Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cooking St. Patrick's Day Feast for 90 Friends

We had our 4th annual St. Patrick's Day Party yesterday. Friends and family started arriving around 4:30. There were about 40 kids who took over our property with a friendly game of war that was fantastic to watch. The boys (and a few brave girls) ranging in age from about 4 to 13 had sticks and branches and divided themselves into 2 sides. They traversed hills, zip lines, fences and trees. I love this, because today you hardly get to see a big group of kids just do what is natural and fun. We all did this as youngsters. We were more free to roam our neighborhoods and use our imagination to have fun with what is available outside our front doors. For me this was the best part of the party.

The food was pretty good too. Here's the menu:

The best corned beef from Staff of Life my favorite natural food store butcher anywhere, but this one happens to be in Santa Cruz and is operated by Ken Miller with the help of some fantastic butchers, especially Joseph.

I put the 50#'s of corned beef on to simmer about 11:30am. At about 3:30 It was nice and tender. I took it out of the pots and added 15 # of new potatoes and 10# carrots and simmered till tender. Then I added 9 heads of cabbage cut in 1/8ths. I sliced the corned beef while this cooked.

You must serve corned beef with coleman's spicy mustard (the dry stuff in the yellow can that you mix with water.)

I also roasted 2 sides of salmon (farmed - due to the shortage of salmon and restrictions on the industry, hopefully next year we will have a salmon fishery).

We had 6 loaves of homemade Irish Soda Bread (recipe included)

For dessert we had brownies, green jello jigglers, (thanks Joyce) homemade boston cream pie, and delicious cookies from the buttery (thanks Jodee).
My son Henry never came around when we serving cake, so I made him the Chocolate Cake in a Mug at around 9:30. (He is spoiled, but his Mama loves him).

The beer and wine were flowing and I heard that Robert Hyde brought a bottle of awesome Irish Whiskey. We were also gifted a lovely bottle of Hendrick's Gin. Yum.

I think everyone left content and with a full belly by 10. The lovelies Sherri Hyde and Deirdre Smith didn't make it to the party this year so things kind of petered out early.

Here is the recipe for Irish Soda Bread

Sift Together:
4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup raisins, 1 Tablspoons Caraway seeds

Mix Together:
1 cup sour cream, 1 cup milk

Blean liquid into dry ingredients and knead about 10 times.

Pat into a buttered cake pan and cut an X or Cross on top

Bake in 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or till toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Happy St. Patrick's to Everyone!

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