Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day!

I needed to stretch my cooking muscles since they haven't been worked in quite some time. I haven't really used my kitchen in this new apartment so for work I decided to try a new easy recipe. I was simply going to make green candied popcorn. Seemed easy enough. I had all the ingredients already and I've made different caramel popcorn before. Simple. Ahhhh! This was a disaster all because I have an itty bitty oven now and for some reason if your cooking on the stove top everything in the oven will be overcooked or burnt. My first and second batch were ruined before I figured out what was going on. On my third batch I knew it was going to work. Ooops, not the way I had hoped. It did turn out but the nice green colored candy coating I made turned brown when I started baking it. I have no idea why. It's still good to eat but not as visually appealing as I had hoped. So, I added a few gold rolos & hersey's chocolate to give it a pop! Here is the final product, I call it... Leprechauns' Candied Popcorn.

Here are the labels I made for the bags. I made three different tags.
St. Patrick's Day Toast
Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer – and another one!

Irish Blessing
May the Good Lord take a liking to you... but not too soon!

Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover? You don't want to press your luck.

I've been on a history kick for awhile now. I've always liked to the meaning behind something but lately it's gotten a little out of hand. Now, I listen to history podcast all day long and my mind is filling with all these small facts I will probably never have to recall...except for this... A short history of St. Patrick's Day.

It was started as a religious feast (bacon & cabbage) & celebration on the anniversary of Saint Patrick's death in 461. (Who was not Irish but Roman British and was kidnapped as a child to Ireland, escaped and returned as a bishop to lead a successful mission to spread Christianity.) The emphasis wasn't a day of parades, drinking and green things. The official color was blue and drinking on March 17th was banned in Ireland until the 1970s. They overturned the ban on drinking as it seemed to help tourism for the holiday and Irish culture. The shamrock is the symbol of the holiday because Patrick used the shamrock to teach about the Holy Trinity in his travels through Ireland. Over time the tradition migrated with the immigrants who celebrated the holiday and the fact that they were proud of their heritage. As it turned into a secular holiday new traditions have started such as parades (the biggest in NYC started the secular tradition when Irish soldiers marched through the city), leprechauns (Disney), wearing green and getting pinched if you don't (Leprechauns might get ya), kiss me I'm Irish (legend is to kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck but if you couldn't you could kiss an Irishman)
I would be a bit more specific but I don't to bore you during this festive holiday!

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