pounds of Corned Beef, along with the corning liquid and about half a Guinness, and 9 hours later, here is what it looked like.

And, because I am apparently in fifth grade, I had some fun with me onions and me parsnip. It was a very large parsnip. Tee hee!

Here it is, along with some cabbage and celeriac.

For dessert following my Irish feast, I opted for Guinness gingerbread cupcakes.

They really had Guinness in them! Cupcake recipe at the end of the post.

Here they are, ready to get baked! Ha! Stoner cupcakes!
And here they are fully cooked, but still naked. Not unlike many St. Patrick's Day revelers.

Wanting to take in the full cheesiness of the holiday, I dyed some beer green.

And then I drank it. And it was good.

Fully clothed cupcakes!

They are frosted with Irish cream cream cheese frosting. And a green mini M&M for good measure.

Also, I baked some authentic Irish soda bread.

Like this website will tell you, real Irish soda bread does not contain nuts, seeds, raisins, candies, sugar or any other shit. It has four ingredients: flour, baking soda, buttermilk, salt. The end. It is ridiculously easy to make and is hella good with just butter. Or some Irish cheddar. Or butter and Irish cheddar.

I roasted the root vegetables in the oven, then stir-fried the cabbage and onions together.

See my corned beef? I could've cut it with a spoon. That's why Crock pots are lovely inventions. It's really hard to fuck something up in the Crock pot.

Cookie Monster attempted to make gravy from the corning liquid by boiling it and adding flour directly to it. This resulted in some lovely floaters on top of the liquid that looked and tasted gross. But since they were whole, they could easily be fished out, and we settled for a more viscous "gravy."

All together! (Oh yeah, I mashed some potatoes too). Soda bread, mashed potatoes, root vegetables, corned beef!

Slainte! (That's "c
heers" in Gaelic. It is pronounced slon-chuh. Don't ask me why.)

As promised, here is the recipe for the Guinness gingerbread. If you're still reading, you get a gold star! I got this from ye old Internets, and I have no fucking clue from where. So if you own this recipe, you can have the credit.

2/3 cup (160 ml) Guinness Stout
2 cups (240 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2-1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (I didn't have any of this and just left it out)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (88 g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (37 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) molasses
3/4 cup (180 ml) canola oil (I used applesauce instead)
Place rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350° F. In the microwave, warm the Guinness Stout in the glass measuring cup, or you can warm it on the stove in a small sauce pan. Bring just to a simmer then remove from heat. (This seems like a really pointless step. I would leave it out next time.) In the medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, ginger, white pepper, and cinnamon. In the large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and molasses until smooth. Add the canola oil and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the beer (dry, beer, dry, beer, dry). Whisk as you add, then mix at the end just until combined. (Phhhhtttttt. This is too fussy. I just dumped dry into wet.) Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Place cake pan on a wire rack to cool. (I made cupcakes, and they baked for about 25 minutes or so).

Irish Cream Cream Cheese Frosting a la VCK
I softened a block of cream cheese overnight on the counter, then simply added powdered sugar and Irish cream to taste, until it was sweet enough to frost cupcakes (but not too sweet). I would say I used probably 1.5-2 cups of powdered sugar and maybe 3/4 cup Irish cream? I used this kind of Irish cream. Cookie Monster bought it because of the whimsical name. Fucking adorable, right?

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