Thursday, March 20, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Party

Due to insistent public demand... or rather the demand of one person in particular (like dutiful kids, we say, thank you Tito Alex), I came up with a speedy way of making a St. Patrick's Day party happen.

First off, I am not Irish, so I don't have a clue what or how to celebrate this day. So, being the typical librarian, I searched the internet for ideas and recipes (I was told that there are particular foods that need to be served on this day). The most popular of which are corned beef and cabbage. I figured, that's easy. I can just buy the canned corned beef and cook that, cabbage is always an easy thing to grab from the store. But alas! I've been castigated for even thinking that I can do this and get away with it. "It has to be the coned beef that needs to be sliced", I've been told. Clue, same person as the one who insisted that I have this party to begin with. And so, with much frustration and a lot of time calculation, I set out to find the easiest recipe for this "corned beef" (the Irish way). As luck would have it, or rather the lack of it, said corned beef can only be done by curing the meat for at least seven days. Seven days! When I'd rather have the food ready in seven minutes if I can manage it? Geez! And so, I diverted my search to what else can I make that is very close to this corned beef. I finally decided to get the ingredients for the Irish corned beef and mix it with some Filipino recipe. I've also substituted pork for beef, I do want to eat and getting beef tender enough for this will take too long. Axel would have killed me had I taken any minute longer getting the food done.

And so, the "corned pork" was born. Axel thought of this name while we were eating. Sounds good enough for me. I just simmered the sauce to get a thicker consistency so we can get more flavor out of it. I added the sweet peas, why? For the green color, of course!

Here's some more food stuff... It's been said (at least according to what I read on the Internet), that Irish people like to have potato in their diet. So I looked for a recipe that'll be easy for me to make. I found this one called "Colcanon" or "Irish Smashed Potato" As you can see it's not mashed, like what we normally have but rather smashed, which means you'd have to leave bigger pieces of potatoes in and not mash it to oblivion. It actually calls for the cabbage being mixed in to the potatoes, but I thought this might taste too different for my kids so I just served the potatoes on the cabbage;p No gravy! Just heavy on the butter. Kyla really liked this one. Of course I did not tell her the butter stuff. She's always saying she's on a diet, so I don't want to hurt her feelings ;p
Then of course, I have to round it off with something healthy (wish). So I made some veggies, just broccoli and carrots with cheese on top. Did I say healthy?
Axel, who's been patiently waiting for Kyla to arrive has been constantly going back and forth from his room to the kitchen. Taking a peek at what seems to be worth the trip, here's what's on the table...
And what would a St. Patrick's Day party be without the booze? No, I did not go for the traditional on this one. I did not get that famous "green beer". I am not much of a beer person and I doubt if anyone else at home would really want to drink it. But yes, I still got something alcoholic and actually got carded for it. Damn those cashiers! Although some would be thrilled to get carded when buying liquor, I definitely am not. I think I am way passed that stage where cashiers should demand to see my ID when I buy liquor from the store. In fact, I would have thought that what I got has so little liquor on it that it doesn't deserve to be called liquor. What did I get? Margarita. Of course one that's green.
I made my kids drink a little, and no, I am not trying to turn my kids into alcoholics. I got them to taste it so that they know what it's like. That way, they won't be fooled into thinking that yeah, there's hardly any liquor in this so I won't get drunk even if I have a couple of glasses. I'd rather be present when my kids try something that might prove to be potentially dangerous later on when I'm not around. I share my Dad's view on liquor, what you know won't hurt you or at least give you an insight to make the right decision.

And so, that was our impromptu St. Patrick's Day party! Maybe we did start a tradition on this one, who knows? Thanks are in order to the one responsible... (doing a chorus), thanks, Tito Alex! One last look at the party goers... (what wonders a new camera and a tripod can do).