St. Patrick’s Day: my way

Orange…I SAY ORANGE Chocolate chip muffins!!!

Even better, they are Blood Orange Chocolate chip muffins.

Not to make light of the carnage in Ireland, etc. but here is the story from my past…

My Grandmother Ruth had an incredible memory and she knew a lot of detail about family history. As the oldest grandchild and the only girl grandchild until I was 21, I spent a lot of time with her. She spoke to me as to an adult and imparted some of the history. One of the tidbits that stuck with me was that a direct relative – maybe her great-grandfather – was an Orangeman. Orangemen were a fraternity per my current reading but what I knew about family history was that we were Protestant, i.e. Orange and the Catholic Irish wore the Green.

Fast forward to 1967-68ish and I am 12 or 13 and in charge of decorating a small bulletin board in my 7th or 8th grade science classroom. The teacher, who was also an athletic coach, left me to my own devices. I planned to decorate with green shamrocks – traditional! BUT…there was no green construction paper. There WAS orange construction paper. Ha…I would decorate per my own family history and so I cut out orange shamrocks.

My mother was called.

It was the late ’60′s and VietNam war protesting, hippies, etc. Still. I was a straight-A, goodie-two shoes student. They might have just asked me.

So here we are 44 or 45 years later and I made orange muffins for St. Patrick’s :)

And my orange cat supervised. Actually, his nose is out of joint as I kicked him out of his house/my lightbox to take the muffin photos.

Onward to more bending of U.S. tradition…

Soda Buns. The recipe is New York Times’ Melissa Clark’s riff on Irish Soda Bread. She’s Jewish.

They are actually more scone-like in flavor with a bread-like texture. Good for breakfast and good with salty corned beef, but not Kosher for Passover which begins a week from tomorrow.

The corned beef. I do NOT like the “boiled dinner” of corned beef and cabbage and potates cooked until they are all grayish. I read somewhere that the boiled dinner is not even traditional in Ireland. The last several years, I have braised the meat and it comes out wonderfully tender and flavorful…sliceable as well as shreddable. Perfect!

And for the leftovers: Pumpernickle bread for corned beef sandwiches.

St. Patrick’s Day: my way!

Bonus photo… I was shooting the food and Bear was napping. Every time I looked his way, he was a bit further off the bed. He’s been sleeping a lot with his head off but this was a full body slide.