Ha, ha, ha, I bet you thought I meant I was going to recycle more, use rags instead of paper towels, refuse to buy strawberries in March because in order to arrive here, they left a HUGE carbon footprint. Sorry to disappoint my readers and dash their expectations that I might be looking at the world with a more global view to saving the earth for the next generation – oh no that’s not what I meant at all!!
This sunny but cold Sunday, the day before St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would attempt, yes attempt to make my first Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner. My husband is not sure why I’m thinking of doing this and now 3 days later, after I’ve bought the corned beef, the cabbage and the potatoes and carrots, I’m thinking the same thing! If we were in NYC we might go out for our annual Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner as we have for the past umpteen years but we are not in NYC. Actually we will be back in time to catch some of the world’s best and longest St. Patrick’s Day parade. However Monday holds a sacred place in my heart. Everyone who knows me, knows that Monday night is Mah Jongg night and since there isn’t a Colleen in the group, no one other than me seemed to think St. Patrick’s Day deserved any special consideration. Well that settled that. No Irish supper for Peter and I on Monday!
I did consider taking advantage of the considerable Irish-American population at the Jersey Shore and thought we might dine tonight at Clancy’s Tavern, The thought of enjoying a meal served and cleaned-up by someone else as well as the camaraderie of fellow diners and congenial drinkers certainly held its allure. BUT then I remembered how crazy Clancy’s can be; noisy, boisterous, and so loud, it’s hard to talk to your dinner partner! It’s really more bar than restaurant, Irish to its core so I started thinking that probably a good portion of the population might take advantage of an extended St. Patrick’s Day celebration by starting early in the weekend, only to continue right through to Monday night! AND then I remembered that on Sunday night a couple of my favorite TV shows are on, not to mention one of those rare occasions when I am in total control of the remote. How could I think of missing The Amazing Race, 60 Minutes and especially The Good Wife. I could DVR the shows but then I wouldn’t have the time to watch them because they would be on the TV in NJ and I’ll be heading back to NYC.
So now that I’ve settled that in my mind, I took my crockpot out and am hoping the corned beef will cook to its fall-apart texture this afternoon while I’m out and about. The packaging said to bring it to a boil and then cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and add the vegetable an hour before meat is done. That flies in the face of most of the recipes I’ve read so I’m thinking 4 hours in the crockpot with the potatoes, carrots and onion on the bottom, topped with the corned beef will do the trick. I do hope it gets to bubbling point and then about an hour before I’ll toss in the cabbage. carrots. I happened to be on the phone with my cousin, Marian this morning, and she too was attempting a first time Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner. However, she called her niece who writes a cooking blog and was told to put it in the slow cooker for 8 hours AND she put the cabbage, carrots and potatoes in with the meat right from the get go! I advised her to at least remove the cabbage otherwise I think she would end up with cellulose and mashed potatoes. We’ll compare notes later this evening, probably during the commercials!
Uh oh, I just took a good look at the photo I put in this post and see that the little red potatoes should have been left whole; I halved and even quartered some – I guess I will be the one with mashed potatoes! Oh well, ERIN GO BRAUGH…